Duke Nukem Forever Lawsuit Unearthed, 360 Version A Sticking Point

Take-Two's lawsuit against Duke Nukem Forever maker Apogee/3DRealms has finally seen the light of day, with some Xbox 360-port and offshore-money twists.

May brought news that the long road of the 1997-announced Duke Nukem Forever might finally have finally run out, as development studio Apogee ceased making the game and publisher Take-Two filed a lawsuit against the studio.

Aside from a flood of leaked visuals and the studio's statement defending itself, all had been publicly calm since then until today. Take-Two's May 11 lawsuit against 3D Realms parent company Apogee has finally been unearthed. Credit to Shacknews for first publishing it.

The lawsuit centers on, of all things, an Xbox 360 version of this forever-in-the-making PC game.

Take Two claims that it notified Apogee earlier this year that the copy wanted to "exercise its option to develop a Console Version of [Duke Nukem Forever] for the Xbox 360. The publisher states that it sought to fund Apogee's work on a 360 port but that discussions for that fell apart this year due to a disagreement in funding before the project could be begin. The publisher claims that, as a result, it intended to exercise what it says was its contractual right to make a 360 version of the game with another developer and that Apogee would be obligated to provide source code for said port. The lawsuit includes no indication that such a plan was set in motion, as the publisher claims that Apogee instead shut down development without warning Take Two that such an action was pending.

"Notwithstanding Apogee's consistent assurances that it would soon complete development of DNF," the suit states, "on May 6, 2009, Apogee closed its studios, terminated development of DNF and laid-off all employees who had been involved in the DNF project. Upon information and belief, Apogee has title to a substantial amount of funds deposited in an off-shore account, which Take-Two believes Apogee can use to fund its outstanding obligations."

Take-Two is seeking damages for Apogee's alleged breach of contract for the amount of $2.9 million it claims to have provided Apogee to develop the game since 2000, plus interest. The total claim is $12 million.

Take-Two is also seeking a court order to enjoin any former members of the Duke Nukem team from leaking any more art or code for the game, actions which the publisher claims "severely impairs Take-Two's exclusive rights to publish, exploit and control the DNF brand."

Kotaku has reached out to Apogee for comment but has not heard back by press time.

Click to read the full complaint from Take-Two.

A May 12 request for judicial injunction estimates that this case will go to trial within nine to 12 months of that date.