After nearly a decade and a half in development, Duke Nukem Forever will finally go on sale June 10 internationally and June 14 in North America. However, those looking to take the game for an early test drive will be able to 11 days earlier--provided they have the proper code.
Today in a short video (see below), Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford announced that the Duke Nukem Forever demo will be available for download to members of the First Access Club starting June 3. To join the club, gamers will need a code obtainable by purchasing the Game of the Year edition of Borderlands or preordering the game from participating retailers. The code is redeemable on the First Access Club's website.
Initially announced in 1997, Duke Nukem Forever was synonymous with vaporware for over a decade. While at original studio 3D Realms, it went through at least two engine changes, with its protracted development reportedly costing $20 million to $30 million.
Then, in early 2009, publisher 2K Games' parent company Take-Two lost patience with 3D Realms, refusing to give it the funds to continue development of the game. It went on to sue the suburban Texas developer, with court documents revealing the New York-based publisher was developing another Duke Nukem game, Duke Begins, with Gearbox. That developer, flush with cash from the success of Borderlands, went on to buy all Duke Nukem Forever assets and the Duke Nukem IP itself last September.
When Duke Nukem Forever launches, it will be available in both a standard edition, as well as a Balls of Steel Collector's Edition for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. This top-tier bundle includes a bust of the titular hero, a set of playing cards, dice, and two casino chips. A comic and hardcover art book are also included in the collection, along with a numbered certificate of authenticity.