3D Realms Returns After Five-Year Absence

Brittany Vincent

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Oct 1, 2014
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3D Realms Returns After Five-Year Absence


3D Realms is back in business, releasing a collection of classic titles with the 3D Realms Anthology.

After a five-year hiatus, 3D Realms [https://3drealms.com/] has returned to the world of the living with the announcement of its 3D Realms Anthology collection, featuring 32 games from its storied past.

The enviable collection is DRM-free and on sale [https://3drealms.com/catalog/3d-realms-anthology_50/] for $19.99 for the next 48 hours. Along with a freshly remastered soundtrack, it features several games PC gamers may recall from their past, like the Commander Keen series, Duke Nukem, and Shadow Warrior. The full list includes the following:

Arctic Adventure
Bio Menace
Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold
Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy
Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons
Math Rescue
Monster Bash
Mystic Towers
Paganitzu
Monuments of Mars
Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure
Crystal Caves
Death Rally
Alien Carnage
Hocus Pocus
Major Stryker
Blake Stone: Planet Strike
Realms of Chaos
Pharaoh's Tomb
Word Rescue
Secret Agent
Raptor: Call of the Shadows
Terminal Velocity
Wacky Wheels
Stargunner
Shadow Warrior
Wolfenstein 3D
Rise of the Triad: Dark War
Duke Nukem
Duke Nukem 2
Duke Nukem 3D
Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project


Once a respected and recognizable name in the '90s, 3D Realms slowly faded into obscurity over the next decade or so before Interceptor Entertainment's acquisition, of course, until now.

With original members Scott Miller and Bryan Turner on board, the company has appointed CEO Mike Nielsen and vice president Frederik Schreiber, CEO of Interceptor Entertainment, to steer the ship in what will hopefully be a new and prosperous direction.

As of right now, the company has not announced any plans for additional projects or brand new games, but making their catalogue of classic games available to players without the need for PC optimization or complicated emulation is a pleasant surprise and a great way to make a comeback.

Source: 3D Realms [https://3drealms.com/news/3d_realms-is-back/]

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Skeleon

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Ah yes, Commander Keen, Bio Menace, Wacky Wheels, these games I still remember and love to play. Apogee!



But I'm not going to pay a fucking 20 dollars for them. Especially not Bio Menace: While I love this trilogy, it was freeware not too long ago (it might still be in its non-jubilee edition, I guess). That's when I got it. Completely legally. And I actually own Wacky Wheels on CD. So, reduce the price and I might buy it just for old times' sake and for the soundtracks, I guess. But that price is insane.
 

Brittany Vincent

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Oct 1, 2014
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This isn't actually that great of a deal. A lot of these games are offered for free on the web as abandonware. I know at least 5 of them are anyway. I guess it's nice to have them all in one place if you dont want to go scouring for them but meh.
 

TiberiusEsuriens

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Skeleon said:
Ah yes, Commander Keen, Bio Menace, Wacky Wheels, these games I still remember and love to play. Apogee!



But I'm not going to pay a fucking 20 dollars for them. Especially not Bio Menace: While I love this trilogy, it was freeware not too long ago (it might still be in its non-jubilee edition, I guess). That's when I got it. Completely legally. And I actually own Wacky Wheels on CD. So, reduce the price and I might buy it just for old times' sake and for the soundtracks, I guess. But that price is insane.
Similar logic over here. I'm tempted to get this for Raptor and nothing else, but why would I pay $20 for that when I probably have a copy of it in my basement somewhere just out of arms reach.
 

NLS

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Jan 7, 2010
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TiberiusEsuriens said:
Skeleon said:
Ah yes, Commander Keen, Bio Menace, Wacky Wheels, these games I still remember and love to play. Apogee!



