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Apogee Suing Gearbox Over Unpaid Royalties For Duke Nukem Forever

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the it's-time-to-defraud-and-chew-bubble-gum dept.

The Almighty Buck 88

jones_supa writes "Apogee Software/3D Realms alleges that Gearbox has refused to pay more than $2 million owed to 3D Realms from royalties and advances Gearbox received from publishers for Duke Nukem Forever. In a lawsuit filed June 7 in Texas district court, 3D Realms insists that its agreement with Gearbox permits it to conduct an audit of Gearbox's royalty statements, which the studio has not allowed. 'Gearbox is simply stonewalling here in an improper attempt to conceal information from 3D Realms that it is absolutely entitled to receive,' the suit alleges. The company also alleges that Gearbox has refused to pay the agreed-upon portion of revenue Gearbox received after Duke Nukem Forever was released. 3D Realms has asked for a jury trial. This suit is apparently the end result of a friendly deal gone wrong."

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88 comments

Wait, there were royalties? (5, Funny)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 10 months ago | (#44010807)

I thought you had to sell copies of a game for that to happen.

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011273)

DNF sold really well despite being garbage. Actually, it was fun enough, but not worth anything more than $15.

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011595)

No, DNF sold half as well as was expected by the publisher.

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011799)

Expectations of a publisher is complete bullshit and used to fiddle figures to raise money and dodge taxes claiming fake losses. Any twat can say "5 million to be sold!" but only move 3 million in the first two months. Publisher claims failure, but 3 million units in a few weeks is pretty fucking impressive in a over-saturated market.

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 10 months ago | (#44014017)

Dude did you see those huge fricking "Balls Of Steel" box sets? I bet they lost a ton on those things, and considering that they have been practically giving the game away just to get the damned game out of the bargain bins? I don't see how they could have made enough to buy a large pizza, I really don't.

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44012337)

No, DNF sold half as well as was expected by the publisher.

and that's about 50 times the amount the game should have sold considering it's quality. so it sold well still. selling twice the amount would have been the "we're swimming in cash yyeaaaahaaawww!!!" scenario..

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44013375)

No, DNF sold half as well as was expected by the publisher.

and that's about 50 times the amount the game should have sold considering it's quality. so it sold well still. selling twice the amount would have been the "we're swimming in cash yyeaaaahaaawww!!!" scenario..

Unfortunately it has "train wreck" sales going for it.

"Aliens: Colonial Marines," another recent Gearbox disaster, sold over a million units despite being unplayable. People bought the turd because it sucked, everyone wanted to have a good laugh at how bad it was by buying copies of it. I facepalmed so hard after hearing about that.

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 10 months ago | (#44014029)

I'm sorry but you are wrong and here is why: Gearbox is being sued over A:CM because of all those that preordered and got burnt, in fact I bet if you looked at the figures the majority of their sales were preorders and day 1 sales before the reviews hit. There is a video about it and the pushing preorders on The Escapist [escapistmagazine.com] and I ahve to agree, anybody who preorders anymore is just nuts.

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 10 months ago | (#44011311)

I suspect they actually sold a decent number of copies, if nothing else but for people to see what the game turned into. If we're talking about a 2 million dollar lawsuit we're talking in the hundreds of thousands but likely not millions of copies of the game. That would generally be a decent if not great title.

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (2)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 10 months ago | (#44011723)

[...] if nothing else but for people to see what the game turned into.

This is the only reason I tried it. Well, that and it was an option to play as a demo on OnLive and (after some of the controversy) I wanted to see for myself whether one could play an FPS on OnLive. Turns out you can and the graphics quality can be beautiful--but only if you're playing casually enough to be apathetic if it lags or fails. After a few moments of the puerile body humor that is the basis for the game (points for using the urinal, really?) you can indeed reach that level of apathy. I think at the time you could "buy" the game, full-access, for $5 and I concluded it was not worth it. This game is a perfect example of why you don't really see downloadable demos like you used to.

Re:I suspect they actually sold a decent number of (2)

Jerry Atrick (2461566) | about 10 months ago | (#44011803)

They may have sold a lot, that's not the same as selling them at a profit.

