Gearbox settle lawsuit over Duke Nukem 3D music rights

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Published by FileTrekker 1 month ago , last updated 1 month ago

Gearbox, 3D Realms and composer Bobby Prince have been embroiled in a three-way argument over the use of Prince's music in Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour for a while now, but it seems the matter has finally been settled, out of course, with 3D Realms taking the brunt of the responsibility for the 'mix-up'

Prince filed suit against Gearbox for the use of music in Duke Nukem 3D, when they re-released the game for its 20th Anniversary. Gearbox, in turn, filed suit against 3D Realms, claiming that when they were sold the Duke Nukem IP, it was solder under the basis that it was "free and clear" of any intellectual property issues - in other words, that Gearbox would be the sole owner of all rights, and would not be liable to any third parties.

As turned out, 3D Realms, also known as Apogee, only had limited rights to use Prince's music in Duke Nukem 3D, something that wasn't disclosed to Gearbox. 3D Realms issued a statement, taking responsibility for the issue;

We at 3D Realms appreciate Bobby Prince, Randy Pitchford, and the Gearbox team for working with us to address the concerns raised in Mr. Prince's lawsuit. After review by counsel, a licence with Bobby was inadvertently overlooked by 3D Realms when we sold Gearbox the Duke Nukem catalogue. We are relieved to have the issues resolved and extend our best to everyone. 

While the details of the settlement aren't disclosed, you have to imagine that it's going to be a costly oversight to 3D Realms, who may now end up paying the due royalties to Prince. It seems fences have been mended, though with Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford also releasing a statement;

Bobby Prince has been and remains a valuable contributor to the Gearbox family. We appreciate Bobby and his team working with us to clear up the misunderstandings and confusion. He's an incredible artist and we value his contributions to our works.

The good news for gamers is that the music will be remaining in Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour. It would have been a huge shame for these tracks to have been substituted, given just how iconic the music in the game is.


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