But I'm not going to pay a fucking 20 dollars for them. Especially not Bio Menace: While I love this trilogy, it was freeware not too long ago (it might still be in its non-jubilee edition, I guess). That's when I got it. Completely legally. And I actually own Wacky Wheels on CD. So, reduce the price and I might buy it just for old times' sake and for the soundtracks, I guess. But that price is insane.
Similar logic over here. I'm tempted to get this for Raptor and nothing else, but why would I pay $20 for that when I probably have a copy of it in my basement somewhere just out of arms reach.
You can also get Raptor at GOG.com (http://www.gog.com/game/raptor_call_of_the_shadows_2010_edition). Especially handy if you suddenly discover that your computer no longer has a floppy drive, or that getting the old DOS version to work might be a hassle.
 

nickpy

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Sseth said:
A lot of these games are offered for free on the web as abandonware.
Just because they're available doesn't mean they're available legally. "Abandonware" is not actually a thing - copyright doesn't magically evaporate just because the original developer is no longer actively selling it. The only way copyright stops applying is if the copyright owner specifically places the work in the public domain, releases it under a suitably permissive license, or the copyright times out (which I believe is now author's lifetime + 70 years, or something equally ridiculous).

In any case, I think that $20 for thirty-two classic games, fully compatible-ified with new systems, is actually a really good deal. That's an average of 63 cents per game.
 

Brittany Vincent

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Oct 1, 2014
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nickpy said:
Sseth said:
A lot of these games are offered for free on the web as abandonware.
Just because they're available doesn't mean they're available legally. "Abandonware" is not actually a thing - copyright doesn't magically evaporate just because the original developer is no longer actively selling it. The only way copyright stops applying is if the copyright owner specifically places the work in the public domain, releases it under a suitably permissive license, or the copyright times out (which I believe is now author's lifetime + 70 years, or something equally ridiculous).

In any case, I think that $20 for thirty-two classic games, fully compatible-ified with new systems, is actually a really good deal. That's an average of 63 cents per game.
This is semantics. I didn't know much about the term abandonware and I've used it incorrectly, but the point stands that a lot of these games are available for free legally. It sort of marginalizes this deal knowing this.
 

Weresquirrel

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Looking at that list, there's only 5 games I didn't immediately recognise... It's clubbing me over the head with nostalgia... I think Monuments of Mars is the first game I ever actually played.
 

Imperioratorex Caprae

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May 15, 2010
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I'd pay for a throwback Commander Keen game, maybe a Metroidvania. I always loved 3d Realms games back in the day and prefer platformer Duke to the "edgy" Duke.
I'd enjoy the hell out of more platformers though... I still go back to the Bionic Commando HD Remake (not the 3d game, the remake of the NES version) because it feels modern yet retro and I'd pay good money for the same feel from some Keen or Duke. Old school...
 

Brittany Vincent

Pfhor the win!
Oct 1, 2014
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Weresquirrel said:
Looking at that list, there's only 5 games I didn't immediately recognise... It's clubbing me over the head with nostalgia... I think Monuments of Mars is the first game I ever actually played.
I don't have a lot of time these days to track down the games and download them, then fight with them to get them to run (where applicable). Back when I was younger and had less of a daily workload it would have been a deal I'd scoff at, but seeing them all collected in a handy package that I can pay a fee to unlock is lucrative to me. I imagine there are others who feel similarly.
 

martyrdrebel27

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But.... Why? Honestly, what's the endgame here? They could have released this collection NOT under the 3D Realms name. And going forward, they could have kept making games NOT under the 3DR name. The only reason to carry on a dead name is that it carries clout, which 3DR no longer does. This isn't the nineties, your logo on the box is no longer enough, 3DRealms... This just seems like a stupid business decision, someone being nostalgic in a time that calls for pragmatism.

CAPTCHA: reach higher. Which is great advice. Dont be tied down to your past, 3DR, reach higher.
 

