3D Realms

3D Realms

Infobox Company
company_name = 3D Realms
company_
company_type = Private
foundation = 1987
location_city = Garland, Texas
location_country = United States
key_people = Scott Miller
George Broussard
industry = Interactive entertainment
slogan = Reality is our game
products =
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees = 30 [cite web |url=http://www.3drealms.com/gethired.html |title=3D Realms Site: Get Hired |accessdate=2008-06-23 |work= |date= ] - 35 [cite web |url=http://jobs.gamasutra.com/jobseekerx/ViewCompanyProfile.asp?CompanyProfileID=2113 |title=Gamasutra - Company profile, 3D Realms |accessdate=2008-06-23 |work= |date= ]
homepage = [http://www.3drealms.com/ www.3drealms.com]

3D Realms (legal name Apogee Software, Ltd.) is the name of a video and computer game producer (not publisher) and developer based in Garland, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, established in 1987. It is best known for popularizing the shareware distribution model and as the creator of franchises on the PC such as "Duke Nukem", and also the publisher of other franchises such as "Commander Keen" and "Wolfenstein 3D".

While the company is now known as "3D Realms", the legal name of the company is still Apogee Software, Ltd. The name "3D Realms" was initially created as a branding label in July 1994 for use by Apogee which would be dedicated to just 3D games (as Apogee was then known for several styles of games). However, shortly after this, 3D games started to dominate the industry, and Apogee decided to direct their focus on this style of game, and as such, the Apogee name was eventually abandoned as a public marketing name in late 1996. [cite web |url=http://www.3drealms.com/profile.html |title=3D Realms Site: Corporate Profile |accessdate=2008-07-03 |work= |publisher=3D Realms |date= |quote=3D Realms Entertainment and Pinball Wizards are divisions of Apogee, set up as alias (d/b/a) names.] In July 2008, however, they announced that the brand Apogee Software will be revived with new games on the mobile platform, but licenced to an external company, "Apogee Software, LLC". [cite web |url=http://kotaku.com/5024833/apogee-return-to-feast-on-the-living-and-duke-nukem|title=Apogee Return To Feast On The Living (And Duke Nukem)|publisher=Kotaku|accessdate=2008-07-14]

Background

Apogee started in 1987 with the release of Scott Miller's "Kingdom of Kroz", which used crude extended ASCII characters as graphics. Nevertheless, the game sold quite well and Apogee was born. In 1991 George Broussard joined the company as co-owner, bringing with him several games of his that were previously released under the name Micro F/X. Miller and Broussard run the company to this day.

Apogee published games by other developers in addition to its own in-house titles. One of these developers, id Software, contributed to Apogee's success with games such as "Commander Keen" and "Wolfenstein 3D", but later severed their ties with Apogee with their release of "Doom" in 1993 (although in its earliest stages, "Doom" was still an Apogee title).

hareware and the Apogee Model

Unlike traditional larger publishers that sold games in retail outlets, Apogee (like many independent developers) sold their products using the shareware method, depending mostly on BBSs, such as Software Creations, for distribution of their software.

Initial Apogee games (Beyond the Titanic and Supernova) were distributed as traditional shareware; that is, giving away the full game for free, and asking the customer to pay for it if he/she liked it. Upon registering, the customer would be able to receive support and help for the game. However, this marketing model did not prove to be profitable enough, so Apogee decided to implement a variation on the shareware model. Starting with Kingdom of Kroz, Apogee would provide the first installment of a game composed of several episodes (usually three) for free (as shareware), and sell the remaining installments by mail order. Registering the first episode would also enable the customer to receive support for that game, as well as giving them cheat codes for it. This method became known as the "Apogee Model". Initially, each episode of a game was sold separately, with discounts for buying all the episodes together. Later games did not offer the option to buy a specific episode; the customer could play the shareware version (first episode) for free, and buy the full registered version (all episodes) if they liked the game. The former model has some similarities with the episodic model currently used by some game companies.

Apogee's commercial success led to the widespread adoption of the shareware model (and most of the time, the specific Apogee Model) by other major publishers such as Capstone, Parallax Software, id Software, Activision, and Epic Megagames, and also led to a growth of Software Creations BBS, which would become the largest BBS in North America. Apogee later moved to the traditional retail model through distributors like GT Interactive; however, it still offers its earlier titles via shareware.

Apogee to 3D Realms

With the original intent to create a division for every genre of game Apogee produced, the two brand names 3D Realms (formed in July 1994) and the now disused Pinball Wizards were created. Instead of publishing every game under Apogee as it had been in the past, the goal of this strategy was to create a different brand for each type of game genre, making each new game identifiable based on which brand it belonged to. This would enable Apogee to target different markets.

