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First Person Shooters (Games) Entertainment Games

Duke Nukem For Never 565

PLSQL Guy writes "Duke Nukem Forever developer 3D Realms is shutting down, according to Shacknews. They cite 'a reliable source close to the company,' who said the developer is finished and employees have already been let go. It looks like all of the Duke Nukem Forever jokes are turning into reality; DNF might turn out to be the ultimate vaporware after all." 3D Realms' webmaster, Joe Siegler, confirmed the closing, saying that he didn't know about it even a day beforehand. Apogee and Deep Silver, who are working on a different set of Duke Nukem games (referred to as the Duke Nukem Trilogy) say they are not affected by the problems at 3D Realms.
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Duke Nukem For Never

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  • RIP DNF (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anenome ( 1250374 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:35AM (#27856517)

    There've been calls to open-source the game. Take-Two still owns the publishing rights on the title, and apparently never had an agreement to support development with funds--DNF was essentially privately funded.

    DNF is now the gold-standard for vapor-ware. How much money did they spend, I wonder, producing nothing?

  • Damn (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:36AM (#27856519)

    Sounds like they are all outta gum

  • About time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by something_wicked_thi ( 918168 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:36AM (#27856523)

    I've been kind of expecting/hoping for this for some time. Ever since the economy got so bad, I figured we might come to this. I'm actually amazed this didn't have before. You can't go that long with such incompetent management of a project and expect to be allowed to keep going, especially when you can't even be bothered to produce an actual time estimate for completion anymore except "When it's done".

    • by drfool ( 1535489 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:39AM (#27856549)
      yeah, well you can go to hell. Thank God Duke Nukem Forever was never released. If they had "competent managers" as you call them, we probably would have had a laughable pile of shit for an FPS released under the title that will forever have soiled Duke's reputation, which I foresee happening under Take-Two.
      • Re:About time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by phoenix321 ( 734987 ) * on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:00AM (#27856657)

        Competent managers are not required to have a product out the door in, what?, 15 years? Other companies without real managers do that in three. Example: iD Software managed several of these feats, making quality games, having some kind of time and money estimate beforehand and then actually finishing something.

        When a product like this takes *umpteen* years without any kind of progress or even a measly status report, you have incompetent managers, incompetent programmers, insufficient funding, incompetent financers, inadequate workplace or ideas distant from reality. 3D Realms probably had all of it and more.

        Unfortunately, badly managed companies go bankrupt. Fortunately, they're not wasting anyone's resources, money and time anymore.

        But it's much much worse when badly managed companies cannot go bankrupt under any circumstances, being deemed "too big to fail" or having some other kind of socialist protection.

        • by drfool ( 1535489 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:06AM (#27856703)
          we aint even on the same plane here man. Duke Nukem isn't something to trifle with, if you're putting out THE Duke title of all time, you gotta do it right, and if that means scrapping everything multiple times over a span of time larger than a decade, you do it. Some things are more important than time and money, Duke Nukem is one of these things.

          I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm going to repent all of my sins and start frequenting a church, hopefully when I die, Duke Nukem Forever will be waiting for me on God's Commodore 64.
      • Re:About time (Score:4, Informative)

        by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @06:14AM (#27857379)

        Frankly Duke 3D was bad enough.

        It was no Quake, and that's for certain. I never did get the Duke Hype, it was outdated as soon as it was released.

        • Re:About time (Score:4, Informative)

          by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <.rodrigogirao. .at. .hotmail.com.> on Thursday May 07, 2009 @08:01AM (#27857913) Homepage

          I never did get the Duke Hype, it was outdated as soon as it was released.

          The gameplay was very far from perfect, and the pseudo-3D engine looked bad compared to Quake's actual 3D (which came out a few months later). But it did have some cool bits... strippers, a wicked sense of humor, and a badass theme song.

        • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @11:11AM (#27860459) Journal

          Honestly, it probably did grow "larger than life" over the years, with so many people fondly remembering it (but not having really considered how far the 3D shooter genre has come since then either).

          I'd agree that it was "no Quake", but it wasn't supposed to be. Part of what made the game really good, IMHO, was the humor and lightheartedness to it - while still keeping the player focused on having "serious" missions and goals.

          A lot of action arcade games are "silly" or "cute", and that has an audience and a purpose. Others try to be as serious and realistic as possible, and that's got merit too. But it's relatively rare you get a game like Duke Nukem, where the character's random comments and gestures keep you laughing, while creating a fondness for the character himself. Yet at the same time, the game still appeals to the typical male's "violent side". You still get to blow things up and kill all sorts of aliens, and especially on multi-player mode, you had real strategies to employ. (I think it was the first of its type to make use of explosives you could drop and trigger remotely afterwards.)

          At the end of the day though, how much do we "fondly remember" the main character in Quake, or even the space marine in Doom, compared to "The Duke"?

