Remembering The Fallen Apogee Games/3D Realms (Part 2)

Hello everyone.  Today is Sunday, which means another week of Remembering the Fallen.

If you didn’t catch us last week, we reviewed how Apogee Games became so popular, and the origins of the 3D Realms name.

Apogee really started to come into its own when it published Wolfenstein 3D for iD Software.  Before, all the side-scrolling games it had in its arsenal were successful, but this was by far Apogee’s best seller so far, and it is widely regarded as the first first-person shooter.  iD Software followed up Wolfenstein 3D with Doom, which also proved to be hugely successful and cemented first-person shooters in the game industry.   However, iD and Apogee had a falling out, so longer had a stock of FPS games available for them to publish.  They would have to make their own.  So 3D Realms set to work on creating their own 3D game.

They resurrected a colorful character from Apogee’s sidescrolling days.  That character would be Duke Nukem.  They programmed this title, now known as Duke Nukem 3D, in the Build engine, which was developed by Ken Silverman, a who was just 18 at the time.  In January of 1996, Duke Nukem 3D was released to the masses.  And boy, were they surprised.
Duke Nukem was a colorful character whose overly macho appearance appealed to the gamer demographic.  Although the game was filled with controversy, mostly because of  the excessive violence and nudity.    But, as anyone who has played Modern Warfare 2 knows, controversy sells.  And boy, did Duke Nukem 3D sell.

The extreme success of Duke Nukem 3D would have two major impacts on 3D realms

  1. 3D Realms had set the bar extremely high for itself, for Duke Nukem, and for every other developer out there.
  2. They had raked in boatloads of cash.

These two effects would lead to the downfall of 3D Realms

Tune back next week for some of 3D Realms other titles, and what lead to their their downfall.

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