3D Realms Entertainment ApS

Moby ID: 271

  • 3D Realms Entertainment, Inc. (from 1994-07 to 2014-03-03)

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In 1994, Apogee Software, Ltd. created a new division, 3D Realms Entertainment, with the goal of developing 3D action games.

3D Realms' first title, Terminal Velocity (1995), developed by Dallas-area developer Terminal Reality, was an arcade-style, fast-paced fully 3D futuristic flight combat game. This was the first shareware game to get on the cover of a major gaming magazine (the now-defunct Computer Game Player). Next came Duke Nukem 3D (1996), the first 3D installment in the series.

Financially, 3D Realms was able to self-fund internal development of entire projects. In fact, 3D Realms has never had a game budget or used a spreadsheet for budget planning - they only had expense tracking.

Originally, Action Entertainment's 3D games were going to be published under the Apogee name. However, in late August of 1994, 3D Realms was born, and the four next-generation 3D games that Action had under production - Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Blood (eventually published by GT Interactive) and Ruins: Return of the Gods (later cancelled), all of which used the Build engine - moved under the 3D Realms label.

After their successes in the 1990s, the company would produce titles developed by other companies, most notably the first two Max Payne titles and Prey (2006). Meanwhile, they were developing Duke Nukem Forever in-house, the process of which became infamously long and troubled.

On 6 May 2009, amid financial difficulties, the company laid off its development team. In September 2010, Gearbox Software picked up the development of Duke Nukem Forever and published it on 9 June 2011, with the development cycle totaling at an unprecedented 15 years. The Duke Nukem IP would also eventually be sold to Gearbox Software.

On 3 March 2014, the company was acquired by the Danish investment firm SDN Invest, and became the publishing-oriented sister company to Interceptor Entertainment (today Slipgate Ironworks) and moved to Aalborg, Denmark. The CEO position was taken by Frederik Schreiber, while Scott Miller was initially an advisor before fully moving to the relaunched Apogee Entertainment by 2021.

While 3D Realms has since focused on internally developed games, it would (co-)publish third-party AA and indie projects, such as Cultic and Ripout. Since the success of Ion Fury, the company started the annual event Realms Deep, where it would not only showcase in-development projects, but focus on spotlighting independent productions by smaller teams and the community of the so-called "boomer shooter" games.

On 5 August 2021, the company was acquired by Saber Interactive, a subsidiary of the Embracer Group.

Credited on 95 Games from 1995 to 2023

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Kingpin: Reloaded (2023 on Windows)
The Complete Kingpin (2023 on Windows)
Duke Nukem 1+2 Remastered / Duke Nukem 3D: Total Meltdown (2023 on Evercade)
The Kindeman Remedy (2023 on Windows)
Ripout (2023 on Windows)
Ion Fury + Aftershock (2023 on Linux, Windows)
Cultic: Chapter One (2022 on Windows)
Graven (2021 on Windows)
Ghostrunner (2020 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Ion Fury (Physical Edition) (2020 on Linux, Windows, PlayStation 4...)
Wrath: Aeon of Ruin (2019 on Windows)
Ion Fury (Big Box Edition) (2019 on Linux, Windows)
Ion Fury (Founders Edition) (2019 on Linux, Windows)
ZIQ (2018 on Macintosh, Windows)
Graveball (2018 on Windows)
Ion Fury (2018 on Linux, Windows, PlayStation 4...)
Rad Rodgers (2018 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)
Surfatron (2018 on iPhone, Android, iPad)
Rad Rodgers: World One (2016 on Windows)
Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour (2016 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One...)

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History +

August 5, 2021

Company acquired by Saber Interactive.

March 3, 2014

The company SDN Invest, then part-owner of Interceptor Entertainment, purchased 3D Realms. Since then, 3D Realms has acted as a publishing-oriented sister company to the development-oriented Interceptor.

May 6, 2009

Company fires its entire development staff due to lack of funding, in the middle of the prolonged development of Duke Nukem Forever.


3D Realms hires Human Head Studios to finish development of their once-cancelled 3D shooter, Prey. They chose Human Head because 3D Realms' vice president and producer, George Broussard, was quite impressed by their third-person "slasher", Rune.


3D Realms' long-in-development 3D shooter, Prey, is cancelled. The cancellation was mostly due to problems with their in-house "Portal" technology that was to be used with the game. Many members of the Prey team had left 3D Realms, which also hindered development before the game was finally cancelled.

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