Yesterday the official 3D Realms website came back online and displayed what seems to be the final nail in the Duke Nukem Forever coffin: a simple goodbye and a team photo (shown below, also taken yesterday before a group screening of Star Trek). "Thanks for being fans, and for all your support," the site reads. Originally, the website portion was offline for at least a few days, presumed to be taken offline because the company is shutting down. However, 3D Realms webmaster Joe Siegler said that the server overloaded due to traffic, and he wasn't able to drive out to the remote location to investigate. However, in addition to finally rebooting the server and uploading the team's final goodbye, Siegler also unlocked the site's internal staff page, displaying everyone who has worked for 3D Realms over the last 22 years.
In addition to the goodbye message, Duke4.net has posted a small outline of what may or may not have happened with 3D Realms, reporting that Scott Miller didn't want to sink any more money into the company, thus leaving for other projects. As half owner of 3D Realms, this left George Broussard in charge. A year later, George was unable to manage the company, and the funds eventually began to run low. He took the game and drove out to id Software and Epic Games looking for help, but, surprisingly enough, was turned down. He thus went to Take 2 Interactive, asking them to fund development in order for 3D Realms to finish the game. Instead of funding the project, Take 2 Interactive offers George $30 million dollars for the Duke Nukem IP rights. George refused, and then makes the decision to close the doors. Now George is supposedly shopping around Duke Nukem Forever to other companies, possibly Electronic Arts and Microsoft. This may not be possible however, as Take 2 Interactive still holds the publishing rights.
At this point, it would be stupid NOT to fund the development and NOT ship Duke Nukem Forever to retail; the game has the potential to fly off the shelves just in hype alone. Then again, with a twelve-year development process under its belt--and the long-awaited game STILL isn't finished--Duke Nukem Forever may find itself remaining in development limbo...forever. Although the 3D Realms website shows a final goodbye, specific details surrounding the fall of 3D Realms and Duke Nukem Forever's current status still hasn't been officially made clear by Scott Miller or George Broussard. Hopefully, they will come out and release an official announcement or press release to fill in the pieces for their long-standing fanbase.
For now, fans will have to wait and see what happens in the next few months. But in the meantime, a batch of new images (conveniently) surfaced, highlighting many of the level designs as well as a bunch of concept art. Click on the composite image at the top to view the entire batch.
Staff photo map
SITTING L-R: Chris Cummings, Randy Forsyth, David Riegel, Pat Jones, Pete Knepley, Jay Brushwood, Dave Ratti, George Broussard, Allen Blum, Chris DeSimone, Brian Hook (pink tie), Scott MacLean, Rob "MacGuvyer" Faison, Andrew "Sonic" Kershner, Bryan Turner, Steve Blackburn, Kaiser the dog
STANDING L-R: Brian Lawson, John Pollard, James Houska, Andrew Baker, Eric Von Rothkirch, Chris Skelton, Gary Buchanan, Kevin Green, Joe Siegler, Rick Huenick, Chris