back to article Duke Nukem Forever developer defunct, says staffer

Duke Nukem Forever, probably the best known example of vapourware in PC gaming, may now never be completed. Developer 3D Realms has shut down, a company employee has stated. 3D Realms webmaster Joe Siegler told 3D Realms forum members that rumours of the company's closure were "not a marketing thing. It's true". Certainly, …


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  1. Smallbrainfield

    I did check up from time to time to see if there was any progress..

    There was some talk that it might see the light of day this year. Or was it next year?

    I imagine the offices will continue to be staffed late at night, by a ghoulish, insane programmer, who frightens off the locals and is eventually captured by a group of plucky teenagers and their dog, before finally being unmasked as the caretaker, who was planning to buy up the land and sell it on to developers and would have got away with it too, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids, and that dog.

  2. vegister

    GPL Please

    At least with open source you get betas...

  3. Andrew Barratt

    Open Source it?

    Stick it on Sourceforge and let the community decide....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there anyone left to care?

    Duke Nukem was of it's time. Damn, I had fun with that game, the interactivity and level design it had was terrific. It was a novelty at the time with no competition but let's face it, it's a very different gaming market now. So, the question is, does anyone really care if there is ever a follow up, apart for nostalgic reasons?

  5. Kevin Campbell


    Duke Nukem ForNever . I'm also beginning to wonder if we'll ever see Diablo III or Starcraft II

  6. Dennis

    Looking for a job

    Look out for the CV's saying worked on Duke Nukem for 12 years.

    'What did you do during that 12 years'

    Could you show us some samples of your work?

    ehhh No. I didn't do any work we used to play Quake and Unreal Tournament all day.

    Ok Thanks for coming in... A little peice of the real world you are expected to produce something when you get paid. Try working for a Government, they don't expect any results either.

  7. adam

    Duke Nukem Never

    Well I can't say it comes as a shock really after DNF being in development for so long. Hopefully someone else will pick up the game and finish it.

    RIP 3D Realms!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    shame to see it go..

    ... would be even worse for the company with publication rights to give the game to some crappy in house EA style team to screw it up, lets hope if its not made by 3d realms its properly buried.

  9. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Build was a big reason for success

    Like Doom, you could make your own maps. That meant, after you had played your way through the game and fragged your mates on the standard maps, you could spend hours making your own maps in an intuitive and quick 3D tool. I still remember getting a friend that had never even used a map tool to get his first map done in Build in about fifteen minutes. The subsquent success of games such as Counter Strike Source have largely been due to a large following of fans that cut their teeth on Build and now make maps for newer games. It's all a shame, really, but I actually thought 3D Realms had gone bust years ago!

  10. Martin Glenn
    Thumb Down

    Shake it Baby! (And other Dukey Quotes)

    Its time to kick ass and chew bubble gum only i'm all out of gum, And 3d realms are all out of everything. Oh well RIP Duke

  11. pctechxp

    Time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, I'm all outta gum

    And dough it would appear.

    Such a shame as both the 2D and 3D versions were top quality.

  12. Lozzyho

    bad news

    how to run a game franchise with BRILLIANT prospects into the ground.

    Nice one 3dRealms. Tossers.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Hardware ?

    Why is this in the Hardware section of the site ?

    Late / not delivered = software

  14. TimNevins


    'Bout time. If they were hoping to set a record the've done it.

    Dukes time has come and gone.

    Many gamers waiting on this are now grown up with young families.

    Let this be a lesson. Perfection can seldom be attained. Stop striving for it.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Way to go, George ...

    A pity, but not altogether unexpected - Duke 3D is still one of my favourite games on *any* platform (never been much of a fan of Doom) and it says a lot for any game which still has so much playability after Ghod knows how long.

    The only happy ending I can see here is if the code gets open-sourced, otherwise it'll be treated as yet another half-arsed cash cow.

    Mine's the one with the packet of gum in the pocket.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    10 years development, nice video, no software delivered.

    What on earth have the software developers been doing in Texas all this time?

