Interceptor Acquires 3D Realms Amid Fears of Duke Nukem Lawsuit

The developer behind the recent Rise of the Triad reboot is now the proud owner of Duke's original home. It's complicated.

News by Pete Davison, .

Earlier today, Frederik Schreiber, the CEO of Interceptor Entertainment -- they of the Rise of the Triad reboot fame -- announced that his company had acquired 3D Realms, aka Apogee Software Ltd. and the original home of Duke Nukem 3D.

Since that time, further details have emerged. The acquisition was actually the work of an investment firm called SDN Invest rather than Interceptor itself, though SDN is a part-owner and principal investor in Interceptor. 3D Realms' new CEO is Mike Nielsen, who is also chairman of the board at Interceptor.

Nielsen told our sister site Eurogamer earlier today that he remains committed to continue with the company's plans for a new Duke Nukem game, despite an unfolding legal battle with Gearbox, who currently own the rights after finally giving the world Duke Nukem Forever in 2011.

Gearbox's complaint asserts that Interceptor's upcoming new game, originally intended to be revealed at the end of February, makes unlawful use of Gearbox's intellectual property. The game in question is known as Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, and, according to decoded text from the official site, was set to be an action RPG for PC and PlayStation platforms. The plan was originally for the teaser campaign to attract 10,000 Facebook Likes and then reveal the text, but owing to the fact that Interceptor only used a simple substitution cipher rather than a more complicated code, it was quickly cracked well before the reveal was supposed to take place.

Interceptor was all set to reveal its new game at the end of February, but Gearbox had other ideas.

Owing to the circumstances of the legal battle, Nielsen finds himself in a curious situation where everyone knows Interceptor is planning a new Duke Nukem game, but he's unable to talk about it.

"We have not officially announced anything, other than we're doing a game," he said. "We've left some hints online. 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. The only thing we can say is we're big fans of Duke. That's all I can say. I have to be careful on this subject. Our only message is we're not all out of gum yet."

Outside of directly Duke-related matters, Nielsen indicated that he intends to make use of the 3D Realms brand as a publisher, believing it to carry an "enormous value" due to its long history -- despite the controversy surrounding Duke Nukem Forever. 3D Realms co-founder Scott Miller will continue to work with the company as a creative consultant -- it's believed he is involved with Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction -- but the future of Miller's counterpart George Broussard remains to be seen.

"My long time partner George Broussard and I are extremely proud of our past," said Miller. "Especially as developers who always tried to partner with up-and-coming studios who just needed their break. Our history shows we did that throughout the 1990s and 2000s, and I expect the new 3D Realms to continue with this tradition in full force. Our industry needs more good guys who honor the profession and fellow hard-working developers."

"3D Realms has always been a defining part of the PC games industry," added Schreiber. "Getting 3D Realms under our wings is a huge step for us, and we are extremely excited about the acquisition."

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Comments 2

  • Avatar for damienolenick07 #1 damienolenick07 4 years ago
    I haven't seen it mentioned in any article about this lawsuit, but what made 3D Realms think it could make another Duke Nukem game if it had sold all the rights to Gearbox? Was their more to the deal then both developers have announced since it was finalized?
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  • Avatar for Architecture #2 Architecture 4 years ago
    From what I heard, 3D Realms was arguing that it had retained ownership of the franchise and only sold Gearbox and 2K publishing rights to DNF.
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