This Is The End: 3D Realms Closure Confirmed

By Alec Meer on May 7th, 2009 at 11:27 am.

Just a quick follow-up to last night’s nega-gossip that the Duke Nukem developer had gone the way of all flesh…. 3D Realms staffer Joe Siegler popped up on the official forums with a terse confirmation: “It’s not a marketing thing. It’s true. I have nothing further to say at this time.” Aw. Good luck to all who once sailed in the good ship 3DR.

However, the Duke Nukem Forever saga may not yet be over after all. While its long-suffering de facto publisher 2K Games has confirmed they’re no longer funding the game’s development, they also pointed out that they still retain publishing rights to it. So it’s possible they’ll either snuffle up 3DR’s work in progress, or, depending on what the contract with 3DR allows, simply hand the license to one of their internal studios instead. Maybe even to an externally contracted studio, but surely no-one with any choice in the matter would want to jump into 3DR’s grave so.

Of course, it’s also more than likely that 3DR’s biggest wigs will set up shop under a new banner, or be snaffled up by other developers, as with Bill Roper and Cryptic after the sinking of Flagship. It’s highly unlikely we’ve heard the last of George Broussard and Scott Miller, after all…

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102 Comments »

  1. ChaosSmurf says:

    So the Bioshock guys could end up doing DNF? That’s pretty awesome >.>

  2. LST4R says:

    Not sure if I should feel sad or relieved, really…

  3. Optimaximal says:

    No doubt we will see a Prey-style resurrection, although whether it retains the content or assets is doubtful. The brand is still too strong to just let it die.

    Deep down, the cynicist in me says that Duke4Ever was actually killed off years ago, with occasional teasers and demos being built bespoke in UE3 just to attract attention, business & finance. People applying for jobs were likely pulled in with the prospect of working on Duke4 only to be moved to other products and slapped with an NDA or something.

  4. scarfa says:

    Take-Two was not funding the game as 3DR was fully self funded. Take-Two only had the rights to publish it once it was released. Although 3DR is dead it might not be the end of DNF as 3DR could sell their IP to another developer.

  5. SirKicksalot says:

    Scott Miller owns Radar Group too.
    Don’t worry, everything is fine.

  6. rei says:

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper

    :(

    After all this time, regardless of how good or bad the game would be, I at least want to see something. I really hope 2K will at least pawn it off to someone else while the existing assets are still viable.

    Edit: oh, if 3DR actually owns the IP, things look a bit better.

  7. duel90 says:

    this is terrible! :(

  8. Markoff Chaney says:

    Godspeed, little doodle. May you one day manifest outside of the realm of gamers’ dreams and developers’ nightmares.

    Rise from your Grave!

  9. Martin Edelius says:

    3D Realms: DNF.

    Or is it too soon?

  10. rocketman71 says:

    How I wish we had heard the last of George Broussard

  11. cliffski says:

    Jesus let this game die already. Cigar chomping macho man kicking alien ass? Hasn’t this been done to death at great tedious length, and is still being done to death by epic?
    Does the world really need a duke nukem game?

    I’m glad to see that developers who take 100 years to make a single game have not been rewarded with huge success. Dev cycles were getting stupid as it was. No game still sounds fun after year 3, let alone after year 256 or whatever it got up to.
    bah!

  12. SirKicksalot says:

    There are no investors, 3DR is self-funded.

  13. Matt Kemp says:

    Cliffski: At least if you got up to year 256 then next year you’d be back to year one.

    RiptoR: That’s either a very well-written piece of fiction or very, very scary.

  14. Stense says:

    Bloody hell, didn’t see that one comming. Good luck to everyone at 3D Realms. As someone who was genuinely still looking forward to DNF and a fan of the previous stuff, this is indeed sad news. Hopefully the people there land on their feet and get new employment without too much trouble.

  15. Lukasz says:

    Finally. I don’t want to be mean, and I feel sorry for people who are going to lose job but the company deserves it. I expected it to happen years ago before Prey was released.

    RiptoR’s story just supports my opinion.

  16. lumpi says:

    Strange thing is: The classic, colorful, 80ies action-movie-style gameplay of Duke3 is something I am already starting to miss in current releases.

    It seems all FPS take themselves so serious nowadays. Brown, desaturated Saving-Private-Ryan battlefields… DNF could have brought some of the oldschool fun back, kinda like TF2 (which went through similar stages).

