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 was funded by 3D Realms, that 12 mil was for publishing rights from Infogrames. I highly doubt 3D Realms had it in writing to Take-Two saying when the game would be finished. If Take-Two wins I'll be surprised. It was a self-funded game. Just like all you that play mods, the team put there own time and money into the project.

    Look at The Nameless Mod, for Dues Ex, that took forever and a day to release. I don't see you all crying about other mods taking forever to make. The only difference was that you would have to pay for 3D Realms final project rather than downloading a free mod. In which you know for a fact you would have paid.

    Take-Two is trying to take the 'gamers' side saying that the public was lied too, but, me being a gamer, I don't agree with it. All they are trying to do is get that 12 min back they spent for publishing it just so they can have right to DNF. It's a business, like all, that are about money.

    3D Realms (Apogee ltd.) was not only about making money, but also pleasing the consumer (with a good product so don't even talk about it not being released and not pleasing you.) Just look at Prey that was also stopped mid-development, but was released and it sold very well despite what you might think (Prey 2 and Prey on the iPhone...), I personally really enjoyed it. As I would with DNF.

    If a new team does gets a hold of DNF you can bet your life savings it will be changed drastically and not what 3D Realms envisioned.