My DVD copy was GBP0.99 (about US$1.50) delivered and was returned shop stock. They couldn't reduce it enough to sell in store, couldn't shift them at £5 soon after launch, £2.50 not long after that.

It's fair to say this was a disaster on total units sold compared to publisher expectations and an even bigger disaster on revenue. With an unknown amount of copies heading for landfill or sold at little profit or even a loss, Gearbox will be delaying any accounting as long as they can. Wouldn't be easy clawing back any royaltly overpayment and there's no future income from this turkey.

Re:I suspect they actually sold a decent number of (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 10 months ago | (#44019449)

It's fair to say this was a disaster on total units sold compared to publisher expectations and an even bigger disaster on revenue.

It was definitely neither of those.

For the amount of time and money Gearbox sunk into it they probably were profitable in the hundred thousand units, and given how little time they had it I'm sure publishers were thrilled that they managed to ship a product at all after so many years of a useless money pit.

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about 10 months ago | (#44012833)

According to this site [vgchartz.com] it sold a combined 1.7M copies between PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. Mind-boggling, I would have guessed a LOT less...

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44011405)

I thought you had to sell copies of a game for that to happen.

well.. you don't, if you get advances and the contract says you have to pay royalties from those too(which sort of makes sense, since they wouldn't have gotten the advance payments if the title didn't have duke in it's name). all this might mean that the studio would end up in the red for the dnf.. maybe that's why they aren't opening the books.

borderlands is probably the only half decent thing they released though... so good riddance. not that 3d realms deserves any money really at this point either.

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 10 months ago | (#44013677)

all this might mean that the studio would end up in the red for the dnf.. maybe that's why they aren't opening the books.

You would think the studio would have anticipated that possibility, and made sure the agreement signed protected itself from the possibility that there would be allowed to be royalties equalling or exceeding the profit.

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (1)

Rhacman (1528815) | about 10 months ago | (#44011761)

To this day I don't get why DNF gets so much hate. The dialog and plot were exactly as over-the-top cheesy and absurd as one should have expected of a Duke Nukem game. The only thing I can seem to pin it on is the difference in reaction between Chewbacca and Jar Jar Binks. Both characters are painfully obnoxious but that isn't as much of a turn-off when you are younger. Perhaps Duke suffered more from changing perceptions i.e. the crowd that was expecting to still enjoy his antics grew up. /shrug I guess I'm just one of the few people who didn't leave Neverland and still finds poop jokes funny.

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (2)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 10 months ago | (#44011907)

You're probably right that a lot of the problem with DNF is that its presumptive audience grew up. That and gaming has changed so much that many of the things that fresh and interesting in DN3D are now blasé. But your comparison of Chewbacca and Jar Jar has me mystified. Ewoks and Gungans, now that would be fair. But to say Chewbacca and Jar Jar are in any way comparable? Anathema sit!

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44012357)

try drawing the levels from duke3d to paper and then drawing the tunnel of dnf level to paper... yep there's a lot of difference there. and you know what? in duke3d you barely see duke at all anyhow - there's barely any "antics" in the game, so they are not what made duke3d great.

also, throwing poo(dnf) instead of exploding holes into bathroom walls(d3d).

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011795)

You are correct and you don't even know it. The did NOT sell any copies of the game through Steam. They temporarily licensed some people to use the game while certain criteria was men (like being connected to the Internet).

If it said "per copies sold" in the royalty agreement Apogee is SOL!

Re:Wait, there were royalties? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 10 months ago | (#44014009)

Got to give 'em credit, their balls are big and plentiful to pull this shit after blowing that many years jerking off. I don't see how they won't get laughed out of any court, hell they were offering DNF for like $5 less than 3 weeks after it came out, and that was for a new PC box, even Kane & Lynch Dog Days was selling for $19.99 until the third month.

I mean if you just figure up how much they paid for the box sets and special editions if they made fricking bus fare its a miracle, last I checked they were selling that game on Amazon for like a dollar. I played it for 30 minutes on a friend's PC and ya know what? Its not worth a buck, its not even a "fun to laugh at" game like Kane & Lynch or FEAR 3, its just pathetic and boring.

*points at Apogee* (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44010829)

Hideki!

