Take-Two Sues 3D Realms for Failing to Deliver Duke Nukem Forever

By Nick Breckon, May 14, 2009 7:01pm PDT Update: Documents for the case have appeared online, revealing that, among other things, Take-Two is demanding a copy of the Duke Nukem Forever source code.

Original: Take-Two Interactive, publisher of Duke Nukem Forever, has filed suit against the remains of Apogee Ltd./3D Realms for failing to deliver the long-awaited title.

Take-Two claims that an agreement to finish the shooter was breached when 3D Realms shut down development last week. At the time of the studio's closing, Duke Nukem Forever had been in development for over 12 years.

"Apogee continually delayed the completion date for the Duke Nukem Forever," says Take-Two in the complaint, according to Bloomberg. "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 paid $12 million to former DNF publisher Infogrames for the exclusive publishing rights to the game in 2000. According to the publisher, a second unspecified agreement was struck between Take-Two and 3D Realms in 2007.

Following the closure last week, Take-Two spokesman Alan Lewis confirmed that the publisher was not providing 3D Realms with "ongoing funds for development of the title."

The two companies were on less than cheery terms during development of the game. After Take-Two publicly expressed hope that 3D Realms would finish the game in 2003, 3D Realms president George Broussard famously reminded Shacknews users that the game was self-funded, saying: "Take Two needs to STFU imo."

The details of the 2007 agreement have not yet been revealed, and may be key to determining how the lawsuit will proceed.

Apogee Software, Ltd is the official title of 3D Realms. The company abandoned the Apogee name in 1996 in favor of the 3D-oriented title. Apogee Software, LLC, an external publisher established in 2008, remains in operation.

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  • It seems the rights to publish Duke Nukem Forever belonged to GT Interactive who according to Wikipedia got the rights by buying FormGen. Maybe the small advance George mentioned ( the 99.999% self funded post ) is a part of this or it could be an even older agreement from the first two Duke Nukem games. I bet 3DRealms regret that agreement now, they probably gave away those rights for nothing if put in perspective.

    GT Interactive was bought by Infogrames ( Atari ) and later Take Two bought the publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever from Infogrames. The GOD deal seems to be separate from all this. Since 3DR probably sold the rights so cheap, I would be very surprised if they are obligated to deliver a game.

    How much Take Two paid for the rights is totally irrelevant, what matters is the first agreement between GT Interactive or FormGen.