Duke Nukem’s become more synonymous with high profile cock-ups and lawsuits than quality gaming of late. There was the long wait for Duke Nukem Forever, which turned out to be terrible, 3D Realms suing Gearbox over royalties and Gearbox suing 3D Realms and Interceptor for attempting to release a new Duke Nukem game despite not controlling the IP. And now Interceptor, the studio behind the Rise of the Triad remake and the aforementioned Duke Nukem game which is unlikely to see the light of day, has acquired 3D Realms.
But Mike Nielsen, new owner of 3D Realms and part owner of Interceptor, told Eurogamer that Interceptor hadn’t announced a new Duke Nukem game, which makes this Facebook page and website all the more confusing. “We have not officially announced anything, other than we're doing a game,” he said. 3D Realms even admitted wrongdoing, named the game, and apologised. Is your head hurting? Mine is.
“We've left some hints online,” Nielsen continued. “There have been a few leaks. We were going to announce it on the countdown but due to the lawsuit that has arisen, we have been unable to comment on it. And because of the lawsuit we can't comment.” But those hints and leaks all made it pretty clear what Interceptor was working on.
Confusing matters even more, Nielsen said “Our only message is we're not all out of gum yet.” But… but that’s a reference to Duke Nukem. So Interceptor is clearly distancing itself from Duke Nukem game, even though all the evidence shows that they are and both Gearbox and 3D Realms have said that it’s the case, and they are still dropping hints that they are making a new Duke Nukem game. Honestly, it’s too early in the week for this nonsense.
Nielsen also explained that 3D Realms would continue to exist, but only as a publisher. “3D Realms is more in the publishing position right now. The organisation is small. That's all I can say. Going forward Interceptor will be developing a lot of the products coming from the studio - at least the higher end games. That's part of why it makes sense to me as an investor in both of these companies.”
The 3D Realms brand is important, said Nielsen, and there are existing IPs that they want to use. However, new IPs are going to be a big part of the future relationship. “They still have several IPs that are interesting to work with. One of the things we want to focus on is creating new content and new IPs with 3D Realms. It will be a split between those two things, without giving any percentages on what that split is exactly. The focus on new IPs will be a big part of it.”
Whatever’s going on, it’s not going to be made clear until this lawsuit mess gets sorted out.