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Timeline: Why Duke Nukem Forever Took An Eternity

Timeline: Why Duke Nukem Forever Took An Eternity

By Damon Brown

Read: Duke Nukem Forever - 2 Things the Long-Delayed Video Game Must Fix Right Away

Originally announced in 1997, the first-person shooter Duke Nukem Forever is finally hitting the Sony (SNE) PlayStation 3, Microsoft (MSFT) XBox 360, and PC and Mac this Spring. It's unclear if gamers will actually buy it now, but this timeline shows how video game's Chinese Democracy kept their attention for more than a decade.

Caution: Some graphic images may be unsafe for work.

Timeline: Why Duke Nukem Forever Took An Eternity

Duke Nukem Forever Announced

Duke Nukem Forever Announced

Duke Nukem Forever Announced

1997: Duke Nukem Forever is announced, gracing the cover of PC Gamer magazine. The feature mentioned a Duke Nukem movie which would go forward depending if the "novels, comic books, and other toys are a hit."

Photo courtesy of 3D Realms

Timeline: Why Duke Nukem Forever Took An Eternity

Duke Nukem Forever Wins Vaporware Award

Duke Nukem Forever Wins Vaporware Award

Duke Nukem Forever Wins Vaporware Award

2000: Duke Nukem Forever wins WIRED's Vaporware 2000 award for hyped software that's announced but never actually ships.

Photo courtesy of dce_76 // CC 2.0

Timeline: Why Duke Nukem Forever Took An Eternity

No Set Release Date for Duke Nukem

No Set Release Date for Duke Nukem

No Set Release Date for Duke Nukem

2001: 3D Realms gets fed up with Duke Nukem Forever rumors, admitting on its website "There is no date. We don't know any date. If you have a friend who claims they have 'inside info,' or there's some game news site, or some computer store at the mall who claims they know -- they do not. They are making it up. There is no date. Period." It will go on to win the WIRED Vaporware award a record 10 years in a row.

Photo courtesy of 3D Realms

Timeline: Why Duke Nukem Forever Took An Eternity

The Other Duke Nukem Game

The Other Duke Nukem Game

The Other Duke Nukem Game

2002: 3D Realms CEO Scott Miller tells WIRED "It's a very ambitious game. It's not cookie-cutter shooter like most are nowadays, and we're pushign a lot of standards. The proof will be in the pudding." Meanwhile, it licenses Duke Nukem for Arush Games' spinoff, Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project. It flops.

Photo courtesy of 3D Realms

Timeline: Why Duke Nukem Forever Took An Eternity

The Much-Hyped Duke Nukem Teaser

The Much-Hyped Duke Nukem Teaser

The Much-Hyped Duke Nukem Teaser

2007: 3D Realms releases a one-minute long Duke Nukem Forever "teaser" video that racks up more than 1.5 million views on YouTube. Still no gameplay shown. Still no release date.

Photo courtesy of 3D Realms

Timeline: Why Duke Nukem Forever Took An Eternity

A Decade Later, the First Screenshots

A Decade Later, the First Screenshots

A Decade Later, the First Screenshots

2008: The first two screenshots of Duke Nukem Forever are released to the public. Like the original game, the developer promises to have strippers.

Photo courtesy of 3D Realms

Timeline: Why Duke Nukem Forever Took An Eternity

3D Realms Closes

3D Realms Closes

3D Realms Closes

2009: Kotaku reports that 3D Realms has closed, leaving the fate of the decade-late title unclear.

Photo courtesy of josek // CC 2.0

Timeline: Why Duke Nukem Forever Took An Eternity

Duke Nukem Forever Resurrected

Duke Nukem Forever Resurrected

Duke Nukem Forever Resurrected

2010: Gearbox Studios announces that it has acquired the Duke Nukem Forever license and will be publishing the game through 2K Games. It reportedly took over development in 2009 when 3D Realms closed. The game will ship in May 2011.

Photo courtesy of Gearbox Studios

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