By Jared Newman | Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 8:39 pm
Shacknews reeled in a monster scoop this evening, reporting that 3D Realms, the development team that has worked on Duke Nukem Forever for 12 years, will shut down. If this is the truth, it could put to rest a legendary example of computer game vaporware.
The story quotes “a very reliable source close to Duke Nukem Forever developer 3D Realms,” but has since confirmed the story with a named 3D Realms employee, publisher Take Two Interactive and spinoff labels Deep Silver and Apogee Software, which will continue to work on the separate Duke Nukem Trilogy for the PSP and Nintendo DS.
When I first heard the news, I imagined three possible scenarios:
1. 3D Realms reveals the news to be a hoax, and announces a ship date for Duke Nukem Forever. And it’s tomorrow.
2. The entire existence of Duke Nukem Forever was a myth created by 3D Realms — or at least a concept that departed from reality many years ago — and the closure will ultimately lead to the truth. (I’ve had my doubts ever since the release date of “when it’s done” emerged)
3. Duke Nukem Forever’s tale of development hell is the honest gospel, and we may finally see some closure, even if it’s not the ideal outcome.
But in the latest update at Shacknews, webmaster Joe Siegler ruled out option number one. “It’s not a marketing thing,” he said. “It’s true. I have nothing further to say at this time.” Take Two said it retains the publishing rights to the game, but does not fund its development, so there’s a path to market if the game somehow gets completed.
Really, though, this is just me blabbering over a bit of gaming news that’s hard to swallow. For all the games and technology layoffs and cutbacks we’ve seen over the last year, Duke Nukem Forever didn’t seem like a target simply because of its persistence. I always thought the perpetual generator of punch lines would be around, forever.