The latest casualty in the economic downturn is Duke Nukem Developer 3D Realms. The developer had been having financial difficulty in recent months, and a source inside the company told GiN that they had gotten the word that everyone was laid off, with nobody working there spared the budget axe. The studio is effectively dead as of today.
The company had scored many hits in its time, including Duke Nukem 3D which was one of the top games of 1996. It had also garnered both critical acclaim and financial gain with the Max Payne series, which was recently converted into a Hollywood movie. Originally founded by George Broussard and Scott Miller in 1987, it had become famous in recent years as a sort of running joke in the industry for not being able to put Duke Nukem Forever out the door. The title had been in development for over 12 years. Rumors would occasionally swirl about a release date, but nothing concrete ever came of them.
Take Two Interactive released a statement saying that they retain the publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever.
Other publishing partners of 3D Realms were quick to distance themselves from the financial problems. A few hours after the 3D Realms news broke, Deep Silver and Apogee released a brief, one sentence press release that stated, "Deep Silver and Apogee Software are not affected by the situation at 3D Realms. Development on the Duke Nukem Trilogy is continuing as planned."