Shake It, Maybe: 3D Realms “Not Closed”

By Jim Rossignol on May 19th, 2009 at 5:57 am.


But they have dissolved the DNF dev team. Shacknews has the full statement.

Despite rumors and statements to the contrary, 3D Realms (3DR) has not closed and is not closing. 3DR retains ownership of the Duke Nukem franchise. Due to lack of funding, however, we are saddened to confirm that we let the Duke Nukem Forever (DNF) development team go on May 6th, while we regroup as a company. While 3DR is a much smaller studio now, we will continue to operate as a company and continue to license and co-create games based upon the Duke Nukem franchise.

Lots more through the link, complete with the response to Take 2’s lawsuit.

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56 Comments »

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  1. kadayi says:

    “It just seems like you have too much faith in T2’s management. It’s almost like you don’t believe corporations are made of pure evil.”

    I don’t believe in anthropomorphising organisations, or attempting to quantify them using quaint abstracts such as ‘good’ or ‘evil’, they simply are. The decisions that they make are based on profitability and loss, not childish petulance. Unlike a private company a corporation has to answer to its shareholders for its actions.

    When you understand this, then the actions of corporations become much easier to comprehend. There is zero advantage to Take 2 acquiring the Source code & assets of DNF unless they plan to utilise them in some manner by handing them off to another development team to work upon. There is no profitability in simply sitting on them as they have a finite value as gaming technology is constantly evolving. Corporations operate around profitability, so the obvious conclusion would be they would seek to monetarise them.

  2. jalf says:

    Yeah, T2 isn’t “evil”, they’re a corporation. The distinction is that they have one goal, and one only: To make money. And let’s be honest here, funding DNF development is *not* a good way to make money. Getting hold of the IP would let them either 1) sell it to someone else and make money, or 2) make the game and make money.

    Taking the IP just to spite 3DR and then throw it in the garbage bin to spite gamers isn’t an option for them.

  3. Dominic White says:

    Behold, the best, creepiest thing to come from the 3D Realms meltdown:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRFS-WFlT0Q&fmt=18

    Courtesy of the SomethingAwful forums.

  4. D says:

    @kadayi, jalf: I understand that as well as either of you, I just think they will fail in that grand plan. I understand the motivation, but two years in court and those assets are useless, unworkable. A four year development cycle restart, and the engine is too old. Scrap the assets and just get the IP? Either way, DNF release is a pipe-dream.

    There is an assumption you both are making, that T2 management knows exactly what it is doing, will succeed in it’s plan, win the court case etc. Where most management I’ve ever met has been quite clueless. This goes doubly for 3DR obviously.


    Technically corporations are sociopaths, whether that will qualify to either of you as evil or not, and regardless of whether such a label is “childish petulance.” Any single minded institution with only the responsibility of turning a profit will naturally act in morally bankrupt ways. I realise we’re talking about a publishing corporation here. I just don’t forget that there are corporations trying to limit access to water in third world countries, so they can profit off it. I was jesting when I said “pure evil” in regards to T2.. But after your comments I had to rant this out.

  5. Kadayi says:

    @D

    Your misquoting the book ‘The corporation’ there. Corporations aren’t akin to Sociopaths, they are akin to Psychopaths (there is a difference) and as such are generally ruthlessly efficient at achieving their goals. With a corporation if (a part of) the management team isn’t working then they’ll be voted out by the shareholders or fellow management (unlike say a private concern such as 3DR where the owners aren’t beholden to anyone, regardless of how stupid their ideas might be). The idea that corporation management can be inept (Ie loss making) in the long term doesn’t hold up under actual scrutiny.

    If Take 2 didn’t think the approach they are taking with regard to DNF wasn’t the right one, they wouldn’t be pursuing it. 3DR are between a rock and a hard place financially, ultimately they will either capitulate or bury the game and what’s left of their careers in the process.

    This isn’t the sort of case that’s going to take up take more than a couple of days to wrap up, if it even goes to court. I’d expect a resolution (probably the sale of the IP) between now and the Court date.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Wow, they can’t even complete going out of business.