3DR Teases 'Numerous' Duke Nukem Games, 'Looking to Bring Duke into Casual Gaming'

By Chris Faylor, Dec 26, 2009 11:30am PST While it's been a rather tumultuous year for Duke Nukem series handler 3D Realms--the company laid off its internal development team in May, leading to a messy legal feud with publisher Take-Two over Duke Nukem Forever--CEO Scott Miller still envisions a bright future for the ass-kicking, gum-lacking action hero.

"The next few years should see a strong resurgence in Duke," Miller states in the first printed issue of Gamesauce. "There are numerous other Duke games in various stages of development, several due out this year. We are definitely looking to bring Duke into casual gaming spaces, plus there are other major Duke games in production."

"Almost all of these [projects] are unannounced," he added.

Likely among those projects are the two remaining Duke iPhone games previously promised by Miller, the handheld Duke Nukem Trilogy coming to Nintendo DS and PSP via Frontline Studios, and the rumored Xbox Live Arcade port of Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project. Furthermore, the Duke himself recently began teasing something called "D-Day" with a mysterious image, vowing that he "doesn't stay down for long."

In addition, Borderlands and Brothers in Arms developer Gearbox was working on an all-new entry dubbed "Duke Begins," though it had "been halted" as of July 2009.

As for the long-coming Duke Nukem Forever, Miller stressed that "we've never said that Duke Nukem Forever has ceased development," explaining "yes, we released the internal team, but that doesn't correlate to the demise of the project." Back in June, 3D Realms claimed it was still working on "the development of" Duke Nukem Forever, despite having "released the majority of its employees working on the development."

The outspoken executive also touched upon the upcoming movie ("the Duke film is making steady progress...we're developing a much more complete storyverse for Duke, filling out all of the details we've left to the imagination in the games") as well as explained how 3D Realms survived for so long without any major releases:

Duke Nukem 3D was made for $300,000, and we made back 25 times our investment--not to mention all of the third-party Duke console games that sold well. Plus, we made a killing with Wolfenstein 3D. And we made the biggest killing on Max Payne! We made $30 million in royalties on that game (off of a $2.5 million investment), plus another $48 million selling the IP to our publisher. Oh, and we were also part owners of Gathering of Developers when that was sold to Take2. And finally, we have been pretty lucky with other investments, both in the stock market and in other studios.

And though 3D Realms now describes itself as "a much smaller studio" that will "continue to license and co-create games based upon the Duke Nukem franchise," Miller believes that newfound focus on external efforts should have come years ago.

"I think I would have abandoned internal development six or seven years ago," he replied when asked what he would have done differently. "I much prefer to work with external studios to develop games, as we did with [Remedy Entertainment on] Max Payne and [Human Head Studios on] Prey. Radar [Group] is following this very model, with no internal development...it's much more cost effective for us, with lower risk."

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