RealRT

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Sseth said:
This isn't actually that great of a deal. A lot of these games are offered for free on the web as abandonware. I know at least 5 of them are anyway. I guess it's nice to have them all in one place if you dont want to go scouring for them but meh.
Abandonware is just a fancy word for piracy. But the deal is not that great, yes.
 

major_chaos

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Feb 3, 2011
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This is basically my childhood in a box and most of these games are great anyway, so this is an instabuy for me.
also lolgamers finding reasons to complain about 32 games for 62 cents a pop.
 

Covarr

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May 29, 2009
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What's with all these Duke Nukem games? I thought Gearbox bought the rights to everything Duke Nukem? Or was that only to the franchise going forward and 3D Realms keeps the old ones?

P.S. Thanks
 

Callate

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I'm confused. Did they ever, really go away? I mean, they were a floating corpse there for a significant time. They had some embarrassing legal shenanigans related to Duke Nukem Forever. Some of their games have been offered here and there, by GOG and others. They had that announcement about Bombshell six months back, which was generally greeted with responses ranging from "Huh?" to "Whatever."

...But I don't think their web site ever went dark. I'm not sure how this announcement in particular marks a "return from absence".
 

RealRT

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Covarr said:
What's with all these Duke Nukem games? I thought Gearbox bought the rights to everything Duke Nukem? Or was that only to the franchise going forward and 3D Realms keeps the old ones?

P.S. Thanks
Yes, they own the trademark and the character and rights to all future games, but the good ones still belong to 3D Realms.
 

-Dragmire-

King over my mind
Mar 29, 2011
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Let's see... I know/remember...

Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy
Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons
Hocus Pocus
Raptor: Call of the Shadows
Duke Nukem 3D
Raptor was probably my favorite, I remember playing that one quite a bit. Not sure I'd play them again though, fun as they were.

Hmmm, this reminded me of another game I played around the same time, Zone 66. I wonder who made that one.

...

Epic!? Really? Huh, I had completely forgotten their older stuff over the years.
 

Rituro

Critwrencha
Sep 18, 2008
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Oh my goodness. That's about 90% of my childhood gaming fare all in one package. I thought Death Rally was given out for free by Rockstar not that long ago, though...? Ah well. Nostalgia trip, hooooooooooo!
 

RicoADF

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Sseth said:
This is semantics. I didn't know much about the term abandonware and I've used it incorrectly, but the point stands that a lot of these games are available for free legally. It sort of marginalizes this deal knowing this.
That's what Nickpy is trying to say, their NOT available for free legally. If your getting them for free it's piracy. Some of the games may have had free demos available but that's another matter.
 

Ajarat

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nickpy said:
Just because they're available doesn't mean they're available legally. "Abandonware" is not actually a thing - copyright doesn't magically evaporate just because the original developer is no longer actively selling it. The only way copyright stops applying is if the copyright owner specifically places the work in the public domain, releases it under a suitably permissive license, or the copyright times out (which I believe is now author's lifetime + 70 years, or something equally ridiculous).
Check the copyright statutes once again. In many areas, the copyright is not strictly valid if the IP holder is not taking any action to protect their copyright.
 

Magmarock

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Ahh yes this is great news. I already own many of these games. I hope to see Commander Keen on GOG soon though.

nickpy said:
Sseth said:
A lot of these games are offered for free on the web as abandonware.
Just because they're available doesn't mean they're available legally.[SNIP]
I don't think he cares weather or not getting old games from sites such as abandonware is legal or not. Copy right means nothing on the internet.

That being said however I still think you should buy these games. Not for copy right but for the service. Many of these games are pre configured to work properly so you don't have to mess with the user unfriendly emulator known as dosbox.
 

Atmos Duality

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Ajarat said:
nickpy said:
Just because they're available doesn't mean they're available legally. "Abandonware" is not actually a thing - copyright doesn't magically evaporate just because the original developer is no longer actively selling it. The only way copyright stops applying is if the copyright owner specifically places the work in the public domain, releases it under a suitably permissive license, or the copyright times out (which I believe is now author's lifetime + 70 years, or something equally ridiculous).
Check the copyright statutes once again. In many areas, the copyright is not strictly valid if the IP holder is not taking any action to protect their copyright.
That's trademark law, not copyright.
 