  17. WarFalci says:

    What kind of wacko goes along 13 years of development to build a game? It’s sad and sudden, yes, but everybody should have seen it coming. That said, if Apogee is still around that could mean they just decided to kill 3DR and finish DNF within Apogee.

    I mean, after 13 years you’ll just kill your company without further warning? Come on! Midway has been dieing for the last year or so and they want to tell us that 3DR just died an hour ago?

    If they knew they could run out of money, why would they create a new company to bring back the Apogee name? And money isn’t that sort of thing that you go to the bank one day and say “Look, it’s over!” You always have it coming a long way before something like this. Someone would have at least leaked it months before now.

    Something is definitely not right here!

  18. hydra9 says:

    This is really sad news.

  19. Tei says:

    I loved Prey. Sad news.

    And about Duke Nukem. Other people can continue on the proyect. The name Duke Nukem is money in the bank.

    The expertise is not lost, since these guys will move to other studios…

  20. Alec Meer says:

    Childish, nasty comments spitting knee-jerk poison about people you don’t know losing their jobs will be deleted. Stunned at how many we’ve had to wipe already: be grown-ups.

  21. Dominic White says:

    While I hardly weep for the loss of 3DR (they dug a reaaaaaly good grave for themselves, and jumped into it happily), I’m not glad that they’ve shut down either.

    The ones I have beef with are the idiots who are enraged at them for not delivering a game. Where does this feeling of entitlement come from? Unless you’re one of those poor unfortunates who preordered DNF, then as a company, they don’t owe you anything.

  22. Wulf says:

    Excuse me whilst I form a complicated theory detailing how cliffski could be the Nobody of the lead Sims 2 dev (sorry about the Kingdom Hearts 2 non-sequitor).

    Seriously though, that was pretty heartless.

    As far as DNF is concerned, I’m personally hoping that the assets will either be passed along to a team within 2K or, even better, will be released to the public domain, so that incredibly talented modding teams can complete the work.

    When a community gets their hands on something, it can be the most exciting time for that something, a time filled with new promise and endless potential. Uru et al.

  23. SirKicksalot says:

    RiptoR, that story is fake. It was confirmed today on the forums.

    http://forums.3drealms.com/vb/showpost.php?p=867968&postcount=420

  24. Lukasz says:

    the good thing is that we may see DNF now.

    @Sirkicksnotsomuch

    How fake I wonder? :) but the part about DNF is true (the part about chair might not be). and your link does not work for me.

  25. Schadenfreude says:

    @SirKicksalot

    The server is too overloaded to read the thread but is the story proven false or is it a case of his word against theirs?

  26. SirKicksalot says:

    @Lukasz – I kick a lot :-l

    @Schadenfreude

    Well, it’s written by a former developer.

    The Chair Story is fiction… just my attempt to have fun playing on the theories that DNF is some vast conspiracy.

    Or… is it?

    The story was written well over a year ago.

    I still think it’s just a marketing ploy and Duke will be transfered to Radar Group.

  27. rei says:

    Edit: Beaten to the punch. Can yous delete this, gentlemen?

  28. MrMelons says:

    Time to kick ass and chew bubble gum and I’m all out of gum.

    Classic. However sad this news is, it comes as hardly a surprise. They have been teasing us much in the way that we were teased about fallout 3 pre-bethesda and then a sudden announcement of blackisles death. Duke should stay dead so we can forever remember him fondly. Gaming companies already fallback on old titles too much.
    On that note though, APOGEE!!! HELLZ YA!! Commander Keen FTW BABY. Get Id in on that i want to be bouncing around on my pogo stick with my football helmet.
    Honestly though, we need less remodeling of old games and more new content. If we just keep looking at the past for success how will we ever develop our own classic games that the current generation will be able to complain about 10yrs later?

  29. Jockie says:

    I’m somewhat suprised they lasted this long toiling on an outdated character whose fanbase have long moved on to better things.

    Prey had some good ideas in there, but it wasn’t a truely great shooter and that aside i can’t think of a single recent (read released in the last 5 years) 3DR game that wasnt a dodgy console/phone spinoff of Duke Nukem.

    As a fan of the original, I now could care less about DNF, Duke was about character and humour and balls to the wall action, something Serious Sam has replicated just fine twice over since DNF has been in development. So why 3d realms haven’t been able to produce anything beyond a short teaser video is beyond me.

