Troubled developer finds itself in a new controversy.
Uh-oh, Gearbox. You just seem to be getting in all sorts of trouble lately, don’t you?
The studio, best known for its Borderland series of games, has been a bit under fire of late, what with the entire controversy surrounding Aliens: Colonial Marines, the shooter based on the storied film franchise that they released earlier this year. It’s a messy story of half hearted relegated development, and misuse of development money.
Now Gearbox seems to be getting itself involved in another controversy, once again involving money, Apogee Software, the creator of the Duke Nukem character and franchise (in which Gearbox released the long awaited Duke Nukem Forever back in 2010), has sued Gearbox, claiming $2 million in unpaid royalties.
The suit claims that Gearbox never paid off the royalties in full when Gearbox bought the rights to the franchise back in 2010, and that they have not been transparent about the revenues raised from the sales of Duke Nukem Forever (of which a certain percentage would be owed to Apogee).
Gearbox, when reached for comment, claimed the report was false. In their statement to Polygon, they said, “Ironically, Scott Miller himself provided the best response when he wrote: ‘..filed lawsuits are entirely one-sided statements, based on knee-deep BS and with more spin than a top.’
“The reality is that Apogee / 3D Realms (3DR) received the full benefit of its bargain. Gearbox, in its fulfillment of its commitments, enriched 3DR, saved 3DR from its debts and rescued 3DR from its litigation surrounding its failed dozen-plus year attempt to ship Duke Nukem Forever.
“Everyone wished that 3DR’s game was better received by the market for the benefit of gamers and profit to its creators. While 3DR might not wish the reality that the results make clear, 3DR turned out to be the only beneficiary of the deal. Gearbox Software, meanwhile, experienced damage to its credibility and loss of its money.
“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.”
Dayum, Gearbox. Dayum.
Duke Nukem Forever shipped in 2010, and is available on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.