What’s next after spending fifteen years in development hell to produce a game that another studio has to finish? Crowdsourcing, of course. 3D Realms is trying to get gamers to help them pay for their next project, Earth No More.
3D Realms is best known as the studio that created the Duke Nukem franchise — producing the first three entries, including the classic Duke Nukem 3D — before languishing in the land of vaporware for fifteen years while puttering away at Duke Nukem Forever. That game, along with the entire Duke franchise, was ultimately picked up by Gearbox, and finished last year. (The game didn’t go over real well.)
Now freed from the stigma of their inability to complete and ship that game, 3D Realms is moving on. Their next project is called Earth No More, and instead of trying to fund it themselves, the company is asking its fans to help make it happen. It may sound like the next big Kickstarter campaign, but it’s not. Instead, 3DR is going through a newer crowdsourcing platform made just for funding games, called Gambitious.
Gambitious is a euro-based platform with looser restrictions than Kickstarter, allowing developers to set their own funding goals (all the way up to about $3.2 million U.S. dollars), giving them over 5 months to meet that goal, and even letting developers choose between seeking traditional pledges or selling equity in their game. It hasn’t quite taken off yet, with just seven projects currently listed — and Earth No More‘s campaign hasn’t yet begun.
Earth No More has been on 3D Realm’s docket for a while now, having originally been scheduled for a 2009 release. Finnish developer Recoil Games began work on it, but financial difficulties caused them to drop out of its development. Publisher 3D Realms then handed the game over to Scott Miller’s Radar Group. (Miller is a founding member of the 3D Realms team.)The Gambitious project listing describes the game this way:
Mankind’s relentless destruction of Earth awakens a biological response from deep within the planet’s crust that threatenes an environmental apocalypse.
Radar Group’s website provides more detail, though:
Earth No More does away with the “lone hero” shooter archetype, instead focusing on the dynamic between an ensemble cast that must learn to work together to survive the threat of an environmental extinction event. As Will Foster, a DHS chemical specialist, you are among the first to respond to a gas attack on Washington, DC. However, it soon becomes clear that the gas attack is a coverup for something much more sinister.
The Radar Group website also clarifies that the game is intended for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Some (rather small) pieces of concept art from the Radar Group website are viewable below. But until 3D Realms begins its Gambitious campaign, there’s no way of knowing what their fundraising goal is for Earth No More.
So what do you make of this? Have you written 3D Realms off? Or does the company deserve this chance to return to its former glory?