Duke Nukem Dust-Up: Gearbox vs Gobeille (Duke4's TerminX)

Jul 26, 2013
1,971
1
0
#1
Remember when Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition got pulled from Steam a while back? Maybe not, but here is a news article regarding that episode. Basically, Gearbox is still up to their usual ways and bulling developers around:
Richard Gobeille is an independent games developer. Disabled and with a wife currently hospitalized by lupus, Gobeille relies on royalties from his games for a substantial portion of his family’s overall income. Recently that took a hit, when Gearbox ended its distribution relationship with publisher Devolver Digital and Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition was pulled from Steam. More than a month of Gobeille’s outstanding royalties, for use of his code in Megaton, were allegedly handed over to Gearbox in the process.

All of which would be perfectly legal, if Gobeille’s games were infringing upon Gearbox’s rights. Yet Gobeille has a licensing contract in hand, signed by 3D Realms’ Scott Miller, saying the opposite.

Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford has since claimed that Gobeille was “hoodwinked by those guys… [w]e are both victims of the same culprit.” His position, as well as that of various other Gearbox representatives who’ve contacted Gobeille on the matter, is that Miller was never in any position of authority to cut such a contract. One even said “If you still believe his deal with you is valid then Gearbox can take that up with Scott Miller.”
 
Dec 3, 2013
17,621
10,634
555
#5
The new corporate 'get out of jail [see: contract] free' card.

"But---but they were not in a position of authority to sign a usually notarized or witnessed contract."

I really do hope Gearbox gets hammered, because I truly do not buy it, at all.
 
Aug 21, 2007
3,294
0
780
Chicago
twitter.com
#11
I'm rather sick and tired of Gearbox at this point. Sure, there may be some talented folks there who stuff like animation, coding, level design, but the management leaders are flat out liars who clearly don't give a damn about anything other than pursuing their personal needs.
 
Dec 6, 2012
46,467
2
0
#12
So is the contract legit or not?

That kind of matters when coming to any kind of conclusion here. Maybe I'm missing something?


Sucks the guy has such a rough life outside of all that/this.
Because Gearbox has sealed the details of the settlement between them and 3D Realms, nobody knows. This guy who had a contract was asking for details about it as he's about to do a mobile port of Duke 3D, didn't get anywhere and is now saying fuck it and will release anyway saying Gearbox will have to sue to stop him.

If they do sue, maybe the facts will come out.
 
Dec 6, 2012
46,467
2
0
#16
I don't see how the contract would be valid?
Because when rights and the like are transferred, existing contracts are usually still valid and honoured. Bit as we don't know the terms of that contract and the terms of Gesrbox/3D Realms settlement, we don't know.
 
Mar 23, 2010
4,894
0
0
Woodland Hills
#18
I don't see how the contract would be valid?
Read the article to the end. If you dig through the contracts, while Gearbox now owns all FUTURE rights to new Duke Nukem games, 3D Realms maintains rights to all previously released games AND FUTURE PORTS OF RELEASED GAMES.

There may be some change or clarification to that, but 3DR seems to be in the right on this and Pitchford is just pushing people around.
 
Dec 6, 2012
46,467
2
0
#20
Read the article to the end. If you dig through the contracts, while Gearbox now owns all FUTURE rights to new Duke Nukem games, 3D Realms maintains rights to all previously released games AND FUTURE PORTS OF RELEASED GAMES.

There may be some change or clarification to that, but 3DR seems to be in the right on this and Pitchford is just pushing people around.
That's muddy too. The last update was 3DR and Gearbox joint statement saying Gearbox now own the older games:

There’s two lists of which company got what, both carrying the same date. In the first version, Gearbox got anything related to videogames while 3D Realms retains stuff related to movie and TV rights. But in the second, a last-page Supplement with Pitchford’s name on it, Gearbox obtained movie/TV rights related to new Duke games they create – and 3D Realms retains sweeping rights to just about every preceding Duke game. Including “Duke Nukem 3D (and expansion packs)” and “All ports of the Duke Nukem 3D game (originally published in 1996) to any platform”. Both Agreement and Supplement were placed in evidence during the recent lawsuit.

