Duke Nukem Forever developer sues Gearbox for unpaid royalties

Perry Vandell at

As if a hellish, 14-year development cycle weren’t enough, Duke Nukem Forever developer 3D Realms is now suing its former publisher, Gearbox Software, for unpaid royalties.

According to an article on Law 360, Apogee Software (the legal name for 3D Realms) filed a breach of contract suit on June 7, saying Gearbox failed to pay what it owed in the purchase agreement both companies signed back in 2010.  The now-defunct development company says Gearbox owes more than $2 million in unpaid royalties.

3D Realms was the original developer of Duke Nukem Forever before Take-Two Interactive acquired the publishing rights back in 2009. Take-Two actually filed a law suit against 3D Realms that year for failing to finish the game by the time it was supposed to, but the suit was later settled without disclosing further details.

Gearbox issued a statement to Polygon writing off the accusations as untrue.

“It's unfortunate that 3DR did not abide by the the objective audit rules outlined in the agreement and even more unfortunate that it chose to blame its failures on Gearbox. Since 3DR seems unable to accept reality and has chosen to become hostile, Gearbox is forced to bring its actual claims of breach of contract against 3DR and is confident Gearbox will prevail.

"Perhaps the lesson learned here is to never enter a gaming business deal with a person who has had more lawsuits than shipped games."

Ouch.