Take-Two sues Duke Nukem Forever dev

Publisher takes 3D Realms to court over failure to deliver PC edition of 12-years-in-the-making shooter.

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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.

Take-Two would prefer that you not see this.

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.

Discussion

455 comments
davidsworld3
davidsworld3

well comfnumb82 that makes you a liar I dont see a coke. A shame this game sucked really really bad.

Wistful_Dread
Wistful_Dread

@comfnumb82 I guess you owe all these nice theorists a coke...

comfnumb82
comfnumb82

i'll make you a deal, conspiracey theorists: if duke nukem forever is rreleased within the next 2 years, than i owe you a coke

Moroes
Moroes

This is just ridiculous. There are plenty of great games that are produced in a year or two... while 3D Realms can't figure out how to make a decent game in 12 years. Individuals tend to procrastinate and end up never finishing something, but a group of many individuals doing this is just unimaginable. I hope the employees of 3D Realms enjoy Wal-Mart, because that's where they will be working.

k_bingham
k_bingham

What's odd is that, as several have said, if they had gotten a half-way decent game out in late 1998 (when HL 1 came to market in the US), even if it wasn't the greatest graphically or with a great story, they could have made some money, learned some things, kept the whole project moving forward, but mainly, made a lot of old skool gamers very happy (old dudes like me). Duke is funny because he's Duke. The cops as pigs, you got the babes; here's this blonde Eastwood type character with a crew cut saving the planet with one liners and no respect or fear. It taps into something special. What's interesting as well is that no one was able to (or tried to) copy Duke. Plenty of teams copied 'games' like Quake, but the whole Duke enterprise was never duplicated and fans waited specifically for _Duke_. What a shame. I was looking for this game to come out in 2001 and 2002. I thought...2003 at the latest? Then when Doom III came out in 2004, I thought, ok 2005 or 2006. It's 2009, and it's over, and there's a lawsuit. I just can't believe it.

jmanders2002
jmanders2002

Maybe this action will at least force Apogee to s### or get off the pot. If they haven't done anything with this in over ten years, I can't see them doing anything with it during the next ten. Maybe they can be pressured to unload it, or at the very least, be given a new deadline (say by the end of 2009 at the latest). I mean, how much do they have left to do on it? I can't help but feel that any number of companies would love to have the opportunity to finish this project and get it on the market. Even after all this time, it would still be a gold nugget for whoever did.

ptown58
ptown58

"Some people here seem (?) to know all the facts in the case."

ultralesus
ultralesus

Let me look into my crystal ball... Take Two will obtain IP rights in a settlement, and sell it on or pass it to a new Dev in order to make some form of return from its investment...They need to be makin the bacon. Meaning in one way or another, we're getting Duke Nukem. Come get some T2!

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

I have a feeling that this lawsuit will last quite some time or until George Broussard runs out of gum to pay for his lawyers. Seriously though, if they don't get this game out within 2 more years then they'll have to redesign the entire game and engine again. I can see this case dragged out for several years with endless appeals. After 2 years from now it is highly likely that Microsoft will switch to their next gen console, the xbox3/720 and then what? The build that they currently have will once again be hopelessly outdated and they'll need to switch over to the Unreal 4 engine, Cryengine 3.5, Doom 4, proprietory, etc. and start from scratch. If the game is still in the fat hands of Broussard then this game will never ever be released. The man is just grossly incompetent and should have been removed from the project a long time ago. If T2 acquires the IP then you probably won't see it for another 6 years and I'm being generous.

nappan
nappan

Oh, if T2 gets the rights I'm fairly sure they'll either sell them, or make something asap. They want a return on their investment quickly, so my guess is that they'll sell the property. Maybe iD can use their Doom 4 engine, and instead of the usual tech-demo, they could make DN... that could be fun :)

totaleklypse
totaleklypse

u know this could mean too take two might end up getin ahold of it anyway. think about it. they already made the downpayment. duke not dead?

