Fight fight fight. Kiss kiss kiss.
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On May 9, we shared some news that a 2001 build of Duke Nukem Forever was leaking media across the Internet. That build is supposedly going to be released in June. The story really doesn't end there though.

When news started to circulate about this Duke Nukem Forever leak, Duke Nukem co-creator George Broussard said on Twitter that the leak sure looked like the real deal. He also said that he wasn't really keen on talking more about it or "retreading a painful past." It now seems Broussard's hand was forced to talk about that painful past.

Some quick back story for you: 3D Realms was originally named Apogee Software. Apogee Software was founded in 1987. George Broussard and Scott Miller were co-owners of Apogee Software. In 1996, Apogee changed their name to 3D Realms and sold the Apogee Software name and logo to Terry Nagy in 2008. Nagy later reorganized Apogee Software to Apogee Entertainment in 2021 and focused on game publishing. Apogee Entertainment hired former Apogee Software founder, Scott Miller, in 2021. In August 2021, 3D Realms was acquired by Embracer Group through Saber Interactive.

To say that both Scott Miller and George Broussard have some measure of knowledge on what happened during Duke Nukem Forever's long and troubled development would be a bit of an understatement.

With this all said, that brings us to this week's news and the leak of the 2001 build of Duke Nukem Forever. Earlier in the day on May 10, Scott Miller wrote a short blog entry on the Apogee Entertainment website. He claims that what he shares is "The Truth About DNF" and here is a bit of what he said.

DNF is the game that destroyed 3D Realms and ended up getting the company sold to an investor in Denmark (where it's still based). While our games like Max Payne and Prey were keeping the company afloat, DNF was a constant money pit for the company and eventually killed the original 3D Realms/Apogee.

IMO, while I was not part of the DNF project, as a company owner I had some good insight into the issues with the game's development.
  • We were always understaffed by at least 50%.
  • We did not have a good development roadmap (at least, I never once saw one), and instead the project was adlibbed too much.
  • Because of the game's slow development, when new 3D technology became available, the project--in effect--rebooted to make use of the newest tech causing massive delays over and over.
I recognized that DNF was in deep trouble back in 2004 and tried to get the entire game developed by a more experienced studio, Digital Extremes (now famous for Warframe). The owner there was eager to take over DNF from us, and we even had the blessing of our publisher at the time (Take-Two), but this idea was shot down internally. It turned out to be a fatal suicide shot.

In the end we worked out a deal to somehow barely save the project with Gearbox Software, and basically handed over the future of the Duke brand to them with the idea that they'd finish the game. A year or so later, it was released.
While this is most certainly an interesting read, not everyone seems eager to agree with what Miller said. One of those people is, you guessed it, George Broussard. Broussard voiced his opinion on Miller and his blog post in a couple of tweets made in the early evening hours of May 10.

Scott's a clueless narcissist whose actions are what led to the Gearbox suits/friction that led to us losing 3DR & the Duke IP. Mind blowing the nonsense he spews. Not surprising due to his depth of manipulation and narcissism. Least I've had the class to keep thoughts private.

I have *so* much more to say on this having known him since high school in the 70s. You can just see how he uses opportunity to try to make himself look better tossing an ex friend (of 40+ years) and biz partner under a bus. Def a guy you wanna do business with!
It certainly seems clear from Broussard's response that there is no love lost between these two former business partners.