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The Duke Nukem/3D Realms conspiracy debunked

by Steven Williamson on 13 May 2009, 09:31

Tags: Shoot 'em up

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Conspiracy, they cry! The latest speculation to hit the Internet regarding the 3D Realms/Duke Nukem Saga is that it's all one big conspiracy and that the closure of the studio and the mass of leaked assets that has hit the net since that announcement are all part of a clever marketing ploy.

Surely not?

The conspiracy appears to have been started by a regular Redditor (that's a person who writes regularly on the social news website Reddit apparently,) who makes a decent point when he writes:

Apparently, we're supposed to believe that 3DRealms has been sitting on all this kickass footage that could have been used to generate HUGE amounts of buzz... and yet did absolutely nothing with it, even as their company was falling apart from beneath them, just a few months after announcing (again) that DNF was about to be released.

To further compound his theory he cites that a website entitled SaveDukeNuikem.com was registered anonymously the day before 3D Realms shut down. The conspiracy theory has grown legs over the last 24 hours and many conspirators are now crying "foul play?" Could this really be a deliberate ploy to hype a game that fans have been waiting an eternity for?

The Redditor appears to have a good argument when he writes:

You tell me which scenario sounds more likely:

A)3DRealms is staffed by a bunch of idiots who neglected to make use of all kinds of PR material lying around and instead let their company crumble, and in the meantime, this Jeff Shenk guy is SO goddamn smart that the very instant he heard the first rumor that 3DRealms was closing, he went off and registered SaveDukeNukem.com just in case. And put up a "stay tuned..." message just for the hell of it...

Or B)This was all a gigantic P.R. stunt to manipulate the players and the fans with a fake "closure," release tons of footage to restore goodwill, and then to create a fake grassroots "Save Duke!" campaign... all organized by the ad men with the goal of fucking with the heads of you and me.

I think it seems pretty obvious which one is more likely.


It was a nice theory and would have been one the greatest (and longest) marketing campaigns in gaming history if it had have been true, but it appears to be totally wrong.

First up, if it was true then 3D Realms staff were also hidden from the truth, lied to in fact, about the fake closure of its studio by those in higher power. Why would a number of their staff now be actively looking for work with other studios? A number of people have stepped forward to confirm this. including a poster who claims that "George Broussard has been writing LinkedIn recommendations for former employees."

Furthermore, the SaveDukeNukem site has now gone live (yesterday it just brandished the words 'Coming Soon') and shows that it's just a site that was purchased by a guy hoping to gather donations and raise enough money to buy the IP. In fact, the owner of the website has now come forward. Posting on Reddit he writes:

I'll be the first to admit that the idea is not well thought out yet. However, judging by the traffic the site has received in the last couple days - and the ensuing hubub here on Reddit - it seems it's time to do something sooner rather than later.

No, I don't expect everyone to rush out and donate money. I'm planning to put a voting page up on the site and ask people what they want to do with the donations collected - the initial idea was to collect money to purchase the IP; now I'm realizing that was probably pretty foolish judging by the $5MM-$30MM figures being thrown around recently. My initial thought when I saw they were closing their doors is that the IP might be available for something under $1MM. Boy was I naive. If the collective wisdom is just to donate the money to the developers who lost their jobs, then that is fine too. I will be attempting to contact them in the next day or two to get their input. If they choose to donate that money to charity, then that's fine with me.

Again, I never expected the site to explode over the last couple days. I guess people monitor web site domain registrations a lot more closely than I anticipated.

Excellent, so one dude created the conspiracy theory, it seems.

But why the influx of Duke Nukem assets all of sudden? Someone obviously wants people to notice the work that's gone into its development so far? Perhaps those who have lost their jobs wanted to leak assets into the public domain to simply raise hype in the hope that another studio re-hires them to continue their project. Until those who have leaked these screenshots, renders and plotlines step forward we won't know the exact truth. All we can be sure of is 3D Realms has definitely shut down and Duke Nukem Forever is once again looking extremely likely to never see the light the of day.

Source :: Reddit


HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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Surely ‘debunking’ the conspiracy is the first thing they'd want you to do? ;)
It could be a double bluff. It hurts my head.
Could all of the recent leaked assets be part of one gargantuan conspiracy theory?

i guess if someone creates a conspiracy theory about all the leaked assets then it WOULD be part of one…?
jesus
Swear word warning!!!

in the scenario b, last line, under You tell me which scenario sounds more likely