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Duke Nukem Forever (finally) goes gold

Today a game that's been in development for 15 years is finally completed. 2K Games sent over word via a press release that Duke Nukem Forever, the long awaited sequel to 1996's Duke Nukem 3D, has finally "gone gold', meaning that the game's main development has been completed and is now being replicated onto disks for its release for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 platforms.

It's been a long, long time since the game's original developer 3D Realms started working on the game. It first showed off screenshots (using id Software's Quake 1 engine) back in 1997, and in 1998 it actually showed a demo at E3 behind closed doors. Just a few weeks after E3 1998, 3D Realms announced it had switched over to using Epic Games' Unreal Engine to make the game. The next screenshots and a gameplay video were released in 2001, again at E3. After that there was almost nothing released from 3D Realms about Duke Nukem Forever even though the game was still in development.

in 2009, 3D Realms and the game's publisher 2K Games got into a court battle over the rights to Duke Nukem Forever that caused 3D Realms to lay off its internal development team. Many of those team members decided to keep working on the game at their homes under the Triptych Studios banner. Gearbox Software, founded by former 3D Realms team members, then got involved. In 2010 3D Realms settled its dispute with 2K Games, and in September 2010 Gearbox revealed that it had bought the rights to the Duke Nukem franchise. Gearbox announced that it would complete Duke Nukem Forever with Triptych Studios and Piranha Games (who are handling the multiplayer portion).

Today's "gone gold" announcement comes with a press quote from George Broussard, the creative director at 3D Realms and the man who lead Duke Nukem Forever's development through most of its life. He states, "Duke Nukem Forever and its journey to store shelves is legendary. It's an epic tale of four game development studios that banded together and did the unthinkable and shipped the unshipppable. When you play this game you will be reminded of that epic journey at every turn and in every small detail of the game. The character, attitude, interactivity, gameplay and political incorrectness combine to make a Duke Nukem game a unique gaming experience. In the timeless words of Duke Nukem it's finally time to 'Come Get Some'. Come be a part of gaming history."

The press release also comes with a quote from Gearbox Software head Randy Pitchford who states, "I've played the final game and it is an incredible experience - a once-in-a-lifetime opus of interactive entertainment that reminds me once again why Duke Nukem is our King.  The developers of Duke Nukem Forever at 3D Realms, Triptych, Piranha and finally at Gearbox deserve our thanks and respect for never giving up and have truly shown us that they have balls of steel!"

As we have previously reported, people who have pre-ordered the game or purchased Gearbox's Borderlands Game of the Year Edition will be able to download a demo of Duke Nukem Forever on June 3. The full game is due out on June 14 in the US and June 10 in other parts of the world.

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