May 7th, 2009.
A day that will forever live in infamy.
On that day, (purportedly after Take Two refused to loan them with development funds, instead giving them a nasty deal relating to the Duke IP) 3D Realms’s internal development studio closed down, and all its employees were fired.
Since then, tiny videos and pictures have leaked of the game, including its design documents, which revealed its entire plot, but we have never heard of the game’s official status.
Now, we may finally have the answer.
September 3rd, 2010.
The day DNF rose from its ashes, at PAX 2010.
Ever since its announcement on April 28th 1997, and its numerous subsequent delays, we’ve all had one thought on our mind: will it ever come out?
After closing down their studio and thus essentially cancelling the game, most hope was lost.
Some fans retained their hope that the game would be picked up by an outside developer. Gearbox, who, in the Take Two vs 3DR court documents, was revealed to have been working on “Duke Begins”, a game we know little about, was the most popular choice. Some had hopes that Valve would pick DNF up.
On June 11th, 2010, the lawsuit was settled with prejudice.
Numerous hints were made by Jon St John, Scott Miller, and George Broussard that the game was not dead just yet.
Still, many said it’s over for the Duke.
Some retained hope.
Vaporware’s a heartless monster. Too Human, announced in 2000 and released at last in 2008, turned out to be a mediocre mess of a game.
Starcraft: Ghost was announced in 2002 and faded into obscurity in 2006, when it was put on hold.
Prey was first announced in 1995, but finally released in 2006. Just like DNF, it was handed over to an outside development studio. Sadly, Prey made a slight splash, after which it faded away.
Black Mesa Source first popped up publically in December 2004, though supposedly, it had been in the planning as early as fall of 2003. It doesn’t show signs of getting released this year.
TF2 was announced way back in 1997 and only released in 2007.
As for DNF, well… for one full year we’ve wondered if it’s ever coming out.
And now, we finally know.
Gearbox, whose CEO, Randy Pitchford had been at 3DR and worked on both Duke 3D and Forever, has picked up DNF and is now polishing it up.
They are assisted by Triptych Games, formed out of approximately 9 former 3DR developers, and Piranha Games.
2K will be publishing the game, and the planned release date is 2011.
The funny part is, it will most likely be released before Episode Three, and possibly, Black Mesa.
Still… we’re pretty psyched.
I mean, it’s Duke Nukem Forever.
The king is back, folks.