Duke Nukem Developer Sued by Take-Two Interactive

Dennis Faas's picture

Talk about kicking a man, and his company, when they're down. Just two weeks after the (somewhat) shocking revelation that Duke Nukem developer 3D Realms was closing its doors forever, the company is not only being sued for breach of contract, it's also receiving jabs at its 80s-inspired protagonist.

News of the 3D Realms meltdown became public on May 6, a shameful end for a company that once showed so much promise. The developer is best known for its Duke Nukem franchise, including the character's side-scrolling roots and his mid-90s climax as the cigar-chomping, alien-blasting star of first person shooter legend Duke Nukem 3D. A sequel to that game had been in development for something like an eon, but most gamers had given up waiting.

Take-Two Left in the Lurch

However, the 3D Realms closing has left Take-Two Interactive in the lurch. Take-Two, best known for the development of the Grand Theft Auto, Bioshock, and Manhunt games (just to name a few), argues that 3D Realms parent company Apogee Software breached an agreement between the two companies that ensured the development and release of a sequel to Duke Nukem 3D, tentatively titled Duke Nukem Forever.

In a complaint released to Bloomberg, Take-Two stated, "Apogee continually delayed the completion date for the Duke Nukem Forever." According to Take-Two, Apogee also "repeatedly assured Take-Two and the video-gaming community that it was diligently working toward completing development of the PC Version of the Duke Nukem Forever." (Source: tgdaily.com)

Insiders have reported that Take-Two paid Apogee about $12 million for the publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever way back in 2000. They still want some of that money back.

Duke Nukem of Yesteryear

Last but not least, tech site Wired has determined that there was good reason for 3D Realms' demise: Duke just wasn't all that cool anymore. According to writer Earnest Cavalli, gamers simply aren't interested in the brawny, Rocky-inspired heroes of yesteryear, and have moved on to more complex, intellectual characters. Take Half-Life's Gordon Freeman, for instance. (Source: wired.com)

Is Cavalli right? Perhaps. But it's quite obvious that there were much deeper problems marring the release of Duke Nukem Forever.  Let's hope the Take-Two case brings them to light.

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