I said at one point a few months ago that I would stop doing news posts on this blog. But I can’t help it. I’m forced to make an exception here. Everyone’s talking about it now.
We all knew the saga behind Duke Nukem Forever, and quite frankly if you want to know the history behind it, you can just look it up on this blog where I’ve gone over it time and time again, or visit the page on wikipedia. I’m sick of having to read the long “drawn out drama” that most websites post every time there’s news on DNF. Right from it’s creation until now. And most of them get it wrong anyway, with some “journos” saying that it originally used the build engine, and that 3D Realms is defunct.
The main story here is that for some time now, it’s been rumoured that Gearbox Software, developer of Borderlands, has been working on Duke Nukem Forever. People just dismissed it as a myth though.
The thing is, these rumours continued and the other day, George Broussard tweeted something that alluded to a past interview he had concerning DNF. It was a picture of pigs flying. The significance? Years ago in that interview, George himself said that DNF would be out “when pigs fly”.
And just yesterday at Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX 2010 for short, after much speculation, it was confirmed at the event that Duke Nukem Forever, a game in development hell for just about 13 years or so, is actually coming out.
In fact some claimed it was finished and it’s just in the polishing stage right now. There was even a playable demo of it at the PAX booth. There’s all ready some photos over at Kotaku that show the typical humour and interactivity we’d expect from a Duke Nukem title. There’s pics of Duke with steroids and taking a piss in the loo, as well as drawing something on a whiteboard.
Places few games venture.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the game’s development was so far, that it would be coming out this year! This was said to be false though, and a more realistic release date of 2011 sometime was given by Randy Pitchford of Gearbox Software.
WSJ did get it right however that DNF has been in development at the company since late last year – which confirms the rumours. If you think it’s odd that Gearbox would work on a DN title, just take a moment to read this.
Randy Pitchford worked on Duke Nukem 3D, and was employed at 3D Realms years before he went and founded the company we know as Gearbox and worked on Opposing Force and other titles since then. Gearbox was also revealed to be working on Duke Begins, another title in the series.
Now that all the court case nonsense that carried on between 3D Realms (Apogee Software) and Take-Two is over (it ended in a settlement this year), work can resume on these projects without having to keep it sort of secret all the time. The publishing rights for DNF and the Duke Nukem IP are said to now belong to 2K.
Randy says that basically 3D Realms did the groundwork on DNF but it fell apart. Gearbox apparently came in and put the pieces back together. People at PAX were apparently shocked that DNF looked as good as it did. But I know from having watched all these leaked demo reels and video footage as well as screenshots that were mostly leaked within the last year, and the design documents too, that the game was actually more complete than people originally thought.
And with a possible demo for us on the horizon, and a release next year, we may actually get to play this game in our lifetime. For those of us, including me, who stuck with DNF through thick and thin – we’re the ones smiling now. The haters who always put the game down will be eating their words shortly, hopefully.
Gearbox has a good reputation as a developer and they tend to actually release their titles.
One thing’s for sure though. 3D Realms, as legendary as it is, should never develop their own games ever again – especially not if George is still in charge. And seeing as it’s a much smaller studio after the DNF team was let go last year, it looks like it will stay this way for some time.
By the way, everything DNF has now been moved over to DukeNukemForever.com, with the official forums now being moved to GearboxSoftware.com.
http://twitter.com/georgeb3dr/status/22750844938 [George Broussard on Twitter]
Duke Nukem Forever Complete? [Bluesnews]