Duke Nukem Forever was announced as an upcoming title in April 1997 for release in 1998. That’s pretty reasonable. About a year to make a video game. Over the next 5 years, the game’s developer repeatedly pushed back release dates until they gave up on release dates all together in 2001, and said “when it’s done.” When the game was finally released in June of 2011, it had totaled up 15 years in development. It took less time for the Wright brothers to design and build a working airplane. It took less time from Kennedy’s challenge to the moon landing. World War II and the Manhattan Project happened in fewer years than the development of Duke Nukem Forever.
You would think that with this amount of effort put into a game, it would be an amazing achievement in art and entertainment. What the game achieved was a Metacritic score of 54%. Gearbox Software, Duke Nukem Forever’s final developer, isn’t happy with that score. Although most of the development happened prior to them taking over the project, they take the score personally. They have a solution. Although it has never been done before, Gearbox is de-releasing Duke Nukem Forever. Gearbox’s CEO Randy Pitchford had this to say:
Although Duke Nukem Forever has been under development for 13 years at 3D Realms, it was released under our name. We want people to associate Gearbox Software with taking games that have no chance of success and turning them into gold. We released a game that was much better than what we got, but we can do better. To prove it, Duke Nukem Forever’s release date will be pushed back again. We just need a little bit more time to make this game great.
Gearbox will be pulling talent from their upcoming titles Borderlands 2 and Aliens in order to really buckle down on actually releasing Duke Nukem Forever. When asked how long Gearbox is expected to release the final version of Duke Nukem Forever, Pitchford responded with “When its done.”