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3D Realms Sued Over Failed Duke Nukem Forever Plans 180

Take-Two Interactive has now sued 3D Realms over the cancellation of Duke Nukem Forever . Take-Two did not provide continuous funding for the game, but they did pay $12 million for the publishing rights to the game. A Bloomberg report quotes Take-Two's complaint as saying that 3D Realms "continually delayed the completion date" and "repeatedly assured Take-Two and the video-gaming community that it was diligently working toward competing development of the PC Version" of the game. (The complaint refers to 3D Realms as part of Apogee Software, Ltd., not to be confused with Apogee Software, LLC, the publisher behind the still-forthcoming Duke Nukem Trilogy.)
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3D Realms Sued Over Failed Duke Nukem Forever Plans

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  • by VShael ( 62735 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @07:39AM (#27964155) Journal

    but they'll never see 12 million dollars out of it.

  • Hope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Lode ( 1290856 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @07:50AM (#27964251)

    I really, really, hope that the current work of DnF is not lost. That all the data, code, levels, ..., are going to be released somewhere. Or better, finished into a playable state.

    Isn't it possible to find a different developer that can take it over?

  • Re:Hope (Score:4, Insightful)

    by writermike ( 57327 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @07:56AM (#27964291)

    I really, really, hope that the current work of DnF is not lost. That all the data, code, levels, ..., are going to be released somewhere. Or better, finished into a playable state.

    Isn't it possible to find a different developer that can take it over?

    I'm wondering if there is any code. I think all we've seen up to this point is some nicely rendered scenes, but are they in-game?

    Ah, cynicism.

  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:13AM (#27964417) Journal
    3D Realms don't have $12 million. If they did they wouldn't have gone belly up. A game developer has virtually no tangible assets. Computers will add up to the tens of thousands at most, devkits are owned by the console manufacturers, offices are leased. The IP is typically not going to have anyone wanting to buy it.

    The only exception to that last point is Take Two. They have a vested interest in making this game a reality. Presumably the point to this is that they become creditors and so will have a claim on the aspects of DNF that have been completed.
  • by Amouth ( 879122 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:21AM (#27964493)

    honestly if it is like the video's they released acouple days ago.. i think it will be a good hit

  • Re:Hope (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mxs ( 42717 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:23AM (#27964515)

    You are, of course, assuming that "all the data, code, levels" actually exist. It does not take much cynicism to believe otherwise.

  • by Dissman ( 997434 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:26AM (#27964543)
    They have the Duke Nukem Intellectual Property, as well as whatever other games 3d Realms has produced over the years. Winning that in court would allow them to produce games, as well as movies or anything else. In the long term, it could be worth well north of the 12 million.
  • 12 million!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by happy_place ( 632005 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:31AM (#27964587) Homepage
    Dang! Someone give me 12 million dollars to simply MAKE a game, and I could get it done in ten years. By myself... Finding it hard to have pity for 3D Realms...
  • Re:12 million!? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jsnipy ( 913480 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:45AM (#27964723) Journal
    But in ten years how relevant would it be? inb4halflife2 inb4teamfortress2 inb4starcraft2
  • by Garbad Ropedink ( 1542973 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:19AM (#27965055)

    Honestly. I'm not so disappointed about the game being turfed now with all this great news about the horrendous clusterfuck the entire production was. It's more interesting just to read about how this train wreck went down. Much much better than if 3Drealms just said 'welp, we've decided to cancel production and move onto something else'.
    Least in this scenario fans are getting *something* entertaining in an abstract sense.

  • Re:12 million!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by owlstead ( 636356 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:29AM (#27965169)

    Not possible anymore (for a while now). Look at the credits of any major 3D action game. You are going to do that all on your own? Good luck with that. Maybe you can do an initial version of Wolfenstein (2.5D) on your own, anything requiring more game code and/or graphics is off limits for a single developer.

  • Re:12 million!? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MoldySpore ( 1280634 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:47AM (#27965461)

    All that work by yourself in a respectable amount of time? No.

    All that work in 10+ years? It's at least POSSIBLE. You'd think with a handful of people (like 3-5) you'd be able to do it in 3-5 years. Look at all the indy developed games out there: most of them have teams smaller than 10 people. 3D Realms had 10 years and barely had a trailer out for us to watch. Granted the leaked footage shown recently shows a game that is a bit more finished than even I thought was done, but still...I don't think it is out of the question. 10 years is a long time.

  • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:41AM (#27966453) Homepage Journal

    You mean to tell me that there is someone in the world who not only actually believed that DNF would be finished someday, but they believe it so strongly that they were willing to invest $12 million into it?!?!?

    They paid that money 9 years ago. Yeah, most people believed the game might be someday finished 9 years ago. Even 7 years ago it was "soon". 5 years ago it was "gotta be sometime in the next couple of years". 3 years ago it was "are they actually still working on it?"

  • by Miltazar ( 1100457 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:59AM (#27966777) Homepage

    It's not about money. Take 2 did agree(albeit verbally) to give 3DR $5 million. However they later decided not to, and instead to pay 3DR $30 million if they sold the IP to Take 2. They declined, and thus closed.

    I think this is another attempt to get Duke Nukem. They sue them for money which they don't have, and instead demand that they be given the rights to Duke Nukem.

  • by Nick Ives ( 317 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @11:04AM (#27966873)

    T2 did not offer to buy it for $30m. They offered 3DR $5m for continued development if they handed over all the rights in return and said if 3DR didn't like it they could get the publishing rights back if they paid them $30m, meaning any other publisher would have to come up with $35m to see the game finished.

    This is clearly a tactical move by T2 to acquire the Duke rights.

  • by CHK6 ( 583097 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @11:20AM (#27967157)
    Hopefully in the suit, this forces 3DRealms hand to over the Duke Nukem Forever IP rights, so Take2 can finalize the the product and release the game in hope to recoup the funds lost in the investment.

    It's sad for 3DRealms if they have lost their rights to their flag ship IP because they have no more funds, but they were milking the cow for way to long and this is business. Eventually you have to provide a product and not feel strung along. In this case I think Take2 patiently waited through the good economic times, and now it was time for them to recoup their investment.

    Also their is no light on what the secondary funds were from Take2 to 3DR. 12 years is an insanely long development time. And if 3DR's funds dried up and the close up shop, then Take2 has to sue!
  • by mrdoogee ( 1179081 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @11:50AM (#27967803)

    Thats 12 million THEORETICAL dollars or vaporware.

    A much harder choice if you ask me.

  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @11:51AM (#27967839)

    surely 3D Realms don't have any financial assets left after going bust ..?

    I believe Apogee Software, Ltd. (the company; "3D Realms" is essentially a brand name under which all of their development was done) has assets (including the trade name "Apogee", and its library of IP, currently licensed to Apogee Software, LLC). A financial judgement against Apogee Software, Ltd., could force them to liquidate those assets to satisfy the judgement.

    Also, Apogee Software, Ltd., is a Limited Partnership, which means it has at least one general partner and one or more limited partners. Generally speaking, the general partner(s) are jointly and severally liable for the debts of the partnership, so if Apogee Software, Ltd., doesn't have assets to satsify a judgement, the general partner(s) will be on the hook for the judgement.

  • by qzak ( 1115661 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @12:01PM (#27968009)
    "It's a shame 3DR couldn't have gotten it together sooner." It's a shame 3DR couldn't have gotten it together.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.