The entire matter hinges on the legitimacy and interpretation of that Supplement.
From the joint announcements which both Gearbox and 3D Realms made at the end of the suit, Gearbox does appear to currently have rights to the older games.
 
Mar 23, 2010
4,894
0
0
Woodland Hills
#21



This is the "Excluded Assets" section, IE: SHIT RANDY DOESN'T HAVE RIGHTS TO.


Section II specifically mentions Duke Nukem 3D.
FURTHER, Section IV's last line says "ALL PORTS OF THE DUKE NUKEM 3D GAME TO ANY PLATFORM"

This dude is fucking people over.

If there's some more up to date list, it's not public. And he's refusing to show ANYBODY. And that's the problem.
 
Dec 6, 2012
46,467
2
0
#22
If there's some more up to date list, it's not public. And he's refusing to show ANYBODY. And that's the problem.
Yup. Basically all the settlement statement says is that 3D Realms thinks a "a single home serves the IP best", probably because Gearbox had them over a barrel. All Randy said was that Gearbox "wishes to keep the terms of its settlement confidential except to confirm that Gearbox Software is the full and rightful owner of the Duke Nukem franchise."

Every news site I've read says that means Gearbox has the rights to the old games as well now, but that wording is so damn fluffy that I have no idea if that's actually true since we can't see the settlement. They're clearly hiding something in that settlement based on this from the article too:

[Gearbox] claim the contracts for HTTKC are invalid, but upon my request for a written statement as to their invalidity they refuse to state why. I’ve been trying to get them to tell me for the last two months and they’re just dicking me around and doing anything they can to avoid giving me an answer. Then they tell me they’re unwilling to discuss the contracts unless I have a lawyer, so I have my lawyer contact them, only to have them waste another entire month of time before making vague legal threats and telling me they now refuse to have a discussion involving lawyers. It’s complete nonsense and I suspect we will end up in court.”
 
Jan 12, 2012
18,258
8
465
BC Canada
#25
TerminX... Now that's a name I haven't heard in a very long time. I used to make textures for the high resolution texture pack for Duke Nukem 3D over a decade ago, TerminX would always be dropping the latest builds of his Duke 3D port on us.

That's really scummy that Gearbox is trying to find a way to steal his work without having to give him any royalty fees. TerminX put a lot of hard work into EDuke32 port over the years and it is one of the best ways to play the game on a current PC.

I had no idea that Gearbox pulled Megaton Edition from Steam. That's a shame. I'm glad that I bought a copy before it disappeared.
 
Jul 22, 2005
14,522
0
0
#26



This is the "Excluded Assets" section, IE: SHIT RANDY DOESN'T HAVE RIGHTS TO.


Section II specifically mentions Duke Nukem 3D.
FURTHER, Section IV's last line says "ALL PORTS OF THE DUKE NUKEM 3D GAME TO ANY PLATFORM"

This dude is fucking people over.

If there's some more up to date list, it's not public. And he's refusing to show ANYBODY. And that's the problem.
I wonder if part of the settlement afterwards, 3DR had to hand over everything due to them making false claims and thus having to apologize. No one knows what the settlement was.

http://www.polygon.com/2015/8/19/91...destruction-lawsuit-settled-3d-realms-gearbox
 
Jan 12, 2012
18,258
8
465
BC Canada
#29
I hope Gearbox doesn't nuke the Megaton Edition on Steam when they get around to putting out their Duke 3D version.
They already nuked it from Steam. Looking at the storefront, it is not there anymore. Sadly they removed everything Duke Nukem related from Steam and GOG, this includes Duke Nukem 3D (vanilla and Megaton), Duke Nukem 1 and 2, and Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project. Which sucks. You can't even buy the original DOS game anymore and run it on TerminX's EDuke 32 port, if you really wanted to.

