'Duke Nukem' dev 3D Realms has shut down [update 4]

Duke Nukem developer 3D Realms has closed its doors, according to Shacknews. The developer was reportedly forced to cease operations due to funding issues, prompting it and Apogee Software Inc. to lay off all staff. Perhaps developing one title for more than a decade wasn't a great strategy.

3D Realms was founded by George Broussard and Scott Miller in 1987, but became a household name with Duke Nukem 3D in 1996. While 3D Realms is also known for publishing high profile titles, such as Max Payne, the studio has become famous for developing Duke Nukem Forever for the last 13 years. Joystiq has reached out to 3D Realms and its publishing partner, Take-Two Interactive, for comment.

Update: A studio representative has commented on the rumor regarding 3D Realms. Although it isn't a confirmation, it does hint a situation is brewing at the house that built Duke: "Deep Silver and Apogee Software are not affected by the situation at 3D Realms. Development on the Duke Nukem Trilogy is continuing as planned."

Update 2: Alan Lewis, Vice President of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs for Take-Two Interactive has sent us an official statement regarding the situation at 3D Realms: "It is the Company's policy to not comment on its contractual relationships, nor do we comment on rumors and speculation. That said, we can confirm that our relationship with 3D Realms for Duke Nukem Forever was a publishing arrangement, which did not include ongoing funds for development of the title. In addition, Take-Two continues to retain the publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever."‪

Update 3: 3D Realms webmaster Joe Siegler has confirmed rumors of a 3D Realms shut down are true, posting "It's not a marketing thing. It's true. I have nothing further to say at this time" on the 3D Realms official forum.

Update 4: and the site's official forum are experiencing issues at this time due to the volume of visitors. The sites have not been removed at this time.