Skeleon

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I don't know about the rest of the games that are offered up here, but Bio Menace at least I'm certain was/is freeware, since I actually got it from the 3D Realms website for free a while back. Now they packed it into a bundle for buying, fine, but that doesn't retroactively turn the games I got as freeware into pirated games.
 

Strazdas

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May 28, 2011
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so they aren so much of back in business as they revived the company to cash in on peoples nostalgia.

RealRT said:
Abandonware is just a fancy word for piracy. But the deal is not that great, yes.
No. Abandonware, legally, are software whose owner is no longer existant (bacnrupt, closed, what have you) and the rights for the software does not belong to anyone legally. the software is abandoned, hence abandonware. It is legal to download abandonware. that being said, these games are NOT abandonware, even if some sites incorrectly present it as such.
 

keniakittykat

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Damn, that trailer was so manly and explosion filled, I think I just spontaneously grew a dick from staring directly into the awesome!
 

RealRT

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RealRT said:
Abandonware is just a fancy word for piracy. But the deal is not that great, yes.
No. Abandonware, legally, are software whose owner is no longer existant (bacnrupt, closed, what have you) and the rights for the software does not belong to anyone legally. the software is abandoned, hence abandonware. It is legal to download abandonware. that being said, these games are NOT abandonware, even if some sites incorrectly present it as such.
Abandonware is not a legal term. The owner still owns the copyright and thus, the work. Abandonware is not legal, it's just that nobody cares if you download it, since, you know, old.
 

Flatfrog

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RealRT said:
RealRT said:
Abandonware is just a fancy word for piracy. But the deal is not that great, yes.
No. Abandonware, legally, are software whose owner is no longer existant (bacnrupt, closed, what have you) and the rights for the software does not belong to anyone legally. the software is abandoned, hence abandonware. It is legal to download abandonware. that being said, these games are NOT abandonware, even if some sites incorrectly present it as such.
Abandonware is not a legal term. The owner still owns the copyright and thus, the work. Abandonware is not legal, it's just that nobody cares if you download it, since, you know, old.
But like Strasdas said, if the original owner no longer exists as a legal entity, it's perfectly possible for something to have no legal owner. Whether in that case anyone else has the right just to take it is a slightly different question (if you find money in the street, technically you aren't allowed to take it) but it's certainly hard to describe it as 'piracy' by any measure.

Of course, in this case there's no grey area as the software does still have an owner.
 

Brittany Vincent

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RicoADF said:
Sseth said:
This is semantics. I didn't know much about the term abandonware and I've used it incorrectly, but the point stands that a lot of these games are available for free legally. It sort of marginalizes this deal knowing this.
That's what Nickpy is trying to say, their NOT available for free legally. If your getting them for free it's piracy. Some of the games may have had free demos available but that's another matter.
No you are wrong I'm pretty sure I've seen multiple of these games available for free on reputable sites. It may have changed now considering this deal but I mean just off the top of my head here's Stargunner off gog.com for free. http://www.gog.com/game/stargunner

Or is that one also piracy?
 

JarinArenos

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I'm still baffled over "partial controller support". What is this supposed to mean? Like... you can move and shoot with the controller, but the menu still requires mouse/keyboard?
 

RicoADF

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Sseth said:
No you are wrong I'm pretty sure I've seen multiple of these games available for free on reputable sites. It may have changed now considering this deal but I mean just off the top of my head here's Stargunner off gog.com for free. http://www.gog.com/game/stargunner

Or is that one also piracy?
Sorry you said Abandonware, which usually means sites that host it calling it Abandonware since it's no longer for sale. People misunderstand it as meaning it's legal to download when often their not. Normally it's simply a case of the publishers not bothering to chase up after games they aren't selling currently.