  30. diebroken says:

    I had hopes of DNF after seeing it again on the Jace Hall interview a while back, but now this. This is really depressing. :(

    Farewell 3D Realms, I still love thee!

    Edit – damn my eyes, here it was on RPS:
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/06/05/duke-nukem-forever-footage/

  31. AbyssUK says:

    How can a company who could just release a Duke Nukem iphone port made in a few weeks and make millions go under.. I don’t understand

  32. Flint says:

    RIP. Sure they’re laughing stock of the gaming community these days thanks to Duke Nukem Forever, but let’s not forget their absolutely stellar run of platformer games as Apogee (Keens! Crystal Caves! Secret Agent! Monster Bash! Biomenace! DN1&2!) as well as the back-then revolutionary Duke Nukem 3D. A lot of amazing things they did.

    RPS should do a feature on those ye olde Apogee platforming glories at some point.

  33. Meat Circus says:

    Well, we’re a step closer to finding out if there ever was a DNF, or if it’s all been one long-running practical joke.

  34. MrMelons says:

    On the note of kicking alien ass, Dead Space. He may be the quiet killer, but he wears a mean pair of a** kicking boots and if there was gum in space I’m sure he would be all out of it. Lets pull ourselves out of the mud people. I know the old games are great, I play SS2 and wonder how can it better than BioShock? But lets not ask companies to remake old titles but demand them to stop making pretty games under the title of NEW INNOVATIVE GAME PLAY that has less features than the older titles.
    We are not mere magpies cursed by an enthrallment of shiny objects. We can see past the glimmer to see the polished turd that studios are trying to deliver us.

  35. El Stevo says:

    DNF was in development for nearly a third of the time the games industry has existed.

  36. Glennard says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    imma gun kill myslef

    Imma gonna bludgeon my budgie with my copy of Duke Nukem for genesis

  37. Muzman says:

    MrMelons says:
    Time to kick ass and chew bubble gum and I’m all out of gum.
    Classic.

    Hmm, yeeas. It’s funny they had to spend year upon year updating the graphics but not the references (well, actually I guess we’ll never know). Maybe they thought to bring dodgy eighties movies to a whole new generation.
    Incidentally, when Heartbreak Ridge came out (different reference to above) I’m sure few people thought Clint would one day be a respectable, popular best picture/director winner.

  38. Tei says:

    Prey was the awesome. The design, the history, the technology, it was maybe the best FPS i have played in 10 years.

  39. YogSo says:

    Alec Meer: “Childish, nasty comments spitting knee-jerk poison about people you don’t know losing their jobs will be deleted. Stunned at how many we’ve had to wipe already: be grown-ups.”

    Hey! :(
    I don’t understand how my deleted message had anything at all to do with “spitting knee-jerk poison”. I was just asking if that story RiptoR has linked was true, because I was truly shocked after reading it.

    Edit: [facepalm] Ooops. Sorry, Alec. My message was indeed not deleted. It was just in the other thread about the 3D Realms closure. I just confused the two, thanks to RiptoR posting the same message.

  40. KindredPhantom says:

    So sad. After 13 years of working on DNF they won’t have the opportunity to release the game themselves.
    I hope the staff find a place in another company and that DNF is eventually released.

  41. Lizard says:

    This is just sad. I really wanted to see what they would have made out of it. I even made a webcomic tribute to this event.

  42. Alec Meer says:

    YogSo: you posted that comment in the other thread, silly person.

  43. Turkish Superman says:

    “Prey was the awesome. The design, the history, the technology, it was maybe the best FPS i have played in 10 years.”

    You need to play more games.

  44. bansama says:

    As I say, still waiting on that press release. A forum comment is not my idea of “official” by a long stretch.

  45. Dan says:

    Someday, I would love to know what the hell was going on inside that company for all those years.

  46. Xercies says:

    Why are they continuing with this futility that is Duke Nukum Forever, its dead, it was dead like 10 years ago. Forget about it, move on.

  47. Dracko says:

    You’ve got to admit, it’s hardly surprising after their last big-ish game was released in 1997.

    Shadow Warrior needs to come to GOG.

  48. Chaz says:

    Maybe it’s just as well that Duke Nukum Forever doesn’t come out, as we all know it would never be able to live up to anyones expectations.

  49. Deadpan says:

    I see an HL2 mod coming. We only need to get the original voice actors to record some new lines. “Shut up, Duke! And stop staring at my ass!”