Saturday, September 04, 2010

Duke Nukem Forever revived, will ship in 2011

Forever may be here, at last. The game that has become synonymous with vaporware, Duke Nukem Forever (DNF), may in fact be hitting the shelves in 2011, or rather will if you believe the Wall Street Journal article.

Duke Nukem Forever was to be the fourth installment in the series, but after 13 years, 3D Realms, the company behind the game, folded in 2009. It was expected that was the end of things. Until that time the company continued to use it's familiar refrain: that the game would ship when "it was done."

Now, with fresh blood in the mix, the game might actually see the light of day, though until the boxes hit shelves, who knows. Take-Two Interactive, of Grand Theft Auto fame, will publish it, while Gearbox Software ("Brothers in Arms") does the development.

After 3D Realms folded, Take-Two Interactive claimed to own the publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever; 3D Realms disputed that. Lawsuits flew. Apparently, the two sides have mended fences, although just who owns the IP to DNF isn't clear. The WSJ said that an announcement regarding the IP of the game would be made on Sunday at the video game convention PAX 2010, which is being held in Seattle, WA.

Furniture Showroom2011 is the best date the company will give, as naturally they don't want to miss a date. The game will ship on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. The WSJ noted that Gearbox had begun working on DNF toward the end of 2009.

Take-Two's shares were up up 9.5 percent on Friday, to $9.69. That was likely not because of DNF, but rather the result of the Thursday's earning numbers; Take-Two's fiscal Q3 ending July 31st was a blockbuster, with revenue at $354.1 million, up 273 percent year-over-year (from $94.9 million) and also beating analysts' consensus estimates of $295 million. Profit-wise, Take-Two reported fiscal Q3 income of $12.4 million, or $0.14 per diluted share. In fiscal Q3 2009, the company reported a loss of $58.3 million or $0.76 per share.

Even with its past hits, this Take-Two Interactive move seems risky. The last famously delayed game of such vapor-ish standards was Daikatana, which was a commercial failure. It's a good thing this isn't an auto racing game, too. DNF would stand for "did not finish."

This story was first published as "Forever is here: Duke Nukem Forever to Release in 2011" at by the same author.

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