Apogee Software (parent of 3D Realms) has revealed that Take-Two (under label 2K Games) was working on a separate Duke Nukem game called Duke Begins.
The project was to be finished by mid-2010 and worked on by a "well-known developer", according to paperwork on Voodoo Extreme, but work was suspended in April 2009.
Take-Two, 3D Realms alleges, did this to restrict the developer's income. With no money from game sales, 3D Realms would be unable to pay back the USD 2.5m advance from October 2007, when the Duke Begins agreement was penned. This, 3D Realms explains, would allow Take-Two to swoop in and acquire the Duke Nukem rights at a fraction of their worth.
The paperwork goes on to reveal that over USD 20m of 3D Realms' money was poured into the development of Duke Nukem Forever, which ground to a halt in May. Halo 3 only cost USD 30m, says VE - and that was funded by the publisher.
3D Realms claims development of Duke Nukem Forever is ongoing, despite all but the top brass being laid-off on 6th May.
Take-Two reckons this is because 3D Realms has an offshore bank account with "substantial funds" in - an allegation 3D Realms' Scott Miller dismissed as "knee-deep in BS".
Take-Two is suing 3D Realms for USD 12m for not completing Duke Nukem Forever. A full trial is expected within a year from now.