  17. Rob
    Paris Hilton


    I think this says it all:

    Duke Nukem Forever = DNF = Did Not Finish

    Paris, because i've heard she always finishes...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    one word


  19. Anonymous Coward

    3D Realms cashflow

    Do you think they actually told their investors that they were going to tear off their heads and sh1t down their necks?

    ...isn't that what they've done?

    I loved Duke3D. The weapons were cool as anything. Freezing the other guys and then kicking them ho ho ho. Shrinking them was even more fun!

  20. Jerome

    13 years of playing with the king, baby

    "many more one-time Duke players have long since moved on to other titles, other platforms"

    No shit. It would be kind of odd if anyone had been playing nothing but Duke exclusively for the past 13 years.

  21. Kevin

    @Kevin Campbell

    Blizzard is accepting closed beta sign ups for SC2 right now. So with the way closed Beta went on blizz's last expansion in wow expect it probably be released by December with no bug fixes for bugs that were reported.

    and Diablo 3 they just started working on not that long ago so you gotta wait for that.

    Now on the other hand I always called it Duke Nukem Fornever personally it really irked all the people i knew that were duke3d fans

  22. Andy G
    Paris Hilton

    Boo Hoo !!

    RIP Duke. Soooo many promises... no deliveries...

    C'mon.... What are you waiting for ...... Christmas (2020)

    hehehe. I introduced my son to Duke3d and he wasnt even born when it came out yet he has it on his x-box so i dont think its totally a retro market just yet.... ( well ok lol )


    Paris coz she always comes again...... and again..... and again heheheh

  23. William Towle

    Re: I did check up from time to time to see if there was any progress..

    Smallbrainfield> "There was some talk that it might see the light of day this year. Or was it next year?"

    There's been talk of this seeing the light of day *for some time*!

    // beats quoting Slashdot memes verbatim. So passe'. Well, except on Slashdot itself...

  24. Heff

    @ Kev Campbell

    Industry insider monkeys says : SC2 is in final rounds of beta, test-booths have been seen at events like PAX. expect a buggy POS to be released sometime between december and june next year, judging by blizzards current release quality.

    Diablo 3 : Since the shit his the fan with fans demanding more dark, less cartoony*, Ive not heard a lot since. As far as I'm aware, they have the engine prettymuch finished and its just content building from here on in

    As for DNF/Franchise, expect to see a sequel shortly if 3DRealms has folded : Take2 will want some ROI from the franchise, and frankly, I'd like to see Valve pick it up. The source engine would be a good platform, and they've shown with things like TF2 and Portal that they have a sense of humour that they can work into a game. and a producer-publisher combo is probably the best way to go, some insidious little one-time production house being farmed by EA or Ubisoft would likely result in a rushed nasty POS. mind you, theres no real guard against crap : everyone believed in Romero, and we ended up with 'Storm over gift 3' and bloody awful Daikatana.

    either way, I'll still be happy to hear the sound of those pig-guards in games here and there, and 'll miss Duke, in all his pixellated glory.


    *production stills give you a colourful sparkly world like NWN2 with all the spell effects turned to 'rainbows and kittens'

  25. jai

    Nukem 'till they glow, then shoot 'em in the dark!

    "Duke Nukem Forever, probably the best known example of vapourware in PC gaming, may now never be completed"

    Last decade just called, they want their news back!

    but if Take2 own the rights, perhaps they can give the franchise to Rockstar to complete. R* are certainly capable of the right humour

  26. OrsonX

    Chuckie Egg Forever


    Some games just never make it, Gran Tourismo HD... forever 'almost done', by the time it's done we'll all be driving electric cars.

    Duke was the best tho! RIP

  27. Anonymous Coward

    I suppose...

    ... this means Axl Rose isn't going to do the soundtrack now either.

  28. Gordon Moar
    Thumb Down


    Oh dearie me, can't say I'm surprised though.

  29. Russ Williams

    Open Source? Get real!

    F/LOSS is completely unsuited for some types of application - games being near the top of that list.

    You can't get coherent art direction from part-time amateurs and, unlike code monkeys, digital artists have very little reason to give away their work. High production values also require staff working closely together - and, often, for long hours, motivated by fear for their jobs - because you can't make a silk shirt the way you'd make a patchwork quilt.

