Apogee Software, the parent company of developer 3D Realms, has revealed that publisher Take-Two had a second Duke Nukem game in development at the same time as Duke Nukem Forever, dubbed Duke Begins.

Set to be published under the 2K Games label, Duke Begins was to be finished by mid-2010 and though a developer hasn't been named Apogee has said that it would have been handed to a very well-known team. Unfortunately though, according to paperwork obtained by Voodoo Extreme, development of Duke Begins was suspended in April 2009.

The news of the second game has surfaced as part of the lawsuit Take-Two is waging on 3D Realms in an effort to recoup funding that was put into the DNF project, which was cancelled after more than a decade of on-going development.

3D Realms is now alleging that Take-Two started work on the second title to restrict the funding for 3D Reams and that, without being able to get funding from sales, 3D Realms would have always been unable to pay back the USD $2.5 million of funding they got from Take-Two in October 2007 - which is when Duke Begins was first planned. 3D Realms also claims that Take-Two would then be able to buy up the rights to Duke Nukem at a fraction of the true worth.

It's also been revealed that, on top of the money provided by the publisher, 3D Realms poured more than USD $20 million of private fund into the development of Duke Nukem Forever. To put all that into perspective and as Eurogamer points out, Halo 3 cost only USD $30 million to develop and all of that cost was footed by Microsoft.

Despite the rumours that Duke Nukem Forever will never see release though, 3D Realms claims it is still working on Duke Nukem Forever even though nearly all staff have been laid off. Take-Two has alleged that this can only be possible because 3D Realms has a substantial amount of money hidden away in off-shore bank accounts, though 3D Realms have refuted that allegation.

So, in the words of Papa Lazaru; "This is just a saga now.". Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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