3D Realms, the beleaguered original developer of Duke Nukem Forever, will be acquired by a Danish firm that had been set to publish a new Duke Nukem game until both were sued last week by Gearbox Software.
The report, by Reuters, first appeared in Børsen, a leading financial newspaper of Denmark. Frederik Schreiber, the CEO and game director for Interceptor Entertainment, confirmed to Kotaku that the company will acquire 3D Realms but would not make a statement until tomorrow.
[Update] A statement was released Monday morning; it clarifies some of the terms of the acquisition. Apogee Software Ltd., doing business as 3D Realms, is being acquired by the investment company that backs Interceptor Entertainment; it is not being acquired by Interceptor itself. The investment firm's name is SDN Invest.
Mike Nielsen will be appointed the CEO of 3D Realms. To Reuters, Nielsen noted that 3D Realms has been largely inactive for about a dozen years, but has a back catalog comprising Shadow Warrior, Commander Keen and Duke Nukem.
Gearbox Software would likely dispute the last. The Texas studio acquired Duke Nukem in 2010, a deal it says rescued 3D Realms from the debt and litigation it faced for being unable to deliver Duke Nukem Forever despite an infamous 12-year development cycle.
Earlier this month, 3D Realms and Interceptor teased a new Duke game, calling it a top-down role-playing game called Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction. Gearbox then sued, calling that game an infringement of the rights to Duke Nukem it bought back in 2010. Gearbox maintains that except for already published games under the Duke Nukem name (for back catalog sales purposes) it owns the entire Duke Nukem franchise.
The Reuters story did not mention the lawsuit. 3D Realms founders George Broussard and Scott Miller have been sued individually in addition to the studio and Apogee. Gearbox asked for an injunction against Interceptor publishing Mass Destruction; a judge has yet to rule on that demand.
In the statement, 3D Realms co-founder Scott Miller said he and partner George Broussard "are extremely proud of our past, 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."