    Games are very much a "Cathedral" application, so "Bazaar" techniques are inadequate and inappropriate. Just look at what pass for open source games - nethack derivatives, a bunch of clones of casual/parlour/puzzle games, some sim/war games, the occasional bit of piss-poor 3d, and a handful of closed-source commercial games dumped out long after their value has expired.

    (Coat, because that's apparently all 3DR's people will be leaving with)

  30. J Day


    Don't know why but I'm gutted! I used to love playing Duke Nukem.

    Somebody "sensible" please buy it up.

  31. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    3D Realms

    I'm gonna rip off your head and shit down your neck!

  32. Daniel

    12 years of 'kicking back and chewing the cud', eh? Well, I guess you're all out of cud!

    Most nostalgics seem to forget this, but when Duke Nukem 3d came out, it was at the tail end of the sprite-based 3d shooters, and it required an inexplicable number of hardware resources to run, considering that all it offered over its earlier rivals, was vertical layering. Rival firms were already starting to offer polygonal rendering, at this stage, and what 3dRealms offered, at the time, was a secondrate and rabidly sexist story line designed to pander to teenage boys, (in fact, the story was so heavily ripped off from Doom, that the developers even put in deliberate references, to that effect). I feel that Duke Nukem is one of those franchises we are supposed to love, in the same we we are all supposed to adore ABBA. Applying any critical faculty to it, and saying: "You know, that was actually crap: good riddance" causes you to be vilified, in much the same way as the ostracism you will recieve for pointing out that writing tunes that stick in your head and annoy you for the rest of the day, is not the same as being a musical genius.

    I personally expected any eventual DNF release to consist of a Doom 3 style fumble - perhaps with much eye-candy, but wrapped around the same kind of unimaginative and restictive game-play that tried to force the player to admire the special effects, rather than proceed with whatever flimsy plot, thyere was to follow. 3Drealms never had any original ideas of their own, anyway, so I suppose all we've been spared, is the embarrasment of trying to like, whatever it was, they were eventually going to release on us.

  33. Doug Lynn

    Sad to see Duke Nukem gone....

    Are we talking about Apogee the orginal writers of Duke Nukem on floppy disk? I call it Duke Nukem 2D..along with Commander Keen, etc. I had alot of fun with these games back in the 80's

  34. Glen Silver badge

    @ daniel re: nostalga

    dont forget that the original quake ran like a dog on the same systems that duke would play quite happily.

    quake: any more than 5 or 6 bad guys in a room and most computers of the time would crawl, (no more than 3 onscreen at any one time) unless you had a bajillion quid for a 3d accellerator card (gl quake gasp!), thats what made quake death match suck in the long term... that and all the brown... and the lag...

    duke: streets that looked sorta like streets, "many" bad guys, the same juvinile humour that has kept GTA, south park, bevis and buthead et al solvent for decades (well 1, anyway), i mean a lot of us *were* teenage boys then, and we were the only ones playing computer games, or at least the only ones that would pay to see cartoon strippers.

    as for comparisons to ABBA, most of the music of theirs that is around now has been filtered by years of people forgetting about the rubbish. (how many albums full of songs? how many songs could we name?)

    so yes, the ai was crap (as with all fps till half life), the graphics were pixely even by the standards of the time, but all that was swept away when Duke would pipe up with a "witty" comment, or the many comedy deaths that could be caused.

    (Hell, even the bugs could be funny, like how duke could kick with his right foot and left foot *at the same time* and remain standing.)

  35. Circlestrafe

    @ Glen

    I had to register just to respond to your quake analysis. bajillion was $325 bucks for a 3d accelerator, I was in my early 20s and had 2 kids when I purchased my first voodoo1 card, so it wasn't prohibitively expensive. Quake deathmatch didn't suck....ever, and CTF was outstanding with 16 players on a dial-up connection! I should know I played it for years. It rocked and will ALWAYS be #1 as far as shooters go for pure instantaneous, non-stop action. You have no idea what you're talking about.

    But as far as Duke Nukem Forever. Good. It's about time 3DRealms bit the dust. How they 'survived' this long with vaporware is beyond me. Bunch of losers.

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