As you’ve undoubtedly heard at this point, last week 3D Realms, the creator of Duke Nukem officially closed up shop. In doing so, they’ve indefinitely halted the production of the much anticipated Duke Nukem Forever, which had been in the workshop for 12 years when the studio shut its doors. As a result of this, Take-Two Interactive, who actively holds the publishing rights to the game, has filed suit against 3D Realms.
According to Take-Two, by failing to deliver a finalized title, the developers effectively “breached an agreement to design the latest installment of Duke Nukem.” They continued their complaint to a New York State court, that Apogee Software, Ltd. (3D Realms’ legal name), repeatedly postponed the finish date for Duke Nukem Forever despite constantly reassuring Take-Two and fans it was diligently working toward completion.
Take-Two has openly stated that their relationship with the developer was strictly that of a publisher, and there was no ongoing funding. However, they did shell out $12 million nearly a decade ago for the exclusive rights to publish a finished Duke title. That said, some seem to think that as a publisher, their funds were simply an investment risk that didn't pan out. Is that so? It's hard to say whether or not they have a strong case as the details of their second agreement with 3D Realms in 2007 have yet to be made public.
The entire gaming community is up in arms over the studio’s closing, and the recently leaked concept art and video footage is just fueling the fire. Even with the cited “lack of funding,” given the near-finished state of Duke Nukem Forever, wouldn’t it be in everyone’s best interest if 3D Realms polished the game and compensated employees after the title’s inevitable success?