Re:*points at Apogee* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44012151)

Who modded this funny? Dont encourage this person, they might start up again.

Re:*points at Apogee* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44019577)

they might start up again.

Hey, if it gets rid of "rancid asshole" man, I'm all for it.

Wait, DNF came out? (2, Funny)

Sowelu (713889) | about 10 months ago | (#44010857)

I was honestly surprised reading this headline. Had to go look the game up, I thought it was still never released.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44010887)

Welcome to two years ago.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (5, Insightful)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 10 months ago | (#44010891)

Don't bother playing it, it's crap. It is nothing like what we were led to believe over the decade... it morphed into a piece of shit with Halo-knockoff controls and health-regeneration system. Sad too... many of the older trailers, from closer to 2000, were fucking awesome.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 10 months ago | (#44010939)

Croteam's Serious Sam on the other hand is still doing surprisingly well. SS4 is in the works, comes with a Linux version.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (2)

kilfarsnar (561956) | about 10 months ago | (#44011103)

I may be the only person who actually liked DNF. I thought it was fun to play, and the Duke-isms cracked me up. "Who wants white meat, huh? Who wants some!" It wasn't game of the year or anything, but I got it for $5 from Game Stop and got every cent out of playing it.

I liked it, even tho it was a pos... (0)

Grog6 (85859) | about 10 months ago | (#44015147)

The gameplay was pieced together from whatever scraps were laying around, glued together kinda.

The multiplayer was so laggy, it sucked on lan, lol.

Using a dedicated server, decent gameplay was possible, but barely.

It really sux compared to Crysis3 @ 5700x1200, lol.

Re:I liked it, even tho it was a pos... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44026909)

lol

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (2)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#44011503)

I don't understand the hate for this game. I thought it was great. Other than the regenerating health, it was a retro corridor shooter with plenty of pointless political incorrectness, weapons that would have been a cool follow-on to Quake 2, and monster truck driving. What else did anyone expect?

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (2)

dunezone (899268) | about 10 months ago | (#44011963)

Its a game that if it came out in 2001, I think it could have been up there as game of the year. I mean look at this trailer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDlB2P1leRM [youtube.com]

If the game came out in 2005, it would have struggled to keep up with other FPS games but it could have contended.

But coming out in 2011 was six years too late. The final product felt like it came from 2005 and no later. I bought Duke Nukem Forever for a $10 in 2012, if I had paid $60 at launch for it, I would have been pissed because the game was not worth more than $10.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 10 months ago | (#44012691)

Hahah, the sheer number of things ripped off from Half-Life in that trailer...

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 10 months ago | (#44014365)

In that trailer, the facial animations in the in-game cutscenes are surprisingly good for the time.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#44023259)

I see it the other way. In 2005 it would have been 'meh'. But by the time it actually came out it was retro - it was the only shooter I enjoyed that year. But I like corridor shooters better than Metal of Duty Solid, or whatever, and enjoyed the juvenile sense of humor throughout. Come to think of it, I should go play the DLC.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 10 months ago | (#44012341)

What else did anyone expect?

I expected (and waited over a full decade) for a true, worthy successor to Duke Nukem 3D.
Duke Nukem Forever, unfortunately, wasn't it.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#44023271)

Fair point. Never really played 3D--except I guess the boss fight that was the opening of DNF--so I wasn't comparing the movie to the book.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (2)

thygate (1590197) | about 10 months ago | (#44011641)

DNF was fun to play through once, but has absolutely no re-playability imo.Go get Saints Row 4 !

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (3)

Sowelu (713889) | about 10 months ago | (#44011669)

Life is pretty darn short to worry about replayability. If you wait to buy games until they've gotten cheap, and they're fun the first time through, does it really matter if you want to play it fifty more times?

Life is pretty darn short to waste on video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44013477)

Life is pretty darn short to waste on video games.

Sorry but its true, and yes the truth hurts. Makes me unpopular, but there it is.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 10 months ago | (#44014063)

Life is pretty darn short to worry about replayability. If you wait to buy games until they've gotten cheap, and they're fun the first time through, does it really matter if you want to play it fifty more times?

well.. does it matter that a movie is shit? if you watched it you already got to spend 2 hours on it. watching shit.

if the game is shit then it is shit. dnf is shit.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (1)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 10 months ago | (#44011781)

Don't bother playing it, it's crap.

