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3D Realms closes down

3D Realms closes down

3D Realms has officially closed down, likely killing any chance Duke Nukem Forever had of making it to market.

3D Realms has, in an overnight rumour-turned-shock-announcement, officially closed after more than 22 years. The studio, which published and developed some of the best and most recognisable games ever, had only recently celebrated the 17th anniversary of Wolfenstein 3D.

The rumour first spread among major gaming sites such as Shacknews and RockPaperShotgun before Duke Nukem Forever publisher Take-Two and 3D Realms webmaster Joe Siegler confirmed the closure.

While 3D Realms had worked on and published some of the most impressive and memorable games we've seen, such as Max Payne and Prey, the series the studio is most well known for is probably Duke Nukem. Originally a side-scrolling platform game, the titular Duke Nukem shot into pop culture with the release of the boisterous and brash Duke Nukem 3D.

The latest game in the Duke Nukem series, Duke Nukem Forever became something of a running joke among gamers however as the development of the game stretched on and on...and on. 3D Realms' decision to change engines multiple times and to re-design the game from scratch on at least two occasions meant that the game was still not ready for release despite being having been in production for 13 years.

While Take-Two and 3D Realms have both confirmed the closure, neither have offered any substantial comment at this point and the fate of current 3D Realms projects is unclear. All that is known is that Deep Silver's re-release of the original Duke Nukem Trilogy on the PSP and DS is unaffected by the closure and that the recently revived spin-off publisher Apogee will continue to operate in some form. For the main 3D Realms studio however, it's the end of the road.

Take-Two may have been instrumental in the closure of the studio it seems, having finally decided to halt spiralling development costs for Duke Nukem Forever. Take-Two will also retain the rights to publish Duke Nukem Forever somehow, meaning that the company may yet elect to swoop in, salvage what it can, patch it up and release the unrealised opus. That's pure speculation however, as Take-Two hasn't yet voiced any intent to do so.

"It is the Company's policy to not comment on its contractual relationships, nor do we comment on rumors and speculation," said Take-Two's Alan Lewis. "That said, we can confirm that our relationship with 3D Realms for Duke Nukem Forever was a publishing arrangement, which did not include ongoing funds for development of the title. In addition, Take-Two continues to retain the publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever."

A sad day indeed and we'll be sure to raise a glass to the Duke later tonight, but you can let us know your thoughts in the forums.

49 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Spreadie 7th May 2009, 09:50 Quote
Its a shame, but I think DN Forever was always going to remain vaporware. We saw some nice screenies and the odd vid, but I never got the feeling it would make it to market.

Pity.
azrael- 7th May 2009, 09:50 Quote
DukeNukem For(n)ever... Well, they never gave a release date. Just "when it's done." Apparently, now it'll never be... :(
jim48509 7th May 2009, 09:58 Quote
OH NO........... no more kicking butt and chewing bubble gum.
p3n 7th May 2009, 10:05 Quote
Poor employees who were none the wiser :<
Delphium 7th May 2009, 10:06 Quote
:'(
mayhem 7th May 2009, 10:12 Quote
More meat for the grinder and im sure croteam will throw in a few new jokes to there Serious Sam engine ...lol

(croteam if you read this its RiZlA Ha ha ha (SS:FE))
Baz 7th May 2009, 10:13 Quote
Always bet on Duke? Seems to be pretty long odds now.
perplekks45 7th May 2009, 10:20 Quote
The Duke MUST NOT die!!!

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo...
A little part inside of me just died.
Bauul 7th May 2009, 10:23 Quote
I had genuine faith we would see it one day.

Somehow, if Take-Two find enough it can salvage, we might actually get a release date out of it.
Star*Dagger 7th May 2009, 10:25 Quote
Duke Nukem is not dead, that is not possible, he is vacationing on the Islands with 7 hot blondes. When asked if he had 7, one for each day of the week he responded "Nah, that is just for one night, I then wait and see who recovers first.."