barber_force
barber_force

TBH if something was to appear on the market! it would sell millions due to this massive HYPE Machine! I mean free advertising :)

nappan
nappan

[quote="Darkness7089"] I can only wonder where the 12 million dollars went...[/quote] To quote Lois Griffin from Family Guy, "I don't know, meth is one hell of a drug..." ;) I'm guessing they bought 12 years of pot and pretzles and played EQ, then WoW,

drswank
drswank

Serves them right. I'd say Take 2 was MORE than patient with those guys.

hi-buzz
hi-buzz

these IDIOTS (3d realms) should have known what they r getting themselves into....2 much time wasted....this game could have sold millions and stemed more sequels to keep the genre going FOREVER !!!!

game_overdose54
game_overdose54

About time someone sued this moron. No game should EVER take more than 12 years to make. Guys, let's stop hoping for this game to come out and let it be a forgotten memory.

zomglolcats
zomglolcats

Even if 3D Realms weren't talented enough to finish this game themselves, surely with 12 million dollars, they could have hired some people on the team who could? Something smells fishy. Sounds to me like they just lived off of the money and didn't care whether the game was ever finished. I hope Take Two takes them to the cleaners.

Darkness7089
Darkness7089

This is a dead genre. Unless they allow a real company to make a game out of it, Duke Nukem will never again see a video gamer's hands. Even if it finally does get published, I doubt it'll get higher than a 4 or 5 on its ratings. I can only wonder where the 12 million dollars went. This is one lawsuit, unlike the previous ones I've read about, that actually has a point.

nappan
nappan

Frankly, it seems to me that as games moved from 2D sprites into the 3D world of quake, 3DR started to fall behind. Perhaps they simply were not up to the task of making a decent game, on time, in this gaming environment. Simple... likely.

torres_unix
torres_unix

Duke took too long due to the st2Pdity of a man named George Broussard and his incompetent production managers.

Bazza28
Bazza28

You mean Duke Nukem Never?

Swampthing
Swampthing

The only game to take longer than this: Champions Online - still waiting after almost 20 years now... It was originally for the friggin Amiga and now will be coming to Xbox 360... yeah, right.

Zerabp
Zerabp

Here's to hoping and praying take two gets the ip, either starts from scratch to make it, or finishes it if there was even enough progress made to do so.

Joshuayeah
Joshuayeah

i think DNF would be stupid to release. imagine the slating it will get from reviewers. the only way it will see the light of day is if it is out standing, the game has after all been in development for 12 flippin' years!!

nappan
nappan

@firehawk998: Suing, like haggling, is kind of about aiming higher than you want to hit. Fraud is going to be tough to prove, even beyond a preponderance of the evidence. Breach of contract, on the other hand, should be a snap. As others have said, 3DR has no money, or not much... but they have assets... such as DNF. My guess is that all T2 wants is every last cent and IP from 3DR until the number hits 12 mil lol. On the other hand, who can say? There may have been real fraud going on, and if T2 has evidence that 3DR knowingly mislead them regarding the state of DNF, they could win. My guess however, is that T2 is going to pressure the heck out of 3DR, and Broussard until they give up the goods, or the courts force them to... after that it isn't in T2's interest to do it.

firehawk998
firehawk998

I know many people (including me) will compare the Duke Saga to Daikatanas one but now I reliazed something there is one huge differnce between those two stories.Atleast the people at ION STROM released the game!!!!!!!!!!!!. Though it wasnt well and it was buggy atleast they had the decency to release something that Eidos orginally paid them to do unlike 3drealms.@Nappan I agree with you points but after what 3drealms have done can T2 sue 3d for fraud?

nappan
nappan

This isn't a complex issue, but a really clear breach of contract... also, for people asking Tom Magrino to "dig deeper", what do you expect? We know there's a lawsuit because such things are part of the public record in the USA. The only matters here that are NOT subject to rumour are the following: 1.) DNF was never released, even with 12 years of development. 2.) People saying that T2 hasn't funded 3DR, seem to be conveniently ignoring the 12 million they paid for pulbishing rights. So... what do you expect? T2 has to answer to shareholders and a board, and I suspect that neither feel as though they've gotten a shred back from their 12 mil investment. Of course you sue the company that failed to produce even a TECH DEMO in 12 years. As gamers, we should all be outraged that an IP was tied up this long doing nothing at all.

