3D Realms closes doors

Duke Nukem developer allegedly forced to close; handhled game unaffected; game rights remain with Take-Two

Duke Nukem Forever developer 3D Realms has allegedly being forced to close, according to numerous online reports.

Sources at website Shacknews and others initially reported that the closure was due to "funding issues" and that staff had already been made redundant.

An update from Deep Silver, the publishing partner of external company Apogee, later stated that their businesses were unaffected and that development of the handheld version of Duke Nukem Trilogy was continuing.

In a tacit confirmation of the 3D Realms closure a representative stated: "Deep Silver and Apogee Software are not affected by the situation at 3D Realms."

Duke Nukem Forever was to have been published by Take-Two Interactive, who retain the publishing rights to the game. "We can confirm that our relationship with 3D Realms for Duke Nukem Forever was a publishing arrangement, which did not include ongoing funds for development of the title," said Take-Two vice president of communications Alan Lewis.

As of time of writing there has been no official confirmation of the closure from 3D Realms, although employee Joe Siegler has stated on the official forum that: "It's not a marketing thing. It's true. I have nothing further to say at this time."

Siegler had just taken part in a feature with website, which has subsequently pulled the second part of the interview. Commenting on the forum, Siegler indicated that as of Tuesday afternoon he was unaware of the impending closure.

3D Realms, originally a brand named of Apogee, was founded in 1987 and published a number of influential titles on both labels, including Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Terminal Velocity and Max Payne.

The company was most closely associated with the internally developed Duke Nukem series, with a string of hits on the PC and, to a lesser degree, consoles. The long delayed Duke Nukem Forever has proven extremely problematic for the company though, having first been announced in 1997.

As recently as January 2009 3D Realms co-founder George Broussard was still adamant that the game would be released, although little has ever been seen of the title in public.

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Latest comments (3)

Pete Leonard , Amiqus13 years ago
A shame to hear this as they have been around for 22 years, but even most of their recent titles like Prey and Max Payne were more like collaborations (MP Remedy, Prey - HumanHead) and the actual last new title that was their release of Duke 3D on XBL.
This title always seemed to be chasing that lastest tech according to outside reports (switching from Quake 2 to unreal, to unreal 2, back to mostly inhouse?). That can't be good, surely?

It's not good news and best wishes go out to all who lost their jobs, but it IS incredible that this didn't happen sooner, considering how many other developers have struggled with far less rope for themselves......
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Mat Bettinson Business Development Manager, Tantalus Media13 years ago
I memember sitting in a room at E3 a long long time ago as a bright eyed and bushy tailed games journalist, eagerly being shown DNF. Quake 2 engine, that stuff where they were shooting from the back of a train at stuff chasing them, or something. Subsequently learned that was all scripted stuff and wasn't a game.

No greater farce in the history of game development. At some point, as the years tick by, and you've continued to achieve nothing perhaps it's time to change tack. Get some new manangement, hell outsource the entire game like Prey and Max Payne etc.

But no, this one was special. Someone really needs to write a book about these jokers, it'd be a riveting story.
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Antony Cain Lecturer, Teesside University13 years ago
It was never going to be worth the wait was it... it would have to be bigger than WoW, Counter Strike and GTA combined to be met with anything but disappointment :)

It's a miracle it was allowed to go on for so long
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