Duke Nukem Forever goes gold

Gearbox declares long-in-development action game finished; due out June 10 internationally, June 14 in North America; demo dropping next week.

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Today, Gearbox Software achieved something once thought to be impossible: the Texas shop has finished development of Duke Nukem Forever, three weeks ahead of its release date.

Gearbox has today announced that the game--which has drawn the ire of Fox News--has gone gold ahead of its June 10 date with the international market and its June 14 arrival in North America.

Feel free to do a double take; it almost doesn't seem real.
Feel free to do a double take; it almost doesn't seem real.

Gamers won't need to wait until the game is released to play it, as a demo for the game is scheduled to arrive on June 3 for members of the Duke Nukem Forever First Access Club. Access to the club is granted by either having a copy of the Game of the Year Edition of Borderlands or preordering Duke Nukem Forever from participating retailers such as GameStop, Amazon, and EB Canada.

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 does launch, 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.

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