    • You were dedicating neurons to this? You need to get out more.

  • by scheuri ( 655355 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:38AM (#27856541)
    Will they be shutting down the coming next 10 years?

    SCNR...it is bad for the devs at 3d, but still...it opens a whole new series of jokes.
  • by mischi_amnesiac ( 837989 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:54AM (#27856627) Homepage
    Old answer: "When it's done."
    New answer: "No, we are done."
  • by Shadow of Eternity ( 795165 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:54AM (#27856631)

    This is like the vatican coming out and saying "Shows over people, no second coming. Sorry, pack it up and go home."

    What ridiculous mythical everpresent promise are we going to look forward to now?

  • by voisine ( 153062 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @03:55AM (#27856633)

    Damn... 13 years of development down the drain.

  • good gnus (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:06AM (#27856697)

    I guess the Hurd has a chance to beat Duke Nukem Forever to 1.0, after all! Who woulda thunk it?

    • Re:good gnus (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @06:38AM (#27857479) Journal
      Unfortunately, HURD follows the same development methodology as DNF. They had it booting and running X11 / GNOME a few years back, then they decided to ditch Mach and switch to L4. Then they decided to switch to Coyotos instead. Then they decided to write their own game engine, uh, microkernel, from scratch.
  • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:14AM (#27856745)

    Guinness World Records reports that the long-standing record for constant masturbation previously held by Gooey, a chimpanzee at the Buffalo Zoo, in what was thought to be an unbreakable grip, was "overcome in one magnificent stroke" by the DNF team at 3D Realms.

    The sheer magnificence of the accomplishment has moved a Guinness spokesman to suggest that DNF has actually outgrown the term "vapourware", and become something else entirely. He suggests a new definition, "spankerware", be coined to cummemorate this astounding, 12-year feat of dong-flogging. "If this were an anniversary, the appropriate gift would be linen...and lots of it", the spokesman said.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:14AM (#27856749)

    I'm here to kick ass and fund development!
    And I'm all out of funds.

  • I propose... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <slashdot AT stango DOT org> on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:17AM (#27856767) Homepage Journal

    ...that Wired names their annual vaporware awards in honor of Duke.


  • by tmkn ( 1520967 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:20AM (#27856777)
    Hello, I am Fox News. I want to hire you to write some more funny news titles for me. When would you like to start?
  • by Burning1 ( 204959 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:21AM (#27856785) Homepage

    I think now would be as good a time as any to repost the Duke Nukem Forever List for those who haven't already read it, or remember it fondly and looking for a encore laugh.

    Just as the DNF team would occasionally tease us over the years with trailers, the list has been updated to include humanity's latest accomplishments (and failures.)

    Interestingly, a conversation regarding the late great duke came up at work just today...

  • by rice-dawg ( 878189 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:21AM (#27856789)
    Loved Duke 3D back in the day, but I was 15 when I last played it and 16 when Duke Nukem Forever was announced. My computer back then was a Pentium 166 with 16 megs of RAM and a 3dfx Voodoo Banshee card. And now, I'm 28, typing this on a multi-gigaherz, multi-core, multi-gigabyte, multi-monitor setup. My, how times have changed.

    For a couple years I eagerly awaited DN4, but after that, enough is enough. I gave up the ghost, earned a college degree, started a career, and next thing I know, I'm almost 30. I literally have not thought once about DN4 in years until I saw this headline.

    What a shocker. Not.

    Does 3DRealms still deserve headline space? They haven't done anything innovative in years. Their management is curt, snarky, and drunk with hubris. If anyone dares to post something anti-3DR on their forums, the thread gets locked, Siegler and/or Broussard gets the last word, and the user gets banned. But that's cool. It's their forums, they can do whatever they want, and apparently they only allow sycophants.

    "When it's done," they say. "The game will revolutionize interactivity," they say. "We don't need any money, we're 100% self-funded, and can afford it indefinitely because we are rock star developers and can sell ice to eskimos," they say. Oops.

    How many engine changes did DN4 go through? How much work was wasted in redesigning all the levels over and over again? And most importantly, how much money could DN4 have made if they simply instilled a little more discipline than "when it's done" into their culture? Management has to be stunningly demented to squander such a valuable franchise, and instead be content with trickling out old Duke Nukem ports and re-makes. If I were a developer at 3DR, I would be seriously pissed at having busted my ass all these years without ever seeing a dime of royalty that could've been seven figures, and instead am now laid off and have to look for another job in this craptacular economy.

