Activision, Hipnotic continue to mislead public

Garland, TX - March 10, 1997

In a March 5th press release from Activision, headlined "The death toll rises as id Software and Activision ship QUAKE Mission Pack No. 1: Scourge of Armagon' from Hipnotic Interactive," Hipnotic continues to take false credit for developing 3D Realms' super hit, Duke Nukem 3D.

The offending line in this press release reads: "Based in Dallas, Hipnotic's talented team has created some of the industry's most successful games including Duke Nukem 3D' and Rise of the Triad.'" This claim distorts the truth well beyond the breaking point.

While it's true that three members of Hipnotic were developers while at 3D Realms, only two of them, Jim Dose and Mark Dochtermann, were part of the Rise of the Triad team (along with several other key developers, including Tom Hall, William Scarboro and Stephen Hornback). Only one, Richard Gray, was a key member of Duke Nukem 3D. The above statement suggests that Hipnotic was wholly responsible for the creation of both of these games, which has outraged the real Duke 3D team.

Todd Replogle, the head programmer for Duke 3D, has this to say about Hipnotic's incredible truth-stretching: "Ken Silverman, author of the Build engine, and I wrote 99% of the Duke 3D code. End of story. Jim supplied the sound engine which was previously used in Rise of the Triad and other games. Mark provided the setup program that he was already writing for Prey and some network code that was already mostly done for Rise of the Triad. He helped integrate TEN code as well, but his overall help in Duke code might have been one percent. Ken and I spent nearly two years each on Duke."

Allen Blum, lead level designer for Duke 3D, added: "Mark and Jim were part of the core team of Rise of the Triad, not Duke Nukem 3D. I don't feel they should have been in the team photo in the game's manual, but we try to include anyone who did anything so that no one feels left out. During the time we were working on Duke, they were doing Rise of the Triad and starting Prey. I don't see how they can claim significant credit for Duke--it's just wrong."

Stephen Hornback, lead artist for Duke 3D, is also shocked: "This is very insulting to us members of the core team. Only one person, Richard Gray, was a member of the core Duke team. The real members of the core team were George Broussard, Todd Replogle, Allen Blum, Ken Silverman, Dirk Jones, Chuck Jones, James Storey, Lee Jackson, Bobby Prince, Greg Malone, and myself. Mark and Jim were not on the Duke team and contributed little compared to the main team."

Adds Blum, "With the exception of Richard Grey, I would not consider anyone at Hipnotic part of the Duke Team."

"I think Hipnotic was just trying to cash in on Duke," said Replogle. "They should succeed or fail from their own projects, not those of others."

"They're using Duke Nukem 3D to bolster their own company," commented Hornback. "I find they are even less ethical than I thought they were when they snuck out of Apogee in the middle of the night quitting without giving notice!"

This is the second recent Activision press release that gives Hipnotic far more credit than they deserve for developing Duke Nukem 3D. That first press release resulted in a NewsBytes ( headline, stating "Activision Signs Duke Nukem Team," which is an incredible injustice to the 3D Realms developers who did the vast majority of the work creating this game.

"It was a fan who alerted us to this recent violation of the truth," said George Broussard, head of 3D Realms. The fan said in his email to Broussard: "It really is a shame that Activision and Hipnotic must resort to such BS just to market a product. I'm seriously considering boycotting Activision's products entirely."

Broussard and Miller said they expect a public retraction from Activision, giving credit where it's properly due for the creation of Duke Nukem 3D.


Just before this press release was released, we were notified by Activision of Hipnotic's retraction and correction posted on BusinessWire ( as of March 10th. They revised their boilerplate statement to read: "Based in Dallas, Texas, several team members of Hipnotic were part of the development teams for such successful games as Duke Nukem 3D, Rise of the Triad and Prey."

Comments Broussard: "So now they're trying to take some credit for Prey, a game that will not be released for over a year and was restarted from scratch after they left. These guys just don't give up. At least they admitted their mistake on Duke Nukem 3D."