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Duke Nukem 3D: Hail to the King Collection is a canceled compilation of Android ports that was being developed by Voidpoint. The compilation was advertised in a January 2015 teaser trailer and was slated for launch in the Google Play Store in Q1 the same year. The compilation was canceled in response to mounting legal pressure concerning the legitimacy of Voidpoint's license to use the Duke Nukem intellectual property.

Overview

The Hail to the King Collection was built on EDuke32 and would have included the following:

The compilation also featured a touch control scheme, alternate soundtracks, "refined visuals," and support for PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers via Bluetooth.

History

Conception

Voidpoint was founded by Richard "TerminX" Gobeille, the creator and lead programmer of EDuke32, in September 2014. Gobeille recruited other members of his team from the Duke4 forums. For the team's debut project, Gobeille proposed porting EDuke32 and its associated games to Android devices. The collection of ported titles later came to be known as Duke Nukem 3D: Hail to the King Collection. At the time, another Android port of Duke Nukem 3D was already available in the Google Play Store, but the compilation would have also included other closely related games and add-ons that were not yet available for Android devices.

Announcement

Duke Nukem 3D: Hail to the King Collection was first announced on January 29, 2015 via a teaser trailer on the Voidpoint YouTube channel.

Hail_to_the_King_Collection_-_Teaser_Trailer

Hail to the King Collection - Teaser Trailer

The following day, a press release was published in Droid Gamers and Gamasutra. The press release described the compilation as follows:

·  Brand new bundled collection of the PC, N64, and PS1 versions of Duke Nukem 3D and three expansions.
·  Never-before available re-release of Nintendo 64 version ‘Duke Nukem 64’ including redesigned and exclusive levels, censorship, lack of strippers/hookers (if that’s your thing), new weapons, and new enemies.
·  Never-before available re-release of PlayStation version ‘Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown’ featuring the exclusive episode ‘Plug N’ Pray,’ new enemies, and Mark ‘TDK’ Knight’s atmospheric soundtrack.
·  Kick ass on the go with an all-new touch control scheme, or with Bluetooth, PS3, or Xbox 360 controllers.
·  Alternate soundtracks, refined visuals, and more! Duke has never looked so good.

Despite the promise of a Q1 2015 release, there were no widely publicized updates on the project until April 2016. At that point, media outlets began reporting that Voidpoint had been locked in a legal dispute with Gearbox Software, the owners of the Duke Nukem intellectual property.

Legal dispute

Sometime after the August 2015 legal settlement between 3D Realms and Gearbox Software, Voidpoint was informed by Gearbox Software that they did not recognize the legitimacy of Gobeille's license to use the Duke Nukem intellectual property.

Mike Nielsen, CEO of 3D Realms, led Gobeille to believe that the 2015 settlement recognized or would recognize the legitimacy of certain third-party contracts involving 3D Realms and the Duke Nukem intellectual property that they licensed in the period from 2010 to 2015. According to Nielsen, one of these third-party contracts, a 2013 licensing contract that was co-signed by Gobeille, Jonathan Fowler, and Scott Miller, had been reassigned to Gearbox Software in accordance with the settlement. The legal basis for the Hail to the King Collection rested on the legitimacy of that contract.

Taking to Twitter to explain the situation, Randy Pitchford, CEO of Gearbox Software, insinuated that, in order for the contract to be legitimate, it needed to have been signed by 3D Realms prior to the settlement. However, the contract was only ever signed by Scott Miller, who Pitchford seemed to imply had no legal basis for acting on behalf of 3D Realms. Pitchford also stated there were more facts to consider than what 3D Realms was sharing with Gobeille. Because the contents of the 2015 settlement were confidential, Gobeille pressed Gearbox Software for an explanation and was told they would only speak to him through legal counsel. Gobeille hired a lawyer and was able to speak privately with Gearbox Software. For reasons that are unclear, Pitchford accused Gobeille of violating legal confidentiality at some point.

Gobeille threatened legal action against Gearbox Software, but the dispute was ultimately resolved through private correspondence and was never taken to court.

Jordan Palmer, a tech journalist and editor for Android Police, later contacted Gobeille to write a retrospective article on the dispute. Palmer reported that the contract was not voided but rather voidable because Miller lacked legal standing to represent 3D Realms. Therefore, Gearbox Software was able to opt-out of the contract, and they did so voluntarily.

Gearbox Software informed Gobeille that they were not interested in publishing the game because they did not believe a market existed for an Android port of the 90s-era Duke Nukem games. Publicly visible hostilities between the two parties may have also contributed to the compilation's rejection, though Gobeille would later deny that his interactions with Gearbox Software were ever as hostile as many believed.

Cancellation

The compilation was officially canceled in a Duke4 forum post by Gobeille on June 29, 2016. However, he left open the possibility of a significantly limited launch, adding, "I may just do a 'soft' launch of the base port itself for a $1.99 price tag where you provide your own GRP." (A GRP is a file type that is used by all PC-based Duke Nukem games and contains most of the in-game assets.)

In his forum post, Gobeille faulted neither Gearbox Software nor 3D Realms for the cancellation, and he explicitly defended Gearbox Software, Randy Pitchford, and the owners of 3D Realms against cynical accusations.

At the time of its cancellation, Gobeille described the compilation as "on hold at 90-something% completion."

Post-cancellation

To this day, none of the project outputs from Duke Nukem 3D: Hail to the King Collection have been made publicly available.

In 2015, even before the official announcement that the Hail to the King Collection had been canceled, Voidpoint immediately proceeded to work on The Washington Project, which would later come to be known as Ion Fury.

On March 1, 2021, Gobeille was asked in the Duke4 Discord channel about his interactions with Gearbox Software. Reflecting on the legal dispute, he replied:

it was only unfriendly for a bit

tbh they ended up helping me out a lot

I always feel a little conflicted when I see everyone hate on them

External links


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