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.

 

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.

Wolfenstein 3-D is 25!

The first episode of the shareware version of Wolf3D was released on the 5th of May, 1992, by id Software and Apogee on BBS servers. For the 25 years anniversary of this game, you can read a complete retrospective on the Apogee / 3DRealms website, but also on the blog of Joe Siegler, one of the member of the support staff of Apogee back then, and an interview of Tom Hall – game designer at id Sofware on the game – on Gamasutra. Shacknews has also posted a list of some of the best mods of the game. And you can read the complete story of the game and id Software on the encyclopedia of this site.

3D Realms (Apogee) is back with the 3D Realms Anthology

Since the problems the company had following the chaotic development of Duke Nukem Forever (then transferred by its publisher Take Two to Gearbox Software) and its acquisition by Interceptor Entertainment in March 2014, there was no real news about 3D Realms. But the company recently adopted a new design for its logo and its website, and has announced the release of a new downloadable pack containing 32 old games of its golden age: Wolfenstein 3D, Duke Nukem 1, 2, 3D and Manhattan Project, Shadow Warrior, Commander Keen, Terminal Velocity, Raptor: Call of the Shadows, Rise of the Triad, Crystal Caves, Secret Agent, Black Stone, and many others! (but not Max Payne, Prey, or even Doom) All these games are compatible with the most recent Windows systems.

In this pack, you can also find a remastered sountrack for 9 of these games, including Duke Nukem 2 or Shadow Warrior. You can buy it on the 3D Realms website for $39,99 (= 32 euros).

Note that the post announcing the release of this pack has also a very interesting article about the history of 3D Realms: how it was founded by Scott Miller and George Broussard in 1987, how it revolutionized the industry with its shareware model, and how it created plenty of legendary games before collapsing in 2000’s.