Duke Nukem Forever is still vaporware, and will be until literally the minute I plop the CD into my desktop. Yes, after a nightmarish fourteen years in development, the sequel to Duke Nukem 3D finally has a solid, set date. They're even accepting pre-orders now. But just because you pre-order, don't make the mistake of believing you'll ever actually get to play.
See, Duke Nukem has been right on the edge of "going gold" more than once in the last decade-and-change. Every time, it's been pulled back from the brink of existence for one stupid reason or another. Twice they decided to change the graphics engine. Once, in 2007, we got a video teaser made as part of a holiday party.
In 2008, the Dallas Business Journal confirmed a launch that year. Which obviously didn't happen. More than twenty million dollars was blown on production before 3D Realms was cut to pieces. Several of her old employees formed Triptych Games, an independent studio working with Gearbox (the current publisher) to put out this latest "incarnation" of the title.
Imagine, for just a minute, if this same sort of thing were to happen with the tech industry. An awesome product is released, people love it and a ground-breaking follow-up is promised. And then delayed for fourteen years straight. The video game industry is a strange place.
It's a testament to the enduring nature of the Duke Nukem IP that gamers are still excited about this launch. Or possible launch. I still have my doubts. If you want to assuage your doubts, buy a game of the year edition copy of Borderlands to get a "first access pass".
You'd better really trust Gearbox when you drop that cash though. I'm fine with waiting a little longer. What's another few weeks on top of fourteen years?