Your ass, your face, what's the difference,
Star¤Dagger
KoenVdd 7th May 2009, 10:28 Quote
Quote:
Alas! poor Duke. I knew him, Bit-Tech; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at that.

And with that the last of the ancients has fallen. Fare thee well.
Suppose all the DNF teasers of the last 2 years were in a bid to get some more time out of Take-Two.

PS: I know it's cheesy, but we can not let them go down without proper tribute. Seems pretty suitable actually.
mayhem 7th May 2009, 10:30 Quote
Lets be honest now take two are rubbish publishers compare to the likes of others out there they screwed over many game company's ...
Veles 7th May 2009, 10:40 Quote
Well thank god that **** is over now
liratheal 7th May 2009, 11:14 Quote
Surprise should not be here.

This should have been expected for any company that made some good games over a decade ago, then a mediocre one, and spent 12 years ****ing about with either a bunch of lazy developers, a half-wit project manager, or some designers that had no decision making ability. Anyone with half an ounce of project management knowledge knows "When its done" is not an acceptable deadline, by any means. Even if it's not internal, it spreads the wrong message, if the team are thinking "Oh, the fans aren't expecting this in the next 12 months" then they're less motivated to do the bloody work.

Good riddance. I hope they never resurface. Or, if they do, I hope they do it without the same mentality.
impar 7th May 2009, 11:54 Quote
Greetings!

No more "Shake it baby!" :(
Yemerich 7th May 2009, 12:17 Quote
"Prey" who? One of the most memorable games ever seen? You gotta be joking!

Anyway, I think NOW Duke Nukem has a chance. Why? It's like FO3. In hands of Interplay we would never see it again. Now, perhaps a new developer would turn that into another shitty shallow title like what Bethesda done with FO3.
yakyb 7th May 2009, 12:20 Quote
someone should "release" the source fo rDNF im sure a couple of hardy developers would be happy to complete it in their spare time
DXR_13KE 7th May 2009, 12:55 Quote
F***!....... :(

edit: sorry, the above is exactly what i feel.
UrbanMarine 7th May 2009, 12:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yemerich
"Prey" who? One of the most memorable games ever seen? You gotta be joking!

Anyway, I think NOW Duke Nukem has a chance. Why? It's like FO3. In hands of Interplay we would never see it again. Now, perhaps a new developer would turn that into another shitty shallow title like what Bethesda done with FO3.

I smell censorship out the ass, if someone picks up Duke. If Jon St. John doesn't do the voice of Duke either, the title is dead before it even hits the shelves.

Topic: Way to go Scott and George! You ****in picky *******s burned down you own studio because DNF wasn't good enough.
pizan 7th May 2009, 13:30 Quote
Someone will pick up the rights to Duke Nukem Forever and release it in like 3 months
BLC 7th May 2009, 13:50 Quote
I really had hope that DNF would one day surface...

The reality now is that it will likely be turned into a half-arsed cash cow.
bowman 7th May 2009, 14:35 Quote
Finally, maybe now everyone can shut the **** up about Duke Nukem Forever, a pointless sequel to an overrated game. Bah.
kenco_uk 7th May 2009, 14:50 Quote
No Prey 2? :'(

I was really looking forward to that. Prey was damn good fun.
interzen 7th May 2009, 15:02 Quote
Looks like Duke really *is* all outta gum now :-(
Pity, but not altogether unexpected - DN:3D is still good for a bit of blastage now and again, and I much prefer it to Doom et.al.

Open-source the code for DNF - at least then there'll be a fighting chance of a decent game rather than just another production-line shooter.
UrbanMarine 7th May 2009, 15:21 Quote
I wonder if the Duke Nukem mod for HL2 will release now?
eek 7th May 2009, 15:35 Quote
http://www.shopto.net/page.php?page=dettagli&codart=PCDU05
Quote:
If you pre-order "Duke Nukem Forever" before 12pm on 30/12/2009 we will guarantee that you will receive it by the release date of 01/01/2010, if you do not receive it we will compensate you with £3.00 on your shopto account (Terms and Conditions apply).
Effectively a £3 voucher now then ;)
Zurechial 7th May 2009, 16:24 Quote
This is a shame. :(

DNF's endless dev-cycle made me lose interest in it long ago, but the people who work(ed) at 3D Realms, Apogee, ID, Softdisk, defined a significant portion of my childhood and my interests.
I daresay they had an impact on who I am today and what I'm doing with my life - That's not something to be said lightly.