aura_enchanted
aura_enchanted

well since most here have dodged the actual article to spew fluff i will say the 3D realms is in the right Take - Two simply realises that they had a cashcow here hiding in the barn of teamwork that they left behind when there significant other rejected them. shame on you take-two for being such a bully. quit stealing 3drealms golden eggs ya pricks!

togo2828
togo2828

HEy can someone fill me in, why has this game taken so gosh darn long to come out, 12 years for a game now a days is like really crap.

dg3215
dg3215

I would play this game anyway just out of pure spite that it took so long, I might concider it say in 12 years.

Wackywillpop
Wackywillpop

Duke Nukem goes to court or Duke Nukem Fornever you pick

PandaBear86
PandaBear86

Knowing 3D Realms, it will probably take another 12 years to finalise this lawsuit, then their lawyers will be sueing them for delaying their payments lol.

alfaresalasmar
alfaresalasmar

If they release it, they should change its name to Duke Nukem Took Forever

fazedjb
fazedjb

the plot thickens.....

westsiderz28
westsiderz28

damm u 3d realm DAMMMMMM UUUUUUU mabey if you had got the game finished and released you would still be in business. it would have sold MIIIIILIIIIIONS!!!!!

westsiderz28
westsiderz28

its just a big fuk up by 3d realms how this game has been left to rot i dont know but id like to hear the reasons for it not comming out. i really really hope it comes out 1 day wev been waiting for it for a decade

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

This game WILL come out, maybe not too soon, but it will surface. And I can't wait.

LURCH87
LURCH87

im not a duke nukem fan, but i can see how this would make people who were actually waiting for this game angry. 13 years is insane for a game especially a FPS

Darth_Ultima
Darth_Ultima

They spent the money on Strippers and hookers. They had to have something to animate the in game "assets" from.

captnkush42307
captnkush42307

they gave them 12 million in 2000 but in 2004 3d realms received another 500000, to finish by summer u suck 3d big ups to take two

KaGo
KaGo

haha, these fools deserve to be sued spending the investors money and never delivering a finished product. I feel sorry for Take-Two they invested money into a company who obviously had their thumbs up their butts.

omnifas
omnifas

The 2007 unspecified contract could have been for funding which usually ends up being a "loan" that you pay back with sales, or collateral with the IP. I wouldn't give funding to 3dr after 7 years of lack of progress. Instead I'll give funding in exchange for the IP if sales do not pay back the loan. Chances are the IP belongs to T2 because I doubt t2 is stupid enough not to see the lack of progress in 7 years(2000-second contract in 2007). That contract probably had them offer up the IP as collateral. All in All this is a great day for both T2 and Duke fans, because T2 will make $$$ from the Fans, and the fans will get DNF after a decade of delay.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

This is just rididculous. Duke Nukem fans have been waiting almost 13 years for this game. Just release it already please.

falconclan
falconclan

I'm honestly not understanding why people think this is the end. I think TakeTwo will get the rights to duke and just make it themselves, either continuing what (if anything) 3d realms created, or building it from the ground up. People care about his character too much, not entirely sure why, its not like it can't be copied or made better. At any rate, I highly doubt this is the last we'll see of Duke... or Duke Nukem Forever for that matter.

Tha_DRP
Tha_DRP

Who cares, I can live without it if it never makes it to the shelves, I have for the past 12 years (after 5 I gave up hope, and now I have a kid as well...) Life goes on people....

Pitlord3
Pitlord3

damn 3D Realms, sometimes u gotta put down the beer bong to finish a game

deepen03
deepen03

what they did was took the money from Take-Two and left the project undone. What was Take-Two thinking paying a company 12 million? Why couldn't they just keep the rights and make the game themselves?