Bobby Princes sues Gearbox and Valve for Duke Nukem music

The composer of the legendary music of Wolfenstein 3-D, Doom and Duke Nukem 3-D has filed a lawsuit against Gearbox and its CEO Randy Pitchford, and also Valve (for Steam) – because they have used the music he had created for the game in the “Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour edition” of the game w/o asking him and paying him his royalties! According to PC Gamer:

In a document submitted to U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Tennessee, Prince’s attorneys described how 16 songs he wrote were used in 1996 shooter Duke Nukem 3D under an agreement with developer Apogee. “Apogee had a limited right to use Mr. Prince’s music in Duke Nukem 3D in exchange for a royalty equal to $1 per unit sold,” they said. Prince had registered the copyrights for the songs.

Gearbox Software purchased certain rights to the Duke Nukem games from Apogee in 2010. Prince claimed the company went on to use his music in Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour, the 2016 update to the shooter, without his permission. “The electronic files for the music within Duke Nukem 3D World Tour include text specifically stating that Mr Prince owns the copyright to the music and has reserved all rights to the music’s use,” the court document read. “Yet Gearbox incorporated the music into the game without ever contacting Mr Prince and without clearing the rights expressly mentioned in the electronic files.”

Furthermore, Prince claimed he contacted Randy Pitchford requesting royalties for the music in the 2016 game, and was told he would be “taken care of”, but never received any money. Pitchford also “refused to remove the music from the game”, Prince’s attorneys said.

Prince also contacted Valve, he claimed, regarding the distribution of the game on Steam. “Valve ignored a takedown notice, thus waiving any immunity under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and continued distributing infringing copies of the music despite knowing that Mr Prince owned the copyrights in the music,” the document reads.

Gearbox Software, Gearbox Publishing, Randy Pitchford and Valve have been given 21 days to respond to the summons.

Gearbox and Valve haven’t responded yet to this dispute, but Pitchford has recently found an agreement for another legal dispute with one of his former lawyers for some bad usage of the company money…

Bobby Prince in 1992

On his side, and even if he has been retired from the game music industry for years – Wrack was the last game he worked on in 2014, Bobby is still blogging about music and other stuffs, regularly posting very interesting articles about his career in the game industry. He battled a cancer several years ago, with the help of many people through public fundraising, and was cured successfully.

 

A TV series about Masters of Doom is in development

The book “Masters of Doom”, which describes the story of John Carmack and John Romero until they found id Software and create iconic games like Wolfenstein 3-D, Doom and Quake, will be adapted to a TV series by USA Network (Mr Robot, Suits, The Purge, …), with the pilot episode that will be shot soon. The cast is composed of Eduardo Franco (Booksmart) as John Romero, and Patrick Gibson (The OA) as John Carmack.

The cast will also be composed of Jane Ackermann (Neptune) as Hannah Romero, the first wife of John Romero, John Karna (Scream: The TV Series) as Tom Hall,  Peter Friedman (Succession) as Al Vekovius, the boss of Softdisk, who recruited all these geniuses in the 80s before they left and created id Software, and Siobhan Williams (Deadly Class) as Stevie Case, a famous pro-gamer and the girlfriend of John Romero later in the 90s.

Tom Hall reacted to this annoucement in his own way!

Stevie Case too! (and her actress)

And the creator of the book:

… while John Romero was celebrating the birthday of Spear of Destiny (27 years old!) and admiring his own portraits in Ukraine! ^^

… and John Carmack was doing some tech conference about the Oculus VR set…

 

 

 

 

How id built Wolfenstein 3D

Gamasutra has posted an excerpt from the fascinating book “Game Engine Black Book – Wolfenstein 3-D” of Fabien Sanglard that explains in details the making of the game, from the team organization to the in-depth technical details of the development of the game, with the help of the original creators.

You can get the book via the links referenced on the page of the author.

Note that Fabien has also released the sequel of this book about the development of Doom.

Interview of Bobby Prince

The composer of music of Wolfenstein 3-D, SoD, Doom, Duke Nukem 3-D and other early id Software and Apogee/3DRealms games recently gave an interview to the Cyber Den site.

A very interesting insight to this composing job in the 90s that Bobby regularly explains in his blog, as he’s been retired from the industry for more than once decade.

Interview of John Romero and Kevin Cloud by noclip

noclip did an extensive interview of John Romero about his career and his new home in Ireland. Subscribers to the patreon of noclip can also watch a very interesting tour of the huge collections of old games and pieces of software history that John gathered or created across time.

noclip did also an interview of the last of the founder members of id Software still in the company, Kevin Cloud, about his career and the new Doom game.

You can also watch other videos about Doom with extended interviews of the development team.

 

3 records for id Software

During the Gamescom in August, id Software was awarded by the Guinness Book for 3 particular records:

  • longest-running FPS developer
  • longest-running FPS series (Wolfenstein)
  • longest-running eSports tournament (QuakeCon)

Obviously, no other company could win these records, as id Software created the FPS genre back in the 90s, as explained in the video below:

Unfortunately, during the Gamescom or the QuakeCon just before, no new information was given about a new Wolfenstein game.

Life after “Master of Doom”

The author of the great book “Master of Doom”, David Kushner, about the life and career of John Romero and John Carmack from the late seventies to the beginning of the 2000s, has posted a new article about these two legendary developers, and their life after the era of the book, until now.

From the ashes of Ion Storm to the recent campaign of Romero on kickstarter for BLACKROOM, and the departure of Carmack from id Sofware to become the CTO of Oculus and create new VR headsets, you can discover how they managed to continue their career after creating some of the most important games in the industry.

John Romero and Adrian Carmack launch a kickstarter campaign… and cancel it!

John Romero and Adrian Carmack have revealed last monday the name of the project they were working on: BLACKROOM.

They’ve started last Monday a kickstarter campaign based on the concept of a fast multiplayer first-person shooter game taking place in a holographic world, using the Unreal Engine 4. But without any live gameplay demo to show that concept in action, their campaign was quite ill-fated, as they were asking for 700.000 dollars – which is quite realistic for the development of a game during several months in a small team, but a very high amount when you have only some ideas and concepts. But as they received only more than 100k after some days, and the trend was not very good, they decided to stop the campaign and work on a demo of the game before restarting it. Good luck to them!

John Romero and Adrian Carmack tease a new FPS, John Carmack honoured

John Romero and Adrian Carmack are back together in order to create a new first-person shooter game! They had already worked together at id Sofware on games like Doom, Quake and obviously Wolfenstein 3-D, and have always kept in touch since. But Adrian left id in 2005, and sued the company in court afterwards for some forced stakes sales. He retired from the video game industry, and became the manager of an hotel in Ireland.

And in 2015, John Romero moved to Ireland in order to found his new company – Night Work Games – with his wife Brenda Romero and apparently Adrian, and create a new FPS – his first one since Quake in 1996, before he left id Software, and Daïkatana in 2000. John and Adrian have just posted a video teasing this new game – which will be officially announced next Monday!

 

John Carmack won’t be part of the project. He’s still working as the CTO of Oculus on their virtual-reality headsets, and received recently a BAFTA Fellowship award for his “outstanding and exceptional contribution to video games”. Here’s his brilliant acceptance speech (transcript here):