However, many of those varied genres such as platform or scrolling shooter (that were much of Apogee's early releases) were slowly dying out in the late 1990s, which made this strategy unnecessary. In addition, due to the increasingly lengthy development time in producing a game title, video game publishers were no longer releasing titles at the rapid rate at which they once were.

3D Realms was created in 1994 for the 3-D title "Terminal Velocity" and is responsible for the latest installments of the successful "Duke Nukem" games and for producing the "Max Payne" series (earlier 3D games like "Rise of the Triad" were released under the Apogee name). The Pinball Wizards name was created for the 1998 pinball title "Balls of Steel" but has not been used since.

The last game to be published under the Apogee name was "Stargunner" in 1996. Since 1998, all the company's games have been using a 3D engine (even if the gameplay is 2D, like in ). As a result, 3D Realms has replaced Apogee as the brand name to publish games under. Also, by the end of the 1990s, Apogee felt their brand name was more associated with old, outdated games and adopted the 3D Realms brand for all future releases.Fact|date=February 2008 When the 3D Realms name was first conceived, the official motto was "Reality is our Game". That motto is no longer used and there is no official motto.

Current state and products

The most recent success the company was associated with was "Prey", a game released July 11 2006 after being stuck in development hell for 11 years.

The other major project that 3D Realms has been working on is "Duke Nukem Forever", the upcoming sequel to "Duke Nukem 3D". It was announced in 1997 and as of 2008 is still in development. The official release date of "Forever" is "when it's done." [ [http://www.3drealms.com/duke4/ 3D Realms Site: Duke Nukem Forever] . 3D Realms. Retrieved January 13, 2007.] During this period, some outside developers have developed and published "Duke Nukem" spinoffs.

3D Realms has mentioned that "Duke Nukem Forever" and a sequel of "Prey" are intended to be released in a near future. [http://www.firingsquad.com/features/3d_realms_interview/ Firing Squad: 3D Realms Interview] . Firing Squad. Retrieved February 19, 2007.]

3D Realms has stated that it will not support Nintendo's Wii video game system.Fact|date=October 2008 In a blog post, Scott Miller stated that he believed the system would be a "distant third" among seventh generation video game consoles behind the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and that the system would be Nintendo's last. [Casamassina, Matt. [http://wii.ign.com/articles/683/683176p1.html "3D Realms CEO on Revolution"] . IGN. January 24, 2006.]

Games

Under Apogee Software

Developer
* 1986 – "Beyond the Titanic"
* 1986 – "Block Five"
* 1986 – "Diamond Digger" (aka "Raiders of the Forbidden Mine" and "Gold Miner")
* 1986 – "Maze Machine"
* 1986 – "Maze Runner" (aka "Rogue Runner")
* 1987 – "Kroz series"
* 1987 – "Supernova"
* 1988 – "Night Bomber"
* 1988 – "The Thing"
* 1988 – "Trek Trivia"
* 1988 – "Word Whiz"
* 1989 – "Meteors" (aka "Asteroid Rescue")
* 1990 – "Phrase Master"
* 1991 – "Arctic Adventure"
* 1991 – "Crystal Caves"
* 1991 – "Duke Nukem"
* 1992 – "Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure"
* 1992 – "Secret Agent"
* 1993 – "Bio Menace"
* 1993 – "Duke Nukem II"
* 1993 – "Major Stryker"
* 1993 – "Monster Bash"
* 1994 – "Rise of the Triad"
* 1995 – "Realms of Chaos"
* 1996 – "Stargunner"
* 2009 – "Duke Nukem Trilogy (PSP & DS game)

Publisher/Producer
* 1988 – "Trivia Whiz" – Micro F/X Software
* 1988 – "" – Micro F/X Software
* 1989 – "The Thor Trilogy" – Scenario Software
* 1990 – "Pharaoh's Tomb" – Micro F/X Software
* 1990 – "Monuments of Mars" – Scenario Software
* 1990 – "Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons" – id Software
* 1991 – "Dark Ages" – Scenario Software
* 1991 – "Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy!" – id Software
* 1991 – "Paganitzu" – Trilobyte
* 1991 – "Jumpman Lives!" – Shamusoft Designs
* 1992 – "Wolfenstein 3D" – id Software
* 1992 – "Word Rescue" – Redwood Games
* 1992 – "Math Rescue" – Redwood Games
* 1993 – "Alien Carnage" (aka "Halloween Harry") – SubZero Software
* 1993 – "" – JAM Productions
* 1994 – "" – JAM Productions
* 1994 – "Boppin'" – Accursed Toys
* 1994 – "Hocus Pocus" – Moonlite Software
* 1994 – "Mystic Towers" – Animation F/X
* 1994 – "" – Mountain King Studios
* 1994 – "Wacky Wheels" – Beavis Soft
* 1995 – "" – Argo Games
* 1996 – "Death Rally" – Remedy Entertainment

