3D Realms, the creator of the iconic gaming character, is suing Gearbox Software, saying it is due $2 million in royalties over sales of Duke Nukem Forever.
[In this opinion piece, Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris discusses why the latest delay to Gearbox’s Duke Nukem Forever is actually a good thing, with other upcoming gaming releases taken into account.]
Given the game’s long, dubious history, the latest delay of Duke Nukem Forever shouldn’t have come as a shock to anyone.
It’s certainly not a long one, by Duke standards. And while some doubters in gaming forums across the internet have seized on this as a chance to say “I told you so!,” most fans and developers have barely blinked at the news, except perhaps to tip their hats at the clever way Gearbox announced the news.
First announced in 1997, this videogame — featuring one of gaming’s best known characters — has been re-thought, re-booted and presumed dead multiple times. On Friday, Take-Two Interactive Software pulled off one of the gaming world’s biggest surprises, not only announcing a firm release date and expanded platform footprint — it will ship in 2011 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 — but letting stunned gamers play it for the first time at last weekend’s Penny Arcade Expo, a fan-centric gaming event held in Seattle.
First announced during the Clinton administration, itis a videogame title that has been declared dead time and again, yet always manages to come back. After what seemed a devastating (and final) blow in 2009—the disbanding of the game’s development team and a titanic legal battle—the game has surfaced again.
Now planned for a 2011 release on the PC, Microsoft Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation 3, “Duke Nukem Forever” was on display at this year’s Penny Arcade Expo on Friday. The 150,000 attendees got to play it themselves, something most gamers thought would never happen.
On Friday morning, Gearbox Software and 2K Games dropped a bomb on gamers and industry alike at Seattle’s Penny Arcade Expo. Not only was Duke Nukem Forever alive once again, it was playable. On Sunday, they dropped another one.
3D Realms, the company that gave birth to the cigar chompin’, alien ass-kicking muscleman, had sold the rights to Gearbox. The story behind that is nearly as winding as Duke’s march to retail has been.
There aren’t a lot of surprises in the video game world today. With the torent of leaks that comes from partners, publishers and developers, gamers rarely get that excitement that comes with a major, unexpected announcement – which makes today’s bombshell in Seattle all the more tasty.
2K Games revealed the presumed-dead action game “Duke Nukem Forever” was not only alive, it was playable on the show floor – and it would be hitting stores next year. And jaws are still dragging.