3D Realms has not closed shop – They just fired everyone

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3D Realms has just released a press release stating that Duke Nukems development has not been cancelled but rather just suspended as they have fired everyone who was working on it but have decided to stay in business anyway.

Well if you think about it why close shop when you can continue to claim royalties and not develop anything new, you know like they have been doing for over 10 years now but the difference now being that they don’t have to pay those pesky developers to work all day.

According to a Tweet by Geoff Keighley 3D Realms statement reads as follows

“Due to lack of funding, we are saddened to confirm that we let the Duke Nukem Forever development team go on 5/6”

The King may be back after all… full press release after the break.

Dallas, TX (May 18, 2009) – In light of recent press articles and statements by Take-Two (to the media and in a lawsuit), we want to set the record straight on some issues.

Despite rumors and statements to the contrary, 3D Realms (3DR) has not closed and is not closing. 3DR retains ownership of the Duke Nukem franchise.  Due to lack of funding, however, we are saddened to confirm that we let the Duke Nukem Forever (DNF) development team go on May 6th, while we regroup as a company. While 3DR is a much smaller studio now, we will continue to operate as a company and continue to license and co-create games based upon the Duke Nukem franchise.

As some of you may know, Take-Two filed a lawsuit last week containing various accusations and claims against 3DR and the uncompleted DNF game. Take-Two never paid 3DR advances or any signing bonus or any other funds related to DNF, up until July 2008, at which time they paid $2.5m in connection with another agreement for an unannounced game.  This is the sum total Take-Two has paid 3DR in connection with DNF.  Take-Two claims that they paid $12m to GT Interactive/Infogrames to acquire the publishing rights for the DNF game. To be clear, 3DR was not a party to that transaction and did not receive any money from it.  When the DNF game was originally signed with GT Interactive in 1998, GT paid 3DR a $400,000 signing bonus. Up until July 2008, this was the only publisher money we received for the DNF game.  Meanwhile, 3DR put over $20m into the production of DNF.

Take-Two retains publishing rights for the DNF game, although 3DR retains certain rights to sell the game directly to the public.  Late last year, 3DR began negotiations with Take-Two to provide funding to complete the DNF game. In the meantime, 3DR was hitting mutually-agreed milestones, despite not having a new agreement finalized.  Take-Two was well aware that 3DR needed the funding to continue the DNF game development.  Suddenly, after months of negotiations, Take-Two materially changed the parameters of the proposed funding agreement.  3DR informed Take-Two that it could not financially afford the changes Take-Two was suggesting and would be forced to release the team if an agreement was not reached. Take-Two made a last minute proposal to acquire the Duke Nukem franchise and the 3DR development team.  Take-Two’s proposal was unacceptable to 3DR for many reasons, including no upfront money, no guarantee minimum payment, and no guarantee to complete the DNF game. From 3DR’s perspective, we viewed Take-Two as trying to acquire the Duke Nukem franchise in a “fire sale.” Those negotiations fell through on May 4th, a deal never materialized, and the DNF team was sadly released a few days later.

Less than a week after the DNF team was released, Take-Two filed its lawsuit in New York, seeking immediate temporary injunctive relief.  The court denied Take-Two’s request for a temporary restraining order.  While we cannot comment on the details of the ongoing lawsuit, we believe Take-Two’s lawsuit is without merit and merely a bully tactic to obtain ownership of the Duke Nukem franchise. We will vigorously defend ourselves against this publisher.

Source: Geoff Keighley

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Last Updated: May 19, 2009

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

  • eXp

    They must honestly just throw in the towel. They’ve been making this game since the day Moses was born. Does anyone actually want to play it anymore? The market is so flooded with FPS shoot-to-kill alien-tough-guys kinda games, that even if this WAS released it would be no more special than… :wassat:

  • WitWolfyZA

    I tottaly agree with you. This game is an apple gone sour. along with its ever shrinking fanbase.

    So many games have stolen ideas from this ancient franchise. That it doesn’t make it unique or awesome anymore as it was when it was first released 10 000 years ago

  • I am one of the very few that is really keen to play DNF. But back on topic: 3D Realms are really fighting tooth and nail to stay alive, and you have to applaud them for it.

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