I just wanted to take a quick second to point out how classy I think Gearbox has been with their handling of Duke Nukem Forever. I spend a lot of time in here bitching about how lame everything is nowadays and whatever, so I feel like I owe it to the world to at least mention this sort of thing. I’ll get back to the butthurt soon.
As you may know from firsthand experience, it’s been a rough 14 years for Duke Nukem fans. The good regent’s magnum opus, Duke Nukem 3D, came out waaaay back in 1996 and literally since then, its legendary sequel has been roiling in the deepest levels of Development Hell. And while it’s been fun watching this thing struggle to exist for so long, and hope in vain that one day we’d play it, we knew that it had to end at some point. Last year, we thought it was finally all over when the developer, 3D Realms, was shut down amid lawsuits and financial troubles. Alas.
Or not! In October last year, there were rumblings that the project would be picked up by Gearbox Software and finally completed after all. While many Duke fans were excited beyond words, my own cynical nature made me think that, even if the game actually DID come out, it probably wouldn’t be the true sequel to 3D that we had all been waiting for. Thankfully, it seems like nothing could be further from the truth.
Here’s a nice summary of what Gearbox has been up to in the six months since they saved old Duke from the scrap heap.
- Immediately produced a playable demo (something we dared not even dream of up to this point)
- Gave blessings to a fan remake of 3D (fuck you so much, Square/Activision/Nintendo)
- Announced a release date mere months away (this we have seen before)
- Pledged to honor the original developers’ vision and save their own take on the character for future games (Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford: “It would be irresponsible for me to take anything away from 3D Realms, this is their game. I’ll have plenty of time to do my own thing and try to start over, take Duke in whatever direction I want. What’s important is that we get to play the game we’ve been waiting for all this time.”)
- Put out an open fucking letter asking those many, many people from the myriad companies that contributed to DNF over the years to come forth so that they could be included in the credits of the final game
- Oh, and they actually finished the fucking thing
So, yeah. Gearbox has moved forward with the production of this game in a way that not only honors its legendary status, but also the many talented people who made it, and the fans who have been waiting so, so long for it to see the light of day.
Thanks for showing us that INTEGRITY still exists somewhere in the industry. Everyone else start taking notes, please.