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Duke Nukem Never?

Dale Weir's picture

Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot

Over one decade after announcing Duke Nukem Forever, 3D Realms has to close its doors taking the industry's most famous piece of vaporware with it.

In a prepared statement, Take-Two VP of communications Alan Lewis 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."

A representative for Deep Silver and Apogee Software said they "are not affected by the situation at 3D Realms. Development on the Duke Nukem Trilogy is continuing as planned."

Duke Nukem Forever was not the only project that 3D Realms had worked on, but it was probably the one that the developer was most known for.

Given these tough economic times, the performance of titles like Prey and ongoing development costs, 3D Realms finally had to lay off its entire staff.

This means a lot more people are out of work and a potentially descent title won't see the light of day. Unfortunately, as the news headline implies—I couldn't help myself, sorry—the big story will be that Duke Nukem Forever never materialized and how it probably lead to the downfall of 3D Realms.

The news of its closing leaves me unsure what to think. I myself no longer care about Duke Nukem and a generation of gamers has grown up never knowing playing a Duke Nukem game—some only know him as the butt of many post-E3 jokes. We can only hope that more light is shed on this situation with some sort of positive coming out of all of this.

For those people who can barely remember what Duke Nukem Forever looked like, below is the last bit of footage that we were ever treated to.

Category Tags
Developer(s): 3D Realms  
Series: Duke Nukem  
Genre(s): Shooting  
Articles: News  

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Release Duke Nukem Forever

This is a case where someone at 3D Realms has to come out with a postmortem or detailed explanation of what happened, because this has to be one of the best development cautionary tales ever.

I know that the last thing someone wants to be know for is being a cautionary tale, but the guys running 3D Realms much tell it.

Again, Duke Nukem Forever probably didn't kill the company, 3D Realms was working on and publishing other things while also working on Duke Nukem Forever, but any development process that takes over 12 years must have something to teach other developers, publishers and just about anyone who follows the industry.

And release something. Whether it is a level or a few incomplete levels; or as I suspect it is a bunch of levels featuring dissimilar playing styles created over the years to match changing gameplay trends, just release it. For free. Get it out there and let people get some sort of closure on this.

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