Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Timeline: 'Duke Nukem Forever's' Long Journey to Game Consoles


Just like in the movie industry, it seems like every video game that becomes a smash hit is automatically awarded a sequel. From the Call of Duty series to the seemingly immortal Mario, some video game series never die. That also appears to be the case for Duke Nukem, with the recently released, long-awaited Duke Nukem Forever adding another entry to the franchise.

Now, for the record, calling this game "long-awaited" is an understatement. Seeing Duke Nukem Forever on shelves is like looking at a zombie that refuses to die -- even with both legs blown off, a severed arm, and multiple shotgun shells through the chest. It is a wonder this game survived 14 years of changes, firings, and lawsuits to make it onto video game systems today. Let us take a look at this game's remarkable journey.

1997: Duke Nukem Forever is announced

After the fantastic review of Duke Nukem 3D,creator 3D Realms decides to announce another sequel due for release in early '98. Immediately after the announcement, questions arose over the company's use of the Quake Engine.

1998: 3D Realms switches to Unreal Engine

After having some problems with the Quake Engine previously used in development, 3D Realms decides to completely restart development of the game using the Unreal Engine, which was supposed to produce better results.

2001: Duke Nukem Forever is showed at E3

After some more troubles, 3D Realms decides to quiet the many rumblings by showing a snippet of the game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. The demo was well received and once again put Forever at the very top of games "Most Anticipated Games" list.

2003: Duke Nukem Fights the Publishers

After yet another long wait following the fantastic presentation two years prior, DNF is still not completed. Take-Two Interactive is now the publisher for the game and is quite disappointed in the development time. CNN reports a war of words breaks out that has Take-Two asking to take earnings write-downs because of the lack of progress on the game while George Broussard, co-owner of 3D Realms, responds with some not so friendly words.

2006: Things fall apart -- even more.

Things just get worse for Broussard, 3D Realms, and Duke Nukem Forever. The game was not finished, even with Take-Two offering incentives to finish the game by the end of 2006. The developers obviously did not, and, because of the delays, employees began to leave the company, according to Shack News.

2009: Rock Bottom

After spending $20 million of its own money and unsuccessfully trying to receive $6 million more from Take-Two, 3D Realms shuts down and suspends development, firing the rest of the staff, according to Kotaku.

2010: A Sliver of Hope

Gearbox Studios decides to complete the game and announces this at the Penny Arcade Expo Sept. 2, according to MSNBC. The game was playable for the first time at the Penny Arcade Expo.

2011: A Long-Awaited Release

After only nine months after the 2010 announcement by Gearbox, Duke Nukem Forever is finally released June 10, 2011. Although being in developmental hell for 14 years, after reading the negative reviews, gamers are now saying that it should have stayed there.

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