    Memo to 3DRealms: thanks for the good times back in the day, but good riddance to your arrogance, your lack of respect towards the industry, and your vaporware promises. You will not be missed.
  • by Japong ( 793982 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:23AM (#27856803)

    This is the strangest read I've had in a while:

    http://gamingisstupid.com/2009/05/06/the-chair-story-revival/ [gamingisstupid.com]

    I was told to think about my next words very carefully before giving my final answer. Honestly, I felt this was a test to see how well I would hold up to pressure later when we had to "hold the lie" (the similarity to "hold the line" isn't on accident), so I held firm and said I really wanted to, but needed to have it reviewed...

    oh fuck...

    Faster than I can even remember (literally... I don't remember) I was knocked out of my chair by I *think* of all people Tim Sweeney (it was a wooden kitchen chair) and was pinned on the ground by Mike Wilson and Cliffy B (he's so much stronger than I ever expected). George walks over to my chair and fucking stomps the shit out of it until the legs are broken off. He casually picks up one of the legs that had split into a shit your pants style point and starts tossing it up and down. Scott and Mark Rein alternate on and off saying that I apparently wasn't aware how *real* business is done and that if I didn't want to find out why those two companies had maintained such a strong position in the industry dating back to the shareware days (when it seems people didn't ask nearly as many questions about why developers appeared, made a game, and then disappeared without a trace)... I had better reconsider my answer.

    I do remember the next part very very well though... I will never forget it and I have to admit that I have dreams about it pretty frequently.

    Cliffy and Mike pulled me up and shoved my face about 6 inches from the point of the chair leg. I was drenched in sweat (the trailers didn't have decent AC so it was already hot as hell in there)... and if they had let go of me I would not have been able to stand on my own.

    George looked me in the eyes and asked me one more time what I was going to do... so at that point I did what anyone would do...

    I mean, this guy actually did work at 3DRealms and this is his blog, but seriously, CliffyB and Marc Rein threatening developers with broken chairs? Tim Sweeny tackling people and holding them down for gang beatings?

  • this is so sad! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AlgorithMan ( 937244 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:25AM (#27856809) Homepage
    I loved Duke Nukem 3D, I played it until 2003 or so (when the last DN3D league was closed). I still have it on my HDD and play against the sob-bot every now and then. I even helped working on the High-Resolution-Pack for some time and I wrote the win32 launcher for the sob-bot...

    I was patiently waiting for DNF since 1997 and I never lost hope that some day it would be done

    to me, this is as if a relative had died :-(
  • Cus (Score:3, Funny)

    by Cus ( 700562 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @04:45AM (#27856927)
    "Deep Silver and Apogee Software are not affected by the situation at 3D Realms. Development on the Duke Nukem Trilogy is continuing as planned."

    There's a plan to this project?
  • by w0mprat ( 1317953 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @05:14AM (#27857073)
    They'll botch up this too, if asked about when they are shutting down they'll say 'When it does'
  • Wow. (Score:5, Informative)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @05:33AM (#27857167) Homepage

    Gotta love the site that lists all the things that have happened in the time DNF was "supposed" to be being made.

    For instance, it took less time to implement and complete the entire Moon landing program.
    The Beatles were formed, released every song, and split up in less time than it's been since DNF's initial announcement.
    Wars came and went quicker.
    The *entire* GTA series of games was released since the announcement.
    58 Mario games were made since the announcement.

    It always was a farce, always will be a farce. Even if the source was released tomorrow, complete and playable in every detail, DNF would *still* be the biggest development farce in gaming. It should have had its tail cut long ago, rather than constant "reinvention". All we can hope is that the developers and producers involved learn a lesson and start getting things out of the door in their new jobs. It sounds like it was technically good at most points but reinventing the wheel and constant, inept, managerial interruptions turned it into a circus (so, what else is new?).

    Surely anyone with a brain would have left 3DRealms *long* ago anyway, if this is how it was working?

    • Re:Wow. (Score:4, Funny)

      by Ogive17 ( 691899 ) on Thursday May 07, 2009 @07:33AM (#27857739)

      Surely anyone with a brain would have left 3DRealms *long* ago anyway, if this is how it was working?

      Hmm, getting paid for 15 years to produce nothing of value (as far as we can tell)... sounds like job security to me!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ledow ( 319597 )

        Until one day, you come in to work to be told that the company doesn't even exist any more?

        And from what I read online, the turnover on staff was quite high during most of that time, and essentially they spent their time re-doing things they've already done. I can't imagine a worse job to be honest. Being employed to do the same thing that your friend did yesterday, knowing that it'll never finish. I would imagine anyone with half a brain got out of there a long time ago, which is probably part of the pr

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shrike82 ( 1471633 )
        Until you go to an interview for your next job.

        Interviewer: "So what have you been doing for the last 15 years?"

        Applicant: "I've been working on Duke Nukem Forever!"

        Interviewer: "Get the fuck out..."
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sockatume ( 732728 )
      The Metal Gear Solid franchise was also launched and completed in that timespan, consisting of four "blockbuster" large-budget projects, four handheld titles, two mobile phone games, and five remakes/expansion packs.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.