Cancelled Projects
* "The Underground Empire of Kroz"
*"Dino Days"
*"Gateworld"
*""
*"Fantasy 3D"
*"Cybertank 3D"
*"Tubes"
*"BoulderDash 5000"
*"Nuclear Nightmare"
*"Angels Five"
*"The Second Sword"
*"Wards of Wandaal"
* "Doom" – Was supposed to be published by Apogee, but a discussion with id Software (developer of Doom) finished with the conclusion that Apogee would no longer publish any games of id. [ [http://www.3drealms.com/news/2006/05/the_apogee_legacy_19.html 3D Realms Apogee Legacy Interviews: John Romero] ]
*"Megaloman"
*"Tom, Dick, and Harry"Fact|date=February 2008 – Was actually a game written by Chris Nurse and produced by Andrew Amess of Transend Ltd which was a shareware company in the U.K. that sold all Apogee games and was the U.K. distributor of DOOM. Tom, Dick and Harry was offered to Apogee but never reached the market as Transend Ltd closed down.
*"Violent Vengeance"
*"Descent"
*"Monster Bash VGA"cite web|url=http://rinkworks.com/apogee/s/2.5.shtml |title=The Apogee FAQ|accessdate=2007-06-10]
*"Crazy Baby"
*"Fumes"
*"Crystal Carnage"
*"Pitfall (PC version)"
*"Ravager"
*"Cyberpunk Kid"
* "Duke Nukem Forever (scroll game)" – Was a side scroll game Apogee intended to do but later cancelled (not related to ).

Under Pinball Wizards

Publisher/Producer
* 1997 – "Balls of Steel" – Wildfire Studios

Under 3D Realms

Developer
* 1996 – "Duke Nukem 3D"
* 1997 – "Shadow Warrior"

Publisher/Producer
* 1995 – "Terminal Velocity" – Terminal Reality
* 1997 – "Duke Nukem 64" – Eurocom
* 1997 – "Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown" – Aardvark Software
* 1998 – "" – N-Space
* 1999 – "" – Eurocom
* 1999 – "Duke Nukem (Game Boy Color)" – Torus Games
* 2000 – "" – N-Space
* 2001 – "Max Payne" – Remedy Entertainment
* 2002 – "" – ARUSH Entertainment/Sunstorm Interactive
* 2003 – "Duke Nukem Advance" – Torus Games
* 2003 – "" – Remedy Entertainment
* 2004 – "Duke Nukem Mobile" – Machine Works Northwest/Tapwave
* 2005 – "Duke Nukem Mobile II: Bikini Project" – Machine Works Northwest
* 2005 – "Duke Nukem Mobile 3D" – Machine Works Northwest
* 2006 – "Prey" – Human Head Studios

Announced Projects
* – "Duke Nukem Forever (DNF)"

Cancelled Projects
* "" – A 3D game using the Build engine, it was sold to Playmates Interactive and retitled "Exhumed" (Powerslave in the US).
* "Blood" – The game was supposed to be developed and/or produced by 3D Realms, but the rights were sold to Monolith Productions, who finished the game, which was published by GT Interactive. [ [http://www.3drealms.com/press/bloodsale.html 3D Realms: Press Release: 3D Realms sells the rights to Blood] ]
* "" Fact|date=January 2008
* "Duke Nukem: D-Day" – Was to be developed by N-Space. Fact|date=February 2007
* "Earth No More" – Transferred over to Radar Group. [http://uk.games.ign.com/articles/860/860395p1.html Radar Group Announced] , "IGN", March 18, 2008, Accessed March 26, 2008]
* "Prey 2" – Transferred over to Radar Group.

References

External links

* [http://www.3drealms.com/ Official Web site]
* [http://www.3drealms.com/tech/allgames.html Complete list of games Apogee/3DR has been involved with]
* [http://www.mobygames.com/company/3d-realms-entertainment "3D Realms"] profile on MobyGames
* [http://www.mobygames.com/company/apogee-software-ltd "Apogee Software, Ltd."] at MobyGames
* [http://www.apogee1.com/history.html Company Release Date Timeline]
* [http://rinkworks.com/apogee/ The Apogee FAQ]
* [http://www.apogeecentral.tk/ Apogee Central]


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