Although, if you do play it you should know that taking a crap can get probably result in a boost for your "ego bar".

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (3, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 10 months ago | (#44011991)

The funny thing is... it even makes a Halo joke at an early point in the plot.

As in... Duke Nukem Forever (one of the worst fpses of recent years and a commercial and reputational disaster) takes the piss out of Halo (which, like it or not, is incredibly successful).

Thing is... it's made even worse by the extent to which DNF rips off all the *WORST* parts of Halo. All of those tropes and cliches that Halo introduced that gaming in general could really do without:

- 2-weapon limits (say goodbye to tactical flexibility and hello to "the game's just given me a rocket launcher, guess I have to fight a tank next");

- regenerating health (goodbye tension); and

- hateful protagonist - the old Duke was kind of funny in a horrible way, the new one is just a trash-talking dudebro (much like the Master Chief).

At the same time, it omits the decent stuff from Halo - like the responsive controls (on a console) and the fairly open level design.

See, if they'd wanted to spoof Halo, they should have had the first level put only 2 weapons available. Then you get out of it... and a third weapon is ahead of you. A prompt pops up inviting you to swap one of your existing weapons for the new one. Except when you do so, Duke makes his Halo joke - and picks up a third weapon without dropping one of the ones he already had.

That would have been a proper dig at the hateful conventions introduce by Halo. As it is, it just felt pathetic.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (2)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 10 months ago | (#44012397)

Well said... I pretty much agree. I couldn't pinpoint exactly *what* it was about the new Duke, but he was lacking something. He seemed like less of a badass, trying to be funny so hard that he wasn't. The Halo-style two-weapon limit and automatic health regeneration were also two of the worst things about the game, gameplay-wise. Overall... everything just seemed stale. I couldn't even appreciate the game if it came out in, say, 2006 or so--DNF almost completely lacks what made Duke3D awesome. A game's a game, and the time period it came out (graphics, audio, etc.) doesn't mean shit. The game itself is where it's at, not the technological bling crap. Its predecessor is technically inferior in every way imaginable, but it's still a hell of a lot better to this day.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (2)

sconeu (64226) | about 10 months ago | (#44010921)

I guess we're back to waiting for Daikatana II?

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (2)

WillgasM (1646719) | about 10 months ago | (#44010947)

SC: Ghost

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 10 months ago | (#44011721)

Considering they've confirmed that there's no active development on it at all, considering it vaporware seems inappropriate. Even though they haven't technically cancelled it, it's effectively cancelled, since at this point, they'd need to just about start over anyway if they resumed development on it.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011729)

I hear that's going to be a launch title for the Phantom console.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 10 months ago | (#44011063)

For the current going price it is worth picking up.
For more than $10, you should skip it.

It is cheesy and cheap and honestly not much better/worse than most Duke ever was. People expected much more than they should have. Of course lots of those folks are not even old enough to have played the originals.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (2)

Pinhedd (1661735) | about 10 months ago | (#44011489)

It's the greatest mediocre game of all time.

It's not a bad or broken game in any way, just feels dated. Worth checking out for a few bucks.

Re:Wait, DNF came out? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 10 months ago | (#44013685)

I was honestly surprised reading this headline. Had to go look the game up, I thought it was still never released.

Don't worry. You can go back to sleeep... DNF was never released.

The piece of shit that got released with the title "Duke Nukem Forever"; was not what Duke Nukem Forever was supposed to be.

In other words, they just slapped the title on a piece of bird poop, so more of it would hopefully sell.

After Colonial Marines... (1, Interesting)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about 10 months ago | (#44010893)

Is there a Gearbox game that is NOT controversial?

And don't say Borderlands. *coughccough*codehunters*cough*

Re:After Colonial Marines... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011095)

Is there a Gearbox game that is NOT controversial?

And don't say Borderlands. *coughccough*codehunters*cough*

I think there's a difference here between "controversial" and "sucks". Colonial Marines was the latter. Duke Nukem Forever is heading right for both.

