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3D Realms is still operational

And has the rights to Duke Nukem Forever.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Duke Nukem Forever developer 3D Realms "has not closed and is not closing" and "retains ownership of the Duke Nukem franchise", according to a statement issued by the developer.

"Despite rumours 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," writes 3D Realms.

"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."

The statement further clarifies that while Take-Two owns the publishing rights to DNF, 3DR holds "certain rights to sell the game directly to the public", which presumably means digital distribution.

The two companies - 3DR and Take-Two - are currently trading legal blows following the DNF fiasco. Take-Two is suing the developer for failing to deliver a game, despite a reported USD 12m being poured into the project by the publisher.

3DR disagrees, however, and claims the publisher only spent USD 2.5m on Duke Nukem Forever, whereas the developer itself put in over USD 20m.

Furthermore, 3DR says DNF was hitting "mutually-agreed milestones", but then Take-Two "materially changed the parameters".

"Take-Two's proposal was unacceptable to 3DR for many reasons, including no upfront money, no guarantee minimum payment, and no guarantee to complete the DNF game," the statement explains.

"From 3DR's perspective, we viewed Take-Two as trying to acquire the Duke Nukem franchise in a 'fire sale'.

"While we cannot comment on the details of the ongoing lawsuit, we believe Take-Two's lawsuit is without merit and merely a bully tactic to obtain ownership of the Duke Nukem franchise," adds 3DR. "We will vigorously defend ourselves against this publisher."

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