In 1991, Duke Nukem was a groundbreaking platform videogame that spawned a popular first-person shooter franchise. But the long-awaited sequel, Duke Nukem Forever, has for 13 years been a running joke—a sequel that everyone has waited for but no one actually expected.
But the joke that was Duke Nukem Forever finally has the last laugh: Its release date is May 3, 2011 (May 6 worldwide).
Duke Nukem Forever was officially planned for mid-1998, and a series of mishaps pushed the release date back repeatedly. Ultimately, Wired magazine gave "Duke Nukem For Never" a lifetime achievement vaporware award in 2003.
Wired wrote an exhaustive analysis of what happened. For example:
Part of what caught Broussard off guard was the sheer speed at which videogames were improving. In the late '90s, the processing speed of computer chips exploded, so each year programmers were releasing more and more powerful game engines—able to handle increasingly lifelike graphics, more enemies onscreen at a time, smarter artificial intelligence, and more objects that could be destroyed.
This ignited an arms race in game development. When Duke Nukem 3D came out, Broussard's Duke Nukem engine—called Build—produced the best-looking game around. Barely a year later, though, it looked antiquated.
Secrecy is tight at new developer Gearbox, so much so that when PC Gamer magazine interviewed staff, they weren't allowed to take photographs; they brought a court sketch artist to capture details instead. But from the trailer, we know what to expect: guns, violence, semi-naked women and a massive dose of testosterone.
For all the subtlety, delicacy and tact that is Duke Nukem Forever, take a look at the trailer.
Are you ready to return to the Duke Nukem universe?