Re:After Colonial Marines... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011511)

There was a lawsuit with SEGA over Colonial Marines. Is that not controversy?

Re:After Colonial Marines... (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 10 months ago | (#44011199)

[After Colonial Marines] Is there a Gearbox game that is NOT controversial?

I'm going to say no, but only because I don't think Gearbox have released any in-house games since Colonial Marines.

Re:After Colonial Marines... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011307)

Bit behind the times there. DNF came out before the oh so wonderful Colon Marines. Both games had similarly troubled developments.

As for the codehunters reference- how can you be so deep in gaming culture as to conjure up a tiny fringe group of kotaku's conspiracy theorist ideas while not even knowing what year DNF was released?

Re:After Colonial Marines... (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 10 months ago | (#44011575)

You do realize that Aliens: Colonial Marines is their latest release, right? So, since they haven't even put out a game, we can say that they haven't released a single uncontroversial game after A:CM, as should be trivially obvious.

But, giving you the benefit of the doubt, let's assume you were asking whether or not they've released an uncontroversial title since the controversy for A:CM began. Since the A:CM controversy first broken in early 2013, that doesn't help you any, but, again, giving you the benefit of the doubt, we can go back to the actions that led to the controversy. Those actions date back to 2008 (though they were not reported for about five years), and since that time they've released a number of Brothers in Arms games, Aliens Infestation, and even a Wii port of Samba de Amigo, and I'm not aware of any controversy with those.

So, it's safe to say that they have either not released any games since A:CM's controversy, or else they have released a number of uncontroversial games, depending on when you want to define the A:CM controversy as having started.

Re:After Colonial Marines... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011603)

Is there a Gearbox game that is NOT controversial?

And don't say Borderlands. *coughccough*codehunters*cough*

The Wii port of Samba de Amigo, maybe.

It's not the end of a deal gone wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44010977)

... it's the end of a company, kept afloat by sales of one awesome game and overinflated egos, that has been mucking around without any clue for over a decade going wrong.

Somehow it feels as if 3Drealms now becomes the SCO of the games industry. They had something, screwed up, lost everything, and now try to use the courts to grab every straw and every chance to make money they do not deserve.

George Brussard, face it: You had it all and fucked up due to your own incompetence. Suck it up.

Who is developing rise of the triad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011069)

Do i have to wait 30 years for ROT to come out again?

is this 1999 vaporware dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011077)

just wondering

Ahhhh, math... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011079)

Any "agreed upon portion" of 0 is still 0.

DIE GAME DIE (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about 10 months ago | (#44011173)

After hearing news stories about DNF for years and years, thinking it was dead, having it revitalized and release, and then seeing how much crap it actually was...I for one don't want to read another story about it. Seriously, get over it.

Re:DIE GAME DIE (3, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 10 months ago | (#44011805)

Duke Nukem was famous for many different weapon types, common to FPS games.

Then I read "DNF lets you only carry two weapon types at once." Why? Console design.

And I knew it had changed into something else. Other changes others have discusses, all related.

Re:DIE GAME DIE (1)

antek9 (305362) | about 10 months ago | (#44014163)

This is not console design, it is lazy design. They just couldn't bother to add a backpack mechanism like in Borderlands, which is a console game all the same and it lets the player hot swap four weapons at a time. Every (major) console controller has more than enough buttons to allow for a well designed interface.

Previous comments tell me that Bungie introduced this with the Halo series (I never played Halo, so I wouldn't know), Insomniac's Resistance does this as well, so I guess somebody who makes these kinda decisions thought that both these series sold as well as they did BECAUSE of this 'feature', and not in spite of it. My point: if FPS/RPG hybrids like Borderlands and the Fallout series allow you to carry guns, lots of guns with you at all times within a console game, there is no plausible reason why aforementioned generic FPS games shouldn't. I'm playing both DNF and Resistance 2 right now, and this unnecessary restriction annoys the poo out of me.

advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011245)

Gearbox just spit in an envelope and return.

In my experience (1)

PingXao (153057) | about 10 months ago | (#44011527)

In my experience, when a "Can't Miss" deal like this goes bad, the probability that one side will do something sleazy is directly proportional to how friendly the parties were at the outset.

