Duke Nukem Forever Given Release Date, Hell to Freeze Over

January 21, 2011Written by Tyler Minarik

We thought this day would never come. Christoph Hartmann, President of 2K Games, has officially announced that forever is over, and the legendary sequel to Duke Nukem 3D has been given a release date.

You can’t be blamed if you haven’t followed the extensive history of Duke Nukem Forever. The game has been in development for about 13 years, changing publishers multiple times, changing game engines, and often hidden away and thought to be canceled permanently. Let it be known that the king is back, and he’s taking over-the-top to a whole new height.

Christoph Hartmann announced the release date with the following statement:

The moment fans all over the world have been waiting for is almost here. May 3, 2011 marks Duke’s return as he unleashes his brash and brutally honest wit on the world. His return is going to be epic and one that will make video gaming history!

If you’re feeling skeptical about the outcome of the final game after it’s seen so many bumps in the road, including a lack of road to run on, no one will blame you. However, before you pass premature judgement, check out the ridiculous trailer below. Be forewarned that in classic Duke fashion, this trailer is for mature audiences.

You can’t help but love it when a product makes fun of itself. Hopefully the years of wait have been worth it. If you haven’t been following the Duke for that extensive time period, here’s a quick history lesson. Following the successful release of Duke Nukem 3D, the sequel was officially announced to be in development on April 28, 1997. At the time, Scott Miller and George Broussard were leading development using the Quake II engine. Shortly after, in 1998, Epic Games released their Unreal engine, which would allow development to overcome certain obstacles, so the game got switched to using that. This basically caused a reboot of the entire project. Soon after publishing rights were passed to Gathering of Developers in December 2000, which soon experienced the death of a co-founder, and was then absorbed by Take-Two Interactive. Throughout all of this the project was self funded by the developer 3D Realms, and so despite friction and pressure from their publisher, as well as multiple rumored release dates, development time kept getting extended for various reasons.

Eventually, the money dried up, and negotiations between 3D Realms and Take-Two Interactive for more funding were unsuccessful, resulting in the suspension of development. Despite this, a few devoted people still continued to work on the game. Fast forward through a law suit between the two companies which was eventually settled, and we reach 2009, where Triptych Games was formed as an independent developer by the remaining employees. Triptych Games eventually teamed up with Gearbox since they worked in the same building, whose CEO Randy Pitchford then convinced 2K games to provide funding for the game. Randy had worked with Duke years before, by helping with the development of expansion packs for the original game, and the beginning of Duke Nukem Forever before he left to form Gearbox. It’s incredible that after all that, the Duke is still alive, especially considering this is the brief version of its history.

It’s almost time to see if the wait was worth it, and hopefully we’ll get a chance to play it before the release date. Previously Gearbox announced that a demo would be forthcoming, and that purchasers of their Borderlands GOTY edition would get their hands on an early access demo. Also, Valve has announced that those who bought Borderlands on Steam would receive early access to the demo.

PlayStation LifeStyle will keep you updated as more information regarding the demo and full game become available. Hail to the king, baby!