Duke Nukem series creator 3D Realms/Apogee Ltd. has responded to publisher Take-Two's lawsuit over the incomplete state of Duke Nukem Forever, revealing that 3D Realms is continuing to work on the long-delayed title alongside word that a previously unknown separate Duke game was in the works at a 'well-known videogame developer.' The new effort, titled 'Duke Begins,' was part of the October 2007 Agreement that saw Take-Two provide 3D Realms with $2.5 million. That sum was paid July 2008 in order to 'help fund the development of the DNF game,' with 3D Realms having previously said the money was 'in connection with another agreement for an unannounced game.' However, 3D Realms claims, Take Two/2K Games ordered work halted on Duke Begins in April 2009,something which 3D Realms says Take Two has denied.
Development was due to be completed by mid-2010, but was mysteriously suspended in April 2009. 3D Realms alleges that Take Two cancelled the game to restrict 3D Realms' income, giving Take Two the ability to purchase the Duke Nukem rights at a lower cost because 3D Realms would be desperate for any cash to keep their studio afloat, especially as they would be unable to repay the $2,500,000 royalty advance due 2012.
Amid its rebuttals, 3D Realms also revealed that they've pumped over $20,000,000 of their own money into Duke Nukem Forever's development, which is presumably on top of the advances they received. To put that figure in perspective, Grand Theft Auto IV cost around $100,000,000, Halo 3 $30,000,000, and Killzone 2 $40,000,000. Difference being, the aforementioned games had publishers funding development, whereas 3D Realms has flown solo for the past thirteen years to retain complete control of intellectual property rights. Interestingly, 3D Realms claims that development continues on Duke Nukem Forever, but with what staff and what cash remains unclear.