In mid-June, we informed you of an unpleasant incident related to the Duke Nukem brand, in which Gearbox Software was introduced. When Randy Pitchford bought the rights to the famous brand from 3D Relams in 2009, resp. their owner, Apogee Software, believed that they would be relieved of all obligations to third parties. Several times over the past 11 years, however, it turned out that this is not really the case and Gearbox had to gradually solve the problems with the missing license for the engine developed by Duke Nukem Forever. these days they were resolving a dispute with musician Bobby Prince. He sued Gearbox and Valve (as a DNF reseller) for his music being misused in Duke Nukem Forever and Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour, according to the musician, and not only to pay a license fee, but also to pay the damage he has suffered as a result. And even though Gearbox was innocent of it, because he bought the Duke Nukem brand in good faith, knowing that it was complete and therefore included music, he had to solve the problem.
The unraveling comes just before Christmas, when all parties have been able to agree, and the result is that the music of Bobby Prince will remain in both mentioned games and, of course, opens the way for further future cooperation. However, the outcome of the dispute, which has not yet been formally concluded, provides a number of observations which, at least in part, shed light on the nature of the agreement described. “At 3D Realms, we respect Bobby Prince, Randy Pitchford and the people of Gearbox for working with us to resolve the issues that Mr. Prince has included in his lawsuit,” said a 3D Realms spokesman. For the whole company, he pours ashes on his head and states that after reviewing all the documents, it is clear that the terms of the license from Bobby Prince were overlooked and the brand was sold to Gearbox without the appropriate details.
Randy Pitchford himself highlights the work of Bobby Prince and describes it as key to the future of the brand and the functioning of the entire Gearbox.
These were to include a substantial portion, according to which the musician was entitled to $ 1 for each piece of Duke Nukem played in which his music played, and it was Prince who had demanded payment of these fees. So it seems that 3D Realms could not pay out the money out of their own pockets, which will allow the court to close the dispute after a year. After all, Gearbox’s statement on the whole case confirms that according to their information, the dispute was resolved by 3D Realms, which confirms the above scenario and in the future the dispute should not indicate a reluctance to cooperate further. Randy Pitchford himself highlights the work of Bobby Prince and describes it as key to the future of the brand and the functioning of the entire Gearbox. On the other hand, similarly friendly words are heard about trying to find a solution and deal with Gearbox without further consequences. “After a productive discussion, we reached an agreement that allows music and sound effects to remain in Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour. I respect Randy Pitchford and Gearbox for their cooperation and understanding. I am grateful that we can finally leave all this behind and move forward, “the musician concludes.
For Gearbox, another unpleasant chapter around the Duke Nukem series ends, despite the fact that, as the rights owner, he has not been doing too much activity lately to move the brand somewhere further. Duke Nukem Forever was the last episode so far, but it didn’t score much for players or critics, which is probably the reason why the next episode hasn’t arrived yet. On the other hand, Gearbox at least tries to return the character of Duke from time to time games, as happened in 2019 in a special edition of Bulletstorm called Duke of Switch.