The student becomes the master: Rise of the Triad’s Interceptor acquires 3D Realms

The 2013 Rise of the Triad remake was made through collaboration between Interceptor and 3D Realms.

Two of the most important names is FPS history – 3D Realms and Apogee Software, Ltd. – have transferred to a new owner capable of making use of them. Rise of the Triad remake developers Interceptor Entertainment announced that they have acquired the one-time Duke Nukem company over the weekend.

“Yes, we have indeed acquired Apogee/3D Realms,” tweeted Interceptor’s game director and CEO, Frederik Schreiber. The news was leaked via Danish newspaper Børsen, and the developers will release an official statement confirming the news later today.

In Interceptor’s short history, they have devoted themselves to upholding and updating 3D Realms’ legacy. It was they who brought Duke Nukem’s Manhattan Project to Steam, the original 2D shooters to iOS, and most notably, a fully-fledged remake of Rise of the Triad to PC just last year.

Interceptor were founded in 2010 after Schreiber and a small Danish team were given permission to produce a Duke Nukem 3D remake. Or so they thought: the game was put on indefinite hold a year later. Gearbox are now suing 3D Realms and Interceptor for continuing to develop Duke Nukem games after the blonde bodybuilder was sold to the Borderlands studio four years ago.

“Apparently, after selling its Duke Nukem IP rights to Gearbox in 2010, 3DR sought to privately convince others that the sale never happened,” wrote Gearbox.

“Unfortunately for Interceptor – and any others who have relied upon 3DR’s personal assurances in lieu of federal registrations and the like – the 3DR Declaration makes it clear: 3DR no longer owns the unrestricted rights to Duke Nukem IP,and 3DR has no right or ability to make any agreements in violation of Gearbox’s exclusive rights.”

Farcically, 3D Realms recently admitted the fault, and promised to “refrain from any acts that use or violate the Duke IP, which exclusively belongs to Gearbox”. But the positioning of Interceptor’s latest game – a top-down RPG named Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction – for release last week upset Gearbox enough to merit the lawsuit.

Interceptor haven’t announced any details of their acquisition yet – but will presumably gain the rights to some of 3D Realms and Apogee’s early first-person efforts, which notably included RotT, Blood and Shadow Warrior.

Hopefully they can do right by that history – developing games where lately 3D Realms have only issued lawsuits of their own. What do you reckon?