To see 3D Realms shut down like this is saddening for me, regardless of whether DNF was going to be worth the wait or not.
Journeyer 7th May 2009, 16:55 Quote
Oh well, I shall raise a glass in memory of 3D Realms tonight.

Shame about the Duke, but in all honesty; I had forgotten about DNF, and now ... meh.
sotu1 7th May 2009, 17:01 Quote
i shed a tear for you 3D realms...I was raised on Apogee....so so sad to say goodbye.....Rest in Peace... but not until we see the Duke's Last Stand and Max Payne 3! you have so much more to give!
Hwulex 7th May 2009, 17:01 Quote
This may have been pointed out before, but has anybody noticed the relationship between the Duke Nuke Forever acronym (DNF) and its common racing counterpart Did Not Finish? Coincidence? Destiny? :)
liratheal 7th May 2009, 17:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hwulex
This may have been pointed out before, but has anybody noticed the relationship between the Duke Nuke Forever acronym (DNF) and its common racing counterpart Did Not Finish? Coincidence? Destiny? :)

I made reference to it in one of the posts about it.. Can't remember whether it was the BT thread, or the Kotaku news..
hodgy100 7th May 2009, 17:30 Quote
I loled so much when i saw this
zoom314 7th May 2009, 17:32 Quote
Duke Nukem needs to be finished and released, Maybe not under the 3D Realms banner, But maybe under some banner that Take-Two designates, But DNF needs to be finished none the less, The fans would buy It at the very least. RIP 3D Realms, RIP.
KoenVdd 7th May 2009, 18:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgy100
I loled so much when i saw this

SIR, dare not speak ill of our dearly departed.
HourBeforeDawn 7th May 2009, 19:46 Quote
OMG DAMMIT I HAVE BEEN WAITING 10 years for that game GRRRRRR >_<
MADKiller7 7th May 2009, 21:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanMarine
I wonder if the Duke Nukem mod for HL2 will release now?

Dear Valve.....get the (source) Duke Nukem Forever(-Life) so we play it some day,you are more than able to handle 2 of the best FPS in PC gaming history.
unknowngamer 7th May 2009, 22:24 Quote
12 years development is plain incompetence.

As much as I would have liked to see DNF on the shelves, the dev team were just idiots.
Duke was fun funny game charachter and I enjoyed the games, I'll be sad I never got to see him in dx10.

BUT>

It's like spending 3 years make a 1 year olds birthday cake.

3d realms going bust gives us less choice.

But any company unable to produce a game that THEY hype in 12 years is not worth crying over.
unknowngamer 7th May 2009, 22:25 Quote
I've checked in on the 3d realms website every few months and the dev team hardly say much.
Solidus 7th May 2009, 22:30 Quote
cant help but laugh....running joke is an understatement.

This game was never going to come out and lets be honest - I really dont know how it would have been successful.

In its day it was alright at best, just a doom clone mixed in with some chap that looks like Arnie in his hay-day sprouting random 1-liners....again like some big austrian chap we know.

Finally this ongoing, running joke which can only be compared to the likes of "dave" from only fools and horses....can come to an end....good riddence!
HourBeforeDawn 7th May 2009, 22:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MADKiller7
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanMarine
I wonder if the Duke Nukem mod for HL2 will release now?

Dear Valve.....get the (source) Duke Nukem Forever(-Life) so we play it some day,you are more than able to handle 2 of the best FPS in PC gaming history.

