The popular video-game character Duke Nukem may have saved the planet in the first three games in the “Duke Nukem” franchise, but even Duke couldn’t fight off bankruptcy. According to BBC News, 3D Realms, the software company behind the games, has closed due to lack of funds.
Founded in 1987, the firm was a leader in the the concept of shareware gaming and published the seminal Duke Nukem and Wolfenstein 3D first-person shooters. The company had a huge hit with the 3-D shooter, “Duke Nukem 3-D” which allowed users to strafe and jump for the first time within the 3-D shooter environmnent.
The company was working on a follow-up title, Duke Nukem Forever, which after being in development for 12 years has become the object of industry derision.
Publisher Take-Two says it will no longer fund development of the game but retains rights to the title.
“We can confirm that our relationship with 3D Realms for Duke Nukem Forever was a publishing arrangement, which did not include ongoing funds for development of the title,” said Take-Two’s Alan Lewis in a statement.
There has been no official comment from 3D Realms, other than a forum posting from the company’s webmaster, Joe Siegler, who said: “It’s not a marketing thing. It’s true. I have nothing further to say at this time.”
Other companies with links to 3D Realms or the Duke Nukem series were quick to distance themselves.