Posted on March 18, 2011, Phil Owen 10 