Duke Nukem Forever was the glue that held us together

Duke Nukem 3DIt appears as if the rumors are true, and 3D Realms is shutting down. The question remains: what will become of Duke Nukem Forever? This is a game we need to play, and one thing is certain... we're willing to continue to wait.

It's hard to remember how old I was—and I'm not going to date myself by trying—but I was lost in a computer game. The title was Duke Nukem 3D, and every day I'd rush home from school, dial into a friend's computer, and we'd play against each other for hours on end. The weapons and tactics were fiendish: placing laser trip mines into the teleporter so my opponent would blindly warp into them, placing pipe bombs in elevators and waiting for him to get in before triggering them, finding clever places to put the holographic Duke and then swoop in the for the kill.

We dreamed of the true, proper sequel for the PC. We put up with dumb Nintendo 64 games. We snubbed the PlayStation attempts. We watched as Duke went from a well-loved hero to a beaten-up, nearly forgotten caricature. We knew he would come back, and be as large and impressive as he once was. We celebrated when Duken Nukem 3D was rereleased on the Xbox Live Arcade. Here was the Duke we remembered, and the gameplay was just as good as the rose-colored glasses had suggested. It turns out that wasn't a warm hug between old friends—it very well could have been a curt wave as Duke left us forever.

For a game that has been in development for so long, and in an economy where no publishing or development house has many luxuries when it comes to a budget, the gaming world is taking the reports of 3D Realms hard. Fans are wailing, gamers are gnashing their teeth. The first report came from Shacknews, and then Apogee sent out an ill-timed release stating that "Deep Silver and Apogee Software are not affected by the situation at 3D Realms. Development on the Duke Nukem Trilogy is continuing as planned." We ran the story last night, hoping to wake up in a world where there was another press release, or maybe even a comforting phone call from George Broussard saying it was all a big misunderstanding, that it was still safe to bet on Duke. That he was here to chew bubble gum and find more funding, and he was all out of bubble gum.

Joe Siegler is the webmaster for 3D Realms, and when someone brought up an interview he had taken part in just the day before, he responded with words that seemed to further confirm the news. "When I recorded that, I didn't know," he wrote. "It's not a marketing thing. It's true. I have nothing further to say at this time."

There is still no official confirmation, and no news of what is going to happen to Duke Nukem Forever. That's what gamers can't seem to wrap their heads around: the idea that there is a strong possibility that they'll never get to play Duke Nukem Forever. The jokes, the vapor-ware awards, the derision... it might have stung 3D Realms through the years, but almost every gamer worth his or her salt was still more than willing to line up to play the damn thing.

This story is sadly in need of an ending, and the fact that there still hasn't been any official announcement makes the whole thing seem much more like a whimper than a bang. Will the company maintain silence a day for every year of development time? Was this all part of some sick joke to keep gamers from having any sense of closure at all?

Source: ars technica

Tags: computer games, Duke Nukem Forever

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