The only Duke game that you can purchase on Steam now is Duke Nukem Forever and its expansion packs... yeesh....
 
Jan 12, 2012
18,258
8
465
BC Canada
#32
No I mean the actual files. I hope they don't replace Megaton Edition on Steam and just add a new app to the store instead so they leave Megaton Edition alone for the people who bought it.
I'm sure Megaton is safe because it is under a different listing. Unless of course Gearbox decides to call their port "Megaton Edition" as well... then there might be a problem.
 
Jul 22, 2005
14,522
0
0
#34
Awfully fucking rich from a guy who used money from SEGA to fund development of his own IP and allegedly contribute towards the purchase of Duke Nukem IP while farming out development of a major title to another developer and completely fucking it up in the process. Gearbox themselves had weeks to complete a broken PS3 version.

If I was SEGA I'd have sent the full force of my legal team in, got an inquest and kicked some ass.
That was all hearsay. In fact, the source was someone claiming to be a QA tester at Sega on Reddit if I recall. A QA tester wouldn't even know those things.

Publishers constantly audit developers. It would have been discovered if it were true.
 
Feb 21, 2013
21,919
0
390
#35
I know the contract is between Gobeille and 3D Realms but that comment by Pitchford was disgusting. At least offer some avenue to help the guy, don't just play the victim as well.

I miss when Jim Sterling rips on this guy. It should happen more often like the #FucKonamiNews
 
Apr 3, 2010
29,270
0
0
#36
We are both victims of the same culprit.


I cant....

Randy. What the fuck is wrong with you?



Doesnt seem like anyone is in the wrong except Randy being a ultra douche here and Gearbox for taking a months worth of the guys money.

It sucks Megaton Edition got pulled but the rights expired. Shit happens all the time. Dude doesnt get his royalty check for his time spent working on a game that isnt for sale anymore. That makes sense.

Just give him the money he is owed and move the fuck on. Dont play the pity card.
 
Jan 12, 2012
18,258
8
465
BC Canada
#37
I know the contract is between Gobeille and 3D Realms but that comment by Pitchford was disgusting. At least offer some avenue to help the guy, don't just play the victim as well.

I miss when Jim Sterling rips on this guy. It should happen more often like the #FucKonamiNews
Jim just played through Aliens: Colonial Marines with the TemplarGFX and Gameplay overall a couple days ago and he went off on a Randy Pitchford tirade: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X167BVzF28U
 
Jul 26, 2013
1,971
1
0
#44
Here's a list of what Randy's done so far:

Refused to pay TX for finding the Xbox 360 version source code;
Seized TX's royalties from Megaton;
Claimed TX's contracts were invalid but refused to provide a statement of why;
His lawyers have given TX the silence treatment;
Is risking public backlash by suing a disabled man without any legal basis;
Is rewriting the DOS code despite the odds of it not being worth the cost so they don't have to pay TX royalties;
Went on a rampage on Twitter for hours arguing about this;
He has been very careless, leaving TX's access to their systems open for months.

This is personal. Randy is directing his hate of Scott Miller towards TX. That's it. This actually goes back to the planfile wars. Randy and a few members of the Bombshell team all quit 3D Realms in '97 once to start a new studio. 3DR sued Rebel Boat Rocker for trademark infringement back in '98.

'Row, row, your boat, Our game is but a dream'.
-Scott Miller January '99 in reference to Rebel Boat Rocker's debut Prax War being cancelled by EA.
 

TheSeks

Blinded by the luminous glory that is David Bowie's physical manifestation.
Feb 14, 2009
56,116
0
800
#47
This is personal. Randy is directing his hate of Scott Miller towards TX. That's it. This actually goes back to the planfile wars. Randy and a few members of the Bombshell team all quit 3D Realms in '97 once to start a new studio. 3DR sued Rebel Boat Rocker for trademark infringement back in '98.

