Duke Nukem Wiki

Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded, formerly known as Duke Nukem Next-Gen, was a first-person shooter fan project that was officially sanctioned for non-commercial development. The project was first announced on the Gearbox Software forums on October 13, 2010 and was intended to be a next-generation reimagining of the 1996 game, Duke Nukem 3D.

The project was headed by Frederik Schreiber, who would later become the CEO of 3D Realms. The video game studio Interceptor Entertainment (later renamed Slipgate Ironworks) was launched initially as a volunteer effort specifically to work on the game.

Production entered an indefinite hiatus in September 2011.

On December 31, 2022, x0r_jmp publicly released a build that was last updated in September 2011, likely corresponding to the final working version of the game before it was put on hold. Although a previous prototype was leaked in 2012 and successfully scrubbed from the Internet, the x0r_jmp prototype is still widely available to download and may remain so, given subsequent legal developments.



In Fall 2010, Frederik Schreiber posted to the Gearbox Software forums screenshots from Duke Nukem 3D levels that he had, in his spare time, recreated in Unreal Engine 3. The screenshots were quickly circulated on other gaming websites and briefly went viral.

In response to overwhelmingly positive feedback on his screenshots, Schreiber proposed assembling a team to recreate all of Duke Nukem 3D in Unreal Engine 3. At the time, Schreiber was an up-and-coming entrepreneur who had just won a startup competition in Denmark for an accessories company he founded in 2007, but he also had an academic background in Integrated Digital Media and possessed exactly the skillset needed to develop video games.

Non-commercial authorization

In an attempt to obtain official permission to develop a Duke Nukem 3D remake, Schreiber first contacted Gearbox Software, who told him to contact George Broussard and Scott Miller at 3D Realms.

When he spoke with 3D Realms, the proof-of-concept screenshots were enough to convince Scott Miller of the project's merits, but Miller informed Schreiber that the game would also require approval from the publishers at Take-Two Interactive.

Schreiber initially had difficulty reaching anyone at Take-Two Interactive who would listen to his proposal, so he again contacted Gearbox Software, hoping they would have a better relationship with Take-Two Interactive than 3D Realms.

Schreiber's contacts at Gearbox Software were ultimately able to connect him with PJ Putnam, Vice President and General Counsel of Gearbox Software. Putnam was able to secure Schreiber a "personal non-commercial license" to develop a Duke Nukem game.

Having obtained the necessary legal clearings to proceed, Schreiber officially announced the game on October 13, 2010 under the title Duke Nukem Next-Gen. Schreiber also stated that a small team had been assembled to build the game. This small team would later become known as Interceptor Entertainment.

First year of development

On November 4, 2010, the game was officially renamed Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded.

When asked about a release date, Schreiber would only say "when it's done". However, Interceptor Entertainment also shared plans for an early-access period during which community members could test the game and provide feedback during development, with the first multiplayer demo coming "sooner than you think".

Production hold

After Duke Nukem Forever was published in 2011, production of Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded entered an indefinite hiatus as of September 24, 2011. According to a blog post by Schreiber, Gearbox Software became concerned about reputational damages related to press coverage that favorably contrasted the fan project with Duke Nukem Forever. As a result, Gearbox Software informed his team that they could continue to develop the game but could no longer be guaranteed legal clearance to release it.

Gearbox Software publicly reversed its stance in a July 2013 press statement, but by that time, Interceptor Entertainment had already progressed to commercially viable projects. In fact, one of their first commercial projects, Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, triggered a multiyear lawsuit with Gearbox Software that soured relations between the two companies, making it unlikely that Gearbox Software would continue to support the production or distribution of Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded in any capacity. Even if production were to resume, Unreal Engine 3 has become completely obsolete since the project started, yet Schreiber's entire vision for the project was built around the idea of a "next-generation reimagining" of Duke Nukem 3D.


In Fall 2012, a beta version of Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded was leaked online. However, it was quickly removed and successfully scrubbed from the Internet for over a decade.

It is unclear whether legal pressure to remove the first leaked prototype came from Gearbox Software or Interceptor Entertainment, but multiple developments in the years since the initial leak would make it much less clear whether subsequent leaks might face similar legal pushback (See Production hold above).

On December 31, 2022, x0r_jmp released a build that was last updated in September 2011, likely corresponding to the final working version of the game before it was put on hold that same month. To date, the prototype remains freely available to download.


External links