Conspiracy theorists maintain that 3D Realms' closure last week was all part of some grand scheme to unveil a finished Duke Nukem Forever at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. If that is the case, it would appear Duke Nukem Forever's publisher has been caught up in the ruse, as Take-Two has filed suit against 3D Realms over the PC shooter.
According to the suit, 3D Realms--incorporated as Apogee Software Ltd.--failed to deliver on its contract to produce the game, instead shutting the project and the studio down on May 6. The suit also states that Take-Two paid 3D Realms $12 million in 2000 for publishing rights to the shooter, with a second, unspecified contract agreed upon in 2007. Development on Duke Nukem Forever began in 1997, the suit states.
"Apogee continually delayed the completion date for the Duke Nukem Forever," Take-Two said in the complaint, according to a Bloomberg report. "Apogee repeatedly assured Take-Two and the video-gaming community that it was diligently working toward competing development of the PC version of the Duke Nukem Forever."
Take-Two is also seeking to prevent 3D Realms from revealing any source code and assets related to the project. Many of those assets have already been leaked onto the Internet, however, as a number of former 3D Realms employees uploaded concept art and demo reels to their personal blogs and online portfolios following the studio's closure. That content has since been removed from its original sources, but not before seeing mass proliferation across a variety of Web sites and message boards.
Take-Two declined to offer additional comment on the pending litigation.