Back to one of vaporware the most famous in the history of video games. In 2001, on the E3 stage, the 3D Realms team was more than expected at the turn. After the global success of Duke Nukem 3D, the studio finally decides to show a first trailer for its new FPS, Duke Nukem Forever. The game may well be late (it was planned for 1997), have been rebooted many times internally until exhausting its developers, the images of its trailer mystify everyone, both by its technical promises and its scripted situations with corrosive humour, in direct line with its elder.
And then nothing. The game fell back into chaotic development limbo, which culminated in the death of 3D Realms in 2009 and the abandonment of the project. The sequel is no better: 2K Games, one of Take Two Interactive’s subsidiaries, bought out its rights in 2010 and commissioned one of its studios, Gearbox Software, to make its own version of Duke Nukem Foreverwhich would be released the following year and go down in history as one of the worst FPS ever.
This first version of 2001, it remained the object of many fantasies, because invisible. And this fantasy is now satisfied, thanks to the initiative of a member of the 4chan network, who not only published on the forum a small extract of gameplay and images from the press kit of the time, but also a build fully playable (and guaranteed virus-free).
Nothing very transcendent in the state, if not a warmed up version of the previous episode: a level dressed in a striptease box, a 3D rendering pumped on those of Half-Life and Deus Ex, fights without soul against SWAT type cops. We understand a little better, by playing the demo, why the studio preferred to delay the deadline: it was simply going around in circles.
On the other hand, the leaked had the other merit of arousing certain unexpected reactions. Starting with that of Scott Miller, founder of Apogee Software (which will become 3D Realms in 1996), who split a mood ticket on his personal blog. “It looks like someone leaked a version of Duke Nukem Forever from 2001. Those expecting a playable game will be disappointed..” said the interested party in the preamble. But it does not stop there. In addition to acknowledging inadequate logistical management for the ambitions of the game (a non-existent roadmap, staff that should have been doubled, etc.), he especially accuses a dissident part of the internal team of having knowingly derailed the project. . To the point, in 2004, of refusing to entrust development to a more experienced studio (Digital Extremes, notably known for Warframe) and precipitating 3D Realms to its ruin.
If no one is named directly, it is easy to guess who could feel targeted: George Broussard, a former college friend and associate of Miller, who supervised the development of Duke Nukem Forever for all these years, before entrusting it to Gearbox Software. Which was quick to react, even more vehemently, in a tweet assassin
To sum up: it hits hard: “Scott is an incompetent and narcissist whose actions caused the friction/lawsuit with Gearbox that caused us to lose 3D Realms and the rights to Duke. The bullshit he spouts is mind-blowing. This is not surprising when you know his level of manipulation and narcissism. At least I had the class to keep my thoughts to myself.” If the build remains available on 4chan for an indefinite period, it may generate new bursts of flowery politeness of the same kind, or even that it awakens a new war between these old glories of the 90s, who seem to have many accounts to give back, which even time has not been able to mitigate.
Chance of the calendar: this matter of leaked echoes another revelation, last week. That of the first buildmuch more promising, Ravenholmthe spin off of Half Life 2 entrusted by Valve to the Arkane studio, but which had finally been canceled in 2007, which the Noclip channel was able to unearth during a long game demonstration. We talk about it in our last show