Learn to Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem on Wired
hashes through the development history of Duke Nukem Forever
, the unreleased first-person shooter that could serve as a poster child for vaporware after a 12 year production cycle. Though 3D Realms' George Broussard and Scott Miller did not participate in interviews and Broussard requested the same of their former employees, they got enough access to put together an inside look at what lead to the failures of this ambitious project. They discuss the problems caused by chasing technology and multiple engine switches, the "problem" of having too much money, the trials of managing a staff working on a project with no apparent end in sight, and the project's final days when 3D Realms finally needed outside money to complete the game. The conclusion includes this outlook on whether the game will ever be released:
Many observers think Take-Two is attempting to bleed 3D Realms dry until it has no more cash, then convince a judge to force Broussard and Miller to hand over intellectual-property rights to the Duke Nukem franchise to repay the $2.5 million advance. “It’s an IP grab,” says one Dallas-area developer. If Take-Two actually secured the rights to Duke Nukem, it might likely throw out the by-then-aging Duke Nukem Forever and simply hire new developers to produce new Duke games. But even without the suit, there is only a short window for Duke Nukem Forever to come out in its current form before it will have to be revised yet again, to keep pace with changing technology.