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In a surprise announcement, Borderlands developer Gearbox Software is in the "polishing phase" in Duke Nukem Forever, which is playable at PAX. [UPDATE: Official announcement added.]

Kris Graft, Contributor

September 3, 2010

2 Min Read

Borderlands developer Gearbox Software confirmed it is in the "polishing phase" of development of the near-mythical Duke Nukem Forever, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Take-Two's 2K Games division will be publishing the game, which is the sequel to Duke Nukem 3D, the first-person shooter from 1996 developed by the now-defunct 3D Realms. Duke Nukem Forever was originally announced in 1997 by 3D Realms, and has become analogous with vaporware. But in recent years, the studio began talking about the game, saying it was still in development, even releasing a teaser trailer in 2007. After 3D Realms shut down last year, the game seemed doomed, but Gearbox quietly picked up the slack in late 2009, according to the report. "Clearly the game hadn’t been finished at 3D Realms but a lot of content had been created,” said Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford in comments to the WSJ. "The approach and investment and process at 3D Realms didn’t quite make it and it cracked at the end. With Gearbox Software we brought all those pieces together," he added. "It’s the game it was meant to be." The game is debuting today -- in playable form, no less -- at the Penny Arcade Expo consumer game convention in Seattle, WA. Still up in the air is who exactly owns the Duke Nukem IP. Last year, publisher Take-Two sued 3D Realms for breach of contract, alleging that the studio failed to live up to an agreement to bring Duke Nukem Forever to market. Take-Two said at the time that it still owned the IP, a claim contended by 3D Realms. The dispute has since been settled. Pitchford told The Wall Street Journal that there will be an announcement at PAX regarding the future of the property and IP during a panel on Sunday -- and Gamasutra will publish an interview with the Gearbox head following that panel, revealing more details on Duke Nukem Forever and the firm's plans for it. Veteran developer Pitchford worked on the original Duke Nukem before leaving to help form Plano, TX-based Gearbox in 1999. The studio also developed the World War II first-person shooter series, Brothers in Arms. The CEO wouldn't confirm a release date, but with the game now in playable form in the public's hands, and given Gearbox's track record of regular game releases, Duke Nukem Forever looks like it will hit shelves in relatively short order. [UPDATE: The official announcement of the game reveals that the title "will officially make its long-awaited debut for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC in calendar 2011." It also adds that 2K Games "has the exclusive, long-term publishing rights to the game."]

About the Author(s)

Kris Graft


Kris Graft is publisher at Game Developer.

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