Late last week, Take-Two Interactive filed a 10-Q earnings statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Buried inside of it, the company noted that it had renegotiated its agreement with developer 3D Realms to publish the long-in-the-making shooter Duke Nukem Forever.
According to the 10-Q, the two parties agreed to new financial terms, which were listed in the 10-Q in thousands of dollars (figures have been updated to reflect real numbers): "In March 2005, the company [Take-Two] renegotiated a $6,000[,000] contingent obligation due upon delivery of the final PC version of Duke Nukem Forever through the payment of $4,250[,000] and issuance of a promissory note in the principal amount of $500[,000]. The payment of the promissory note is contingent upon the commercial release of such product prior to December 31, 2006."
With Take-Two holding out a $500,000 promissory note as a carrot to get Duke Nukem Forever, some PC gamers became hopeful that the project would be finished in time for the 2006 holiday season. Others worried that the storied title, which has been in development since 1997, would be rushed into production before it was truly ready.
Now, it seems the former group has had their hopes dashed--while the latter group has had its fears allayed. In a post on the 3D Realms forums started in part due to a GameSpot typographical error (which has since been corrected and apologized for), Broussard has dismissed the prospect that 3D Realms would be tempted by a half-million-dollar sum.
"As for the 500k completion bonus, I don't even know were that came from," said the outspoken executive. "I do know that we never cared or asked for it, and I think it was just tossed in as part of some other agreement. We're certainly not motivated by that amount of money, after all this time, and getting the game right is what matters. I would never ship a game early (even a couple of months), for 500k."
Broussard went on to outline the current status of Duke Nukem Forever. "Our deal is simple," he said. "We're making the game. It'll be done when it's done. We've funded 99.999% of the game (aside from a very, very small advance from GT Interactive, years ago, before Take 2 bought the game from them). It's our risk, our necks and our gamble. Under the deal we should be earning royalties from about unit 30,000 or so (that's a real small number)."