The epitaxial growth of zinc-blende (cubic) GaN and InGaN on GaAs with a common cleavage plane and readily high-quality, low-cost wafers may be considered as an alternative approach for the future realization of cleaved laser cavities. To obtain detailed information about the potential of cubic GaN and InGaN for device applications we performed optical gain spectroscopy accompanied by time-integrated and time-dependent photoluminescence measurements at 2 K and 300 K. From intensity-dependent gain measurements, the identification of the gain processes was possible. For moderate excitation levels, the biexciton decay is likely to be responsible for a gain structure at 3.265 eV in cubic GaN . For the highest pump intensities, the electron- hole-plasma is the dominant gain process, providing gain values up to 200 cm-1. Furthermore cubic GaN samples with different cavity lengths from 250 to 600 mim were cleaved to investigate the influence of the sample geometry on the gain mechanisms. In these samples increased gain values up to 150 cm-1 as well as lower threshold excitation densities were observed, indicating the potential of cubic GaN for device applications. The results of GaN will be compared with intensity-dependent gain measurements on InGaN samples, grown on GaAs with varying In-content. The observed gain mechanisms in cubic InGaN will be discussed in detail.