Posted on May 15, 2009,

Take-Two Sues 3D Realms Over Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Lawyers

I just knew some litigation was going to come of this.

It looks as though Duke Nukem Forever publisher Take-Two isn’t going to let the recent closure of the game‘s former developer Apogee Software, Ltd.’s 3D Realms go without some form of retribution for its near 12 years of slacking. Bloomberg initially broke news of the publishers’ grievance stating Apogee/3D Realms “breached an agreement to design the latest installment of Duke Nukem” claiming Apogee/3D Realms “never produced the game and instead closed its studio on May 6, terminated development of the game and fired employees who had been involved in the Duke Nukem project”. Take-Two insists that “Apogee continually delayed the completion date for Duke Nukem Forever”, and ” Apogee repeatedly assured Take-Two and the video-gaming community that it was diligently working toward competing development of the PC Version of the Duke Nukem Forever”.

It is worth noting that Apogee Software, Ltd. (official title of now defunct 3D Realms) & Apogee Software, LLC (developers of forthcoming Duke Nukem Trilogy) are two separate entities.

Originally, Take-Two paid $12 million to former Duke Nukem Forever publisher Infogrames for exclusive publishing rights to the game back in 2000. However, it seems, at least according to Take-Two, that a second unspecified agreement was struck between the publisher and 3D Realms in 2007.

After news of 3D Realms closure hit the internet last week, Take-Two spokesman Alan Lewis confirmed that they were not providing 3D Realms with “ongoing funds for development of the title.”

Shacknews humorously reminds us “The two companies were on less than cheery terms during development of the game. After Take-Two publicly expressed hope that 3D Realms would finish the game in 2003, 3D Realms president George Broussard famously reminded Shacknews users that the game was self-funded, saying: ‘Take Two needs to STFU imo.’”

VE3D obtained scans of the actual court documents of the case shown here. The documents reveal more juicy details such Take-Two demanding 3D Realms hand over a complete snapshot of the game in its current state as well as all associated source code and assets. Take-Two further demands 3D Realms not leak the game or assets.

Also, it seems Take Two’s lawyers confronted New York Supreme Court judge, Charles E. Ramos, on the day of announcement of their closure (May 6th) to demand a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. As of May 12th, Take-Two’s revised injunction appears to have been accepted as the myriad of asset leaks seemingly have stopped.

Scott Miller, head of 3D Realms, making his first public comments since 3D Realms’ closure, chimes in stating that Take Two’s actions are “100% spin, being eaten up by those who have no clue whatsoever…. we cannot talk yet. We will, soon…”

Andrew Burnes over at VE3D wittily adds “And finally, those hoping for a quick resolution will be disappointed – Take Two’s filing states that their case won’t be ready for trial for between nine and twelve months. By the time the case is concluded, Duke Nukem Forever will surely be outdated, necessitating yet another engine change.”

Strange days, indeed.

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