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Duke Nukem Forever: A little closer...

News; Sep. 4, 2010; Channels: Video Games; By Jason Winstanley
Subtypes: News
A developmental nightmare: Industrial, even more so
PAX Prime 2010

Duke Nukem Forever is now pretty much famous across the globe for several reasons: brand name, the cigar and beer-loving character, and the nightmare-of-all-games-companies the latest one has become to 3D Realms.

The game went through numerous changes and legal issues before the studio was downsized and development switched to Gearbox Software. Development on Duke Nukem Forever was first publicly announced in April 1997, and promotional information for the game was released in one form or another in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2007, and 2008. This information, including screenshots, showed different looks for the game, as 3D Realms was constantly changing game engines and graphics.

After repeatedly announcing and deferring release dates for the game, 3D Realms announced publicly in 2001 the game would be released simply, "When it's done." In May 2009, 3D Realms was downsized for financial reasons, resulting in the loss of the game's development team. Statements by the company indicated the project was due to go gold soon with pictures of final development. Take-Two Interactive, which owns the publishing rights to the game, filed a lawsuit in 2009 against 3D Realms over its failure to finish development of the game. 3D Realms retorted that Take-Two's legal interest in the game is limited to its publishing right. The case was settled with prejudice and details undisclosed in May 2010. 3D Realms remains the owner of the Duke Nukem intellectual property. On Sept. 3, 2010, after 13 years, Duke Nukem Forever was officially reported by Take-Two to be in development at Gearbox Software, with an expected release date of 2011.

The announcement was made by Randy Pitchford, Gearbox's President, at PAX Prime 2010, and many had the chance to play the newest variation of Duke Nukem Forever. 2K Games' Twitter feed was promising, reading "People seem to be enjoying the game a lot. How many PAX folks thought they'd leave Seattle having played Duke Nukem Forever?"

A press release was also made by the company: "Duke Nukem, the interactive entertainment industry's most irreverent and quoted character of all time, will bring his signature brand of babe-lovin', cigar-smoking, beer-chugging, and ass-kicking action as he once again saves Earth and our babes from hordes of invading aliens. ...Duke Nukem Forever will be playable right now for all attendees 17 and older of this year's Penny Arcade Expo at the 2K the first hands-on experience with the game that was originally announced during the tail end of the Clinton Administration."


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