Duke Nukem Forever is finally ready to launch--after what seemed to some like an eternity.
"Duke Nukem Forever is the game that was once thought to be unshippable, and yet here we are, on the precipice of history," Christoph Hartmann, president of publisher 2K Games, said yesterday in a statement that may have contained just a tinge of hyperbole. "Today marks an amazing day in the annals of gaming lore, the day where the legend of Duke Nukem Forever is finally complete and it takes that final step towards becoming a reality."
Duke Nukem Forever, which allows users to play the brash, obscenity-happy title character who wants to save the world from "pig cops, alien shrink rays, and enormous alien bosses," has become a bit of a running joke in the gaming business for its protracted delay.
The game was first announced in 1997 as a follow-up to Duke Nukem 3D. After being delayed from its original 1998 release date, the game's developer at the time, 3D Realms, made several promises that it would be launched in subsequent years. Each time, those promises were broken, and many wondered whether the game would ever actually launch.
Finally, last year, 2K Games announced it was working with a new developer, Gearbox Software, for the adults-oriented game and would deliver it to players this year. It initially hoped to get the game on store shelves by May 3, but it announced in March that it was forced to delay it once again to June.
"I'm very sorry for the added delay," Gearbox Software President Randy Pitchford said in a statement at the time. "We've all been working extremely hard and are very eager to deliver the game to you."
To help build hype for the game, 2K Games said it will offer a free demo starting June 3 to its Duke Nukem First Access Club Members. Users must have a unique access code to join the club.
All others who want to (finally) get their hands on Duke Nukem Forever will have to wait a few more weeks. The game will ship internationally on June 10 and hit store shelves in North America on June 14. It will be available on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. The title is rated M, for gamers 17 and older.