That would be awesome if Valve was able to get the rights to Duke Nukem and Wolfenstein and the likes.
Burnin' 8th May 2009, 01:41 Quote
and who exactly didn't see this coming??? If a company wants to release a good game they just DO IT! "When it's done" wasn't an acceptable deadline to begin with... Releasing a rather good game would have probably saved their sorry butts, and I say rather good cause those few teasers that were show to us were never really good to begin with. They always looked dated, even back in the days.

Now Duke Nukem 3D was a funny game, but a silly really stupid-nonsense one... With all those really awesome FPS that have came out ever since DN3D, it will be a really tough job to create a good game out of it. It has to be funny, look great, play smooth, have an interesting story, replayability, multiplayer, co-op, etc........ The bar has been raised gentlemen, and obviously 3d-Realms wasn't able to pull it off

Any one wants to step in? 2k, Activision, Valve, Treryach (lol.. just kidding), even EA... either way DN Forever's right can be traded.
But the one studio that might actually do it will have a 13 year old mount of hype on their shoulders...
SMIFFYDUDE 8th May 2009, 02:23 Quote
I have mentioned this before on the CustomPC website a few months ago, about an article in PC Gaming World magazine dated Sept. '98. It talks about DNF dropping the Quake 2 engine for the Unreal engine, and how it would be released in 1999. This edition of the magazine also includes articles about whether gamers should upgrade to Windows '98, a review of Final Fantasy 7, and teaser shots of Fallout 2!

Duke Nukem I feel had its day in the 90's. If it ever were to be released now, I suspect it would feel extremely dated gameplay wise. It could have got away with it 8/9 years ago, but not now. Shame it's gone, but they kinda brought upon themselve by arsing about for over a decade.
UrbanMarine 8th May 2009, 12:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
That would be awesome if Valve was able to get the rights to Duke Nukem and Wolfenstein and the likes.

There was a mod group that made a Duke Nukem HL2 mod. It didn't come out because 3DRealms took legal action and released a cease and desist order. The mod was about 80% complete when this all went down.
HourBeforeDawn 8th May 2009, 17:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanMarine
There was a mod group that made a Duke Nukem HL2 mod. It didn't come out because 3DRealms took legal action and released a cease and desist order. The mod was about 80% complete when this all went down.

oh that could be cool, they should start it back up and if they still have legal issues call it Nuke Dukem and change a few things and call it a parody and then no legal issues will come up ^__^
HourBeforeDawn 11th May 2009, 20:02 Quote
Quote:
$30 million offered for Duke Nukem rights
"So with 3D Realms ending last Friday, much of the insider info regarding the project is starting to leak out. From what we hear, publisher Take-2 Interactive offered $30 million to George Broussard in an effort to acquire the IP rights to the Duke Nukem franchise, although it is unclear if this includes the work that was already completed on Duke Nukem Forever. Our sources tell us that Broussard turned down the offer to sell the franchise, and instead spoke with several other publishers, including id Software, Epic, Electronic Arts and even Microsoft in an effort to secure additional funding to complete the project. From what we hear, Duke Nukem Forever is not completed, but we also hear Broussard is continuing to shop for money; but this could prove to be problematic, as Take-2 Interactive does still hold the publishing rights to the game. As we said the other day, the future is unclear for the game. What we do know from our sources is that the last chapter may not have been written in the Duke Nukem Forever saga." ~fudzilla.com

Hmmm maybe we will see DNF afterall... well maybe
Combinho 11th May 2009, 21:37 Quote
Is it just me, or does this not seem real. I cannot imagine a future where I am not looking forward to Duke. The majority of my life I have been waiting. If it doesn't happen, I might cry.
kingjohn721 12th May 2009, 00:18 Quote
duke nuke em alll terrrorrrr nova the name is a curse name like in south park say it toooo many times and BANG bye bye USA .jj7
perplekks45 12th May 2009, 00:20 Quote
You should've told Osama and his crew a couple of years back... would've saved them the hassle of learning how to fly a plane. :|

Hail to the King, baby!
perplekks45 12th May 2009, 00:20 Quote
Sorry, double post.
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