In this fourth part, I will shred light on what “Really” happened, with Duke Nukem Reloaded. The journey to U.S.A was very interesting, but the result of the Gearbox presentation, was not exactly as expected. We didn’t get a clear answer of what was going to happen with Duke Nukem Reloaded, or what we were going to do next.
When I came back to Denmark, I had a meeting with my team. We quickly made a decision, that we wanted to continue working on the project.
After all, Gearbox were very impressed. So of course the future of Reloaded was secure. Right?
Unfortunately, we were wrong.
A couple of months went, and I had a very hard time communicating with Gearbox. We wanted to get an answer. What was going to happen with the project?
I didnt want my team to keep working on a project, which future wasn’t secure. Once every second week, I reached out for my contact at Gearbox Software, and addressed how important it was to get a conclusion. I had a 30+ man team, standing by.
Every time i would get the same answer:
You will get more info in a week
After the first DNF DLC, we will focus on Duke Reloaded
We will get back to you guys after all 3 DNF DLC packs have been released
After waiting almost 3 months for a definite answer, we were tired of waiting and pushing for an answer.
Gearbox have 100% control over everything related to Duke Nukem. Without their “GO” or a license, you are not allowed to create anything related to Duke Nukem. Gearbox owned everything related to Reloaded, from a legal perspective. So without a definite decision from their part, we couldn’t do anything but wait.
Finally I got a call from Gearbox Software in September. Both Adam Fletcher and their Legal Counsel was participating in the call. I was quite surprised to finally hear from Gearbox Software. And I was looking extremely much forward to an answer of what was going to happen with reloaded.
Unfortunately, the result of the conversation, was not what we were hoping for.
Gearbox Software, told us that Duke Reloaded, had been getting too much attention from the press and the fans.
We were required to pull all media related to Reloaded, from our website and Facebook. We were also told, not to talk about it anymore.
So my primary question was the following: What are we supposed to do now? Just cancel the project? Are you even going to allow us to release it sometime?
I could in NO WAY justify having my team spend so much time on a project like this – Even working full time – On creating what many thought was an even better game than Duke Forever - Without knowing if it was ever going to see the light of the day.
So i asked them one simple question:
Answer me honestly – Were you ever going to plan on letting us release or share media from Reloaded?
The answer i got was shocking:
We can’t give you an answer to that. Ofcourse you can keep working on it, if you want to. But we can’t tell you if we will allow the game to be released.
I did the only reasonable thing i could do, and told them the following:
You know – I have spent a year in total on this project. Ever single day, working full time. For free. And so have most of my team members. I have spent my life savings on this project.
I can in NO way justify having them continue working on this project, if you don’t want to see it getting released. So I’m afraid i have to put the project on hold, until you can give us a definite answer.
Last but not least, I wanted to tell the fans the story of what really happened. I could do that, as long as I made sure it didn’t sound like this was Gearbox’s decision. And yes – Sure it was our own decision to put it on hold. But we were in a position where we were forced to do it.
The following day we wanted to post the news on our website. Gearbox Software wanted to read proof the message, to make sure it didn’t send a bad signal.
I got a message by email, which I was going to post on our website:
After careful consideration of the progress and direction of the project, Interceptor Entertainment has decided to finish Duke Nukem: Reloaded at a future date that is yet to be determined.
Interceptor Entertainment still has the good will and non commercial license provided to us to use the Duke Nukem brand for our creative ambitions. We hope to resume that work again when the time is right.
In the interim, please know that the praise and support we received for our efforts has been both overwhelming and appreciated. Interceptor Entertainment looks forward to revisiting the DNR project in the future, along with several other new, creative pursuits. Our fans can rest assured: We are going to focus our efforts on exciting endeavors and we welcome the challenges that await us!
With sincere gratitude to our fans for their incredible support,
And that was the end of the Duke Nukem Reloaded project.
So what happened next? The following months everything changed drastically. A lot of amazing things happened, which put us in a much better position, than when were working with Gearbox. Today we are an established studio, working on 2 commercial AAA titles, and things have never been better.
Check out the last and final part of the story, in the next blog!