For a game that took 14 years to make, the last thing 2K Games or Gearbox Software want to tell the gaming public is that Duke Nukem Forever is going to be delayed one last time. Unfortunately, through a comical announcement yesterday, that's exactly what Gearbox president Randy Pitchford had to do.
The lighthearted announcement trailer aside, Pitchford didn't keep it a secret that this was not what they wanted for the title, especially with its long history of delays and cancellations.
Everyone thought Duke Nukem Forever was done for good back in 2009 when 3D Realms announced that it was going to be laying off the majority of its staff and cancelling the mostly completed game. Thankfully, 3D Realms sold the project to Gearbox and Pitchford -- a former 3D Realms employee -- was given a chance to make the impossible happen and ship the next Duke Nukem once and for all. It's no wonder then that he's got a vested interest in this being a reality.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Pitchford was quick to dismiss that this delay was anything but a necessity as the team anticipates expectations to be high for the title and anything but a pristine version of the game at release could hurt the title overall.
"No trick - we believed May when we announced it. There is always uncertainty and we use experience and trends to help us be predictive. We are not perfect when it comes to predicting uncertain outcomes, but we are perfect at being committed to our goals and working relentlessly towards them. I think we may have been able to force May, but we think that would've introduced risks that would not have served gamers who have waited as long as we have to finally play Duke Nukem Forever."
This will no doubt be a relief to fans who thought that the game wasn't going to be released after all or that this was all just a marketing stunt to help get some more last minute pre-orders for the title.
Pitchford remained adamant that the delay was entirely in the interest of the fans, after all, Gearbox wants to see this part of gaming history released as much as anyone else.
"We are driven by fans who are as anxious for the game to finally be released as we are. The continued support of our fans does miracles for our morale and that drives quality and performance. It's for the fans that I am confident this slight schedule adjustment is the right thing to do."
Do Pitchford's most recent comments help instill confidence that this title is going to live up to its incredible reputation and development time?
Duke Nukem Forever is finally due in North America on June 14, 2011 with an international release happening a few days earlier on June 10, 2011. It will be released for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.