3D Realms has had its share of misfortune with Duke Nukem Forever, spending 11 years and a considerable amount of funds getting the game up to scratch only to go under and see it release with a different developer. Just how much the company and co-founder George Broussard lost wasn’t clear until this week.
Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford told CVG that 3D Realms probably lost somewhere in the region of $20-30 Million, with most of that coming out of Broussard’s own pocket.
“There was the bad news in May 2009. You all saw the stories; 3D Realms was shutting down, Duke was dead. That sucked. It was tough being in Dallas, many of my friends lost their jobs.“I spoke to George Broussard and he said, ‘Randy, this is the worst day of my life’ but you could hear in his voice there was more. This was 12 years of his life… try and imagine what you’ve achieved in 12 years, Gearbox has made 15 games in that time.”
“George is not a poor man, but I would estimate that he lost 20 to 30 million dollars of his own money on Duke Nukem Forever – I don’t care who you are, that’s a hell of a lot of money. He was committed to Duke to the point of insanity – and now Duke was dead.”
“He decided he would rather have it burn that have a bad version of the game come out.”
Broussard is still working on the game alongside Gearbox, but it must be disheartening for the rest of the developers at 3D Realms to see the Duke release under a different developer after over 12 years of development.