3D Realms filed a lawsuit against Gearbox Software this week, demanding over $2 million in unpaid royalties regarding sales of Duke Nukem Forever.
In February 2010, 3D Realms and Gearbox entered into an agreement that would allow Gearbox to develop future Duke Nukem games, including Duke Nukem Forever and an unreleased title, Duke Begins. Part of that agreement included paying 3D Realms royalties from the sales of these future games.
Now that Duke Nukem Forever has been on store shelves for a considerable time, 3D Realms has alleged that Gearbox “refused and failed to make substantial royalty payments” as part of this original agreement. The company also claims that Gearbox is preventing an independent auditor from verifying the royalties owed, and they claim that Gearbox agreed to assume a $2.9 million loan that 3D Realms owed to another developer, of which they have not fulfilled.
According to 3D Realms' complaint, Gearbox is now claiming that they must first deduct the full amount of the $2.9 million loan they assumed before they pay any royalties to 3D Realms, which was not stipulated in the original agreement.
Gearbox has responded to Law360, saying that "Gearbox, in fulfillment of its commitments, enriched 3D Realms, saved 3DR from its debts and rescued 3DR from its failed dozen-plus year attempt to ship Duke Nukem Forever...3DR turned out to be the only beneficiary of the deal."