'Row, row, your boat, Our game is but a dream'.
-Scott Miller January '99 in reference to Rebel Boat Rocker's debut Prax War being cancelled by EA.

Woah, you got links to this backstory? I know Carmack did .plan files in the 90's, but I didn't know other companies did as well.
 
Jul 26, 2013
1,971
1
0
#49
Woah, you got links to this backstory? I know Carmack did .plan files in the 90's, but I didn't know other companies did as well.
Oh yeah, dude. Almost all of the major FPS studios had plan files, with Valve being the notable exception. Blues News is your place, though to get the really early entries, you might need to go to Archive.org.

Here's Randy's Prax War post-mortem.

If you want a laugh, check out this gem recovered from some Shadow Warrior developer material:

George,

Below is a draft of a letter to Monolith.

Read the letter first, then see my comments below. I don't know how
much importance this has to you, but I can engineer the letter to help
meet your goals with Monolith.

Also, the regret indicated in the letter is genuine.

*******************************************************************

Monolith,

Some time ago, I discussed in a private DCC conversation with a
friend of Jason some weaknesses, in my opinion, in Blood.

Doing so was a blatent mistake, for which I am embarrassed.

It was wrong of me to verbally contemplate business end matters
that I know little about. Among these are the actual release dates of
both Shadow Warrior and Blood, and the profit divisions for each
product.

Perhaps it was foolish of me to assume that the person to which I
was speaking would not violate privacy law by recording our
conversation without my permission. In any case, the discussion was
not meant for public eye and I am thankful that it is secure.

It is generally policy for me to not discuss business on-line
through any other channel than direct e-mail with those I know
personally. This instance was a unique, wrong occurance with a person
I (mistakenly) felt the discussion was safe.

I regret and have learned from the situation and hope that we can
move forward not as opposition, but as allies. After all, our goal in
the end is to create the best entertainment in the industry.

-Randall Pitchford

********************************************************************

First, how should the letter be addressed? It's currently to
"Monolith," is that correct?

Also, I mention several things in this letter for specific reasons.

The first is that I acknowledge contriving "weaknesses" with Blood
that are "my opinion." This covers the stuff I discussed that you
originally wanted us to let them know about; i.e. the main character,
some of the level stuff, etc.

Then I admit wrongfullness and embarrassment. This is sincere.

The next paragraph is an attempt to fix any business stuff between
you and Nick that might have been hindered by what I discussed about
release times and such. I'm not exactly sure what (if anything) needs
fixing, but I'm basically reducing the business/release date part of
my conversation to personal speculation (which it really was) with has
little bearing on what is actually taking place. You mentioned that
you're currently working on renegotiations with the Blood team. The
last thing I would want is to affect those negotiations and
potentially hinder future profits for 3dRealms (my bread and butter
<g>).

I then recognize that the conversation was recorded without my
knowledge. Current law considers recorded conversations
(voice/telephone or data/telegraph) without consent of both parties
illegal. I could omit this part, or adjust it to not appear to shift
guilt. However, I'm sure you can identify with my own feeling of loss
of privacy...I'm sure you'd feel the same in my shoes. This section
might be important, though. Most people don't realize that recording
internet conversations without permission is illegal and such
recordings cannot be used as evidence in court.

The next section isolates the event and again recognizes my
mistake. It also attempts to remove a feeling of conflict and create
a feeling of partnership.

Is there any other impression you think I should include? Also, do
you think any of the points I have made may violate 3dRealms' goals
with Monolith and Blood? If so, how can I change them.

Also, how should the letter be sent. If I send the letter
directly, responses will come to my e-mail address. However, if you
send the letter for me, it might appear that you influenced my
apology.

After you've read this and have some time, give me a call and we
can discuss it if necessary.

-Randy