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Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 01/21/2011

Duke Nukem Forever ships May 3

By Rob Pegoraro

The above headline is not a mistake or a joke. This long-delayed video game will ship in versions for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows on May 3.


Game Informer broke the news this morning. Publisher Take-Two Interactive Software and developer Gearbox Software then issued a press release confirming it and updated the game's site (pictured) with the release date and links to Amazon and GameStop for pre-orders ($59.99 for the Xbox and PS3 versions, $49.99 for the Windows edition).

Ah, Duke Nukem Forever. I remember seeing a very compelling demo of this first-person shooter game at the last E3 game-industry trade show I covered.

Which was in 1998.

I cannot think of a single consumer software release that has taken this long to (almost) reach store shelves. When I saw that demo in Atlanta in May of 1998, the project was already a year old. And then everything went wrong: Duke Nukem Forever's 3D graphics engine changed; it was handed off from publisher to publisher; system requirements changed; and the projected ship date kept receding into the future.

And the abbreviation "DNF" --runner-speak for "did not finish"-- seemed increasingly apt year after year.

The title appeared to be officially dead when Wired published its obituary in late 2009. But then, zombie-like, it emerged from the grave and now appears ready to stagger into commercial availability. (Ars Technica's September recap of DNF's prolonged odyssey through development hell is worth reading. So is the April Fool's review of DNF that the site posted in 2006.)

But now the saga may finally be over. For software developers who feel that they'll never get their code working, that should give them hope that if they throw enough hours and money at a project, it can eventually come to fruition.

For the rest of us, however, DNF's belated arrival must have a different meaning. With dead birds tumbling from the skies by the thousands, it can only be yet another sign that the Apocalypse is upon us. Please get your affairs in order.

By Rob Pegoraro  | January 21, 2011; 12:32 PM ET
Categories:  Gaming  
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*Satan looks around*
Is it getting cold down here?

*me looks up*
Look! Up in the sky! It's a... herd of pigs! With wings!


Posted by: wiredog | January 21, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe it. I was a huge Duke Nukem 3D fan back in the 90s. I even briefly made the top 100 on Case's Ladder, a competition board for Duke fans. For those not old enough to remember the early days of online gaming, playing someone online then consisted of exchanging IP addresses via chat or calling each other up directly via modem, and you generally could only play one person at a time, not whole groups. The DNF (non)release meme is way older than any 'Verizon iPhone' that Rob has suffered through the past 3 or so years...


Posted by: CentralNYerfromMD | January 21, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I would think that at this point people would adopt a "I'll believe it when am playing it on my darn console". And not believe some press release.

Posted by: tundey | January 21, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

The trailer is a hoot. I played the original Duke Nukem shareware on my first color monitor. I'm not really a gamer, but in the computer world I've been hearing about Duke Nukem Never for many years. I hope it really ships.

Posted by: pundito | January 21, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

My understanding, BTW, is that if you use the right cheat code in the third level, Duke picks up a white 4G Sprint iPhone and crank-calls Steve Jobs.

- RP

Posted by: robpegoraro | January 21, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I believe that there was a Y10K bug in this article. That should be May 3, *12011*


Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 21, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Believe it when I see it, until then it's still vaporware.

Posted by: tfp_wnc | January 22, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I'll buy it, just as soon as I buy Diablo III.

Posted by: SammyT1 | January 22, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

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