GOG is giving it away legally yes, probably a deal with the owners of the IP either as a gift or GOG might be paying for the licence and giving it to us for free, depends on what they've sorted out. If you had of said GOG I wouldn't have said anything as I know they give games out for free from time to time.
 

heroicbob

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I seriously considered buying that when I saw raptor call of the shadows on there but i doubt it would live up to the nostalgia i have for it not for 20 usd anyway
 

RealRT

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Flatfrog said:
RealRT said:
RealRT said:
Abandonware is just a fancy word for piracy. But the deal is not that great, yes.
No. Abandonware, legally, are software whose owner is no longer existant (bacnrupt, closed, what have you) and the rights for the software does not belong to anyone legally. the software is abandoned, hence abandonware. It is legal to download abandonware. that being said, these games are NOT abandonware, even if some sites incorrectly present it as such.
Abandonware is not a legal term. The owner still owns the copyright and thus, the work. Abandonware is not legal, it's just that nobody cares if you download it, since, you know, old.
But like Strasdas said, if the original owner no longer exists as a legal entity, it's perfectly possible for something to have no legal owner. Whether in that case anyone else has the right just to take it is a slightly different question (if you find money in the street, technically you aren't allowed to take it) but it's certainly hard to describe it as 'piracy' by any measure.

Of course, in this case there's no grey area as the software does still have an owner.
There is always an owner, be it a CEO or someone else. And in many, MANY cases, the owner is alive and well, it's just that the game is not for sale.
 

Jorpho

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Sseth said:
No you are wrong I'm pretty sure I've seen multiple of these games available for free on reputable sites. It may have changed now considering this deal but I mean just off the top of my head here's Stargunner off gog.com for free.
Stargunner was indeed officially, legally, completely released as genuine freeware. I'm pretty sure Bio Menace was too, and so was Alien Carnage/Halloween Harry, and Major Stryker, I think.

Remedy also released a freeware Windows port of Death Rally, though I think it lacks the multiplayer features of the original DOS version (which you can in theory use over the Internet with DOSBox). There's also a freeware version of Boppin', but that's not on the list (and it is a pretty lousy game anyway).

But I'm pretty sure all the rest of these are most definitely NOT freeware. Most of them are still for sale on Steam and GOG, including Rise of the Triad and Blake Stone.

For those of you wondering about Keen Dreams, someone started an IndieGoGo [https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-get-keen-dreams-re-released-legally] campaign to try to get the rights a while ago. SuperFighterTeam has the rights to an Android version.

I was really hoping that with the Atari/Infogrames financial difficulties that Commander Keen: Aliens Ate My Babysitter would wind up back in the hands of id, but no such luck. Not yet, anyway.
 

Arnoxthe1

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Squeee! Raptor!

Squeee! Terminal Velocity!

Squeee! Duke Nukem 3D!

Squeee! Rise of the Triad!

Squeee! Shadow Warrior!

Squeee! Wolfenstein 3D!

That was pretty much my first impression. However, I think people are looking at this the wrong way. This is a way to support the developers and get a great deal at the same time. I mean, as someone already said. It's only $0.67 a game. C'mon now. Also, these will all work right out of the box without any fussing with an emulator.
 

Brittany Vincent

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Oct 1, 2014
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Not only they made Duke Nukem, Shadow Warrior and Wolfenstein, but they made my beloved Alien Carnage??? I'm tempted to buy this...
 

Glaice

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Raptor is a classic of my 90s days in terms of top-down PC shooters that I loved. I may have only had the shareware but I played it to death!
 

Jadwick

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I was just playing Nukem2 the other day on dosBox, and a lot of these other titles I played on shareware.

But I'm confused as well as some others here; aren't a lot of these titles sold to other companies? How can they sell them?

RealRT said:
Yes, they own the trademark and the character and rights to all future games, but the good ones still belong to 3D Realms.
Nvm.