Deal Gone Wrong, Really? (2)

interval1066 (668936) | about 10 months ago | (#44011599)

Spend 15 years on development of a game that was so over-hyped and rediculously re-designed everytime a new game technology came out, then pushed on the back burner only to be re-animated every so often, promises made and broken over and over? Seriously, who could possibly imagine that someone would sue some one?

Apogee covets profits from Borderlands (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44011977)

Gearbox ripped off Sega big time by taking the contract to develop 'Aliens:Colonial Marines' (A FPS action game) and then using the money to create their own, mega-successful 'Borderlands' games, while farming out the A:CM contract to a developer with a long history of terrible work. Sega has been too embarrassed to sue (and would have to explain why its management of Gearbox permitted this arrangement), but the crooks at Apogee smell blood in the water, and think Gearbox will simply pay Apogee to go away. Big mistake!

Duke Nuke-em Forever was a bigger unnecessary disaster for Apogee than was Postal 3 for Running With Scissors. By this I mean both companies had just one major IP to keep them afloat, masses of willing fans that would buy the next instalment, and the funds to easily create that anticipated game. All either company had to do was turn out a half decent product in a reasonable time frame- child's play.

Unlike Postal 3, Duke Nukem Forever wasn't total trash, just very very mediocre, unremarkable, and insanely late for the quality of game it proved to be. However, Gearbox showed the title far more love than they ever gave to the Aliens game, so Apogee should be more than pleased by Gearbox's unsuccessful attempt to salvage something from the years of wasted work. Indeed, in a sane world, another Duke game would have been put into immediate production to keep the IP alive, but Apogee is far too incompetent to do even this.

In court, Gearbox will have an easy victory (there have been a number of cases like this recently, and all have been lost by the incompetent idiots attempting to extort cash). Meanwhile, Gearbox, after years and years of horribly mediocre work for other people, can now expect Borderlands 3 to both make them a fortune and win even more love from fans of the franchise. If Apogee had had the brains to pay to have someone turn DN into a semi-open world shooter like Borderlands, they too would be rolling in the cash.

I mentioned Postal 3, because Postal 2 was the perhaps the first title on the PC to successfully implement the semi-open world model used in Borderlands (and also used the Unreal engine- albeit an earlier version). Sometimes, companies refuse to even push at an open door, and by doing so proudly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

PS fans of DN know that the biggest mistake made by Apogee was to turn their back on the wonderfully politically incorrect nature of the titular character, and feel embarrassed by the core values of the franchise. One should always listen to fans (you know, the ones whose spending pays for wages) rather than gaming 'journalists' hoping one day to be 'upgraded' to 'proper' publishing.

Re:Apogee covets profits from Borderlands (1)

Cederic (9623) | about 10 months ago | (#44014145)

In court, Gearbox will have an easy victory (there have been a number of cases like this recently, and all have been lost by the incompetent idiots attempting to extort cash).

You must know a lot more about the contract than I do. If the terms dictate that royalties have to be paid, and that Apogee have the right to audit to determine appropriate royalty payments, then they're probably going to win.

It's extortion, it's contractual obligations.

The game being shite is irrelevant, it's the contract terms and numbers sold that matter.

see the movie (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44012717)

this summer coming to a theater near you:

Duke Nukem Forever
It was never meant to live, now it just won't die.

Elementary project management (1)

drolli (522659) | about 10 months ago | (#44014407)

Includes listing the stakeholders in a project very realistically. If you estimate that for a key stakeholder pulling the plug on a positive continuation of some project is cheaper than the continuation, it is risk which can not be ignored.

I work in a consulting company and even the most rudimentary one day course in PM would give you enough skill to deny accepting DNF as a project to manage or even contribute. An incredibly high number of risks with a 100% change of hitting. If sth is 12y late then you can be sure there will be lawsuits and stakeholders scratching out their eyes on the high expectations not realized. My experience says: If software is so late, and nore than one company/team is involved the allegations on whos fault it was get ugly and a random time (e.g. when the revenue gained is sumed up and some manager in one of the teams is held liable), and if there is no expectation on a sucessful colaboration then there is also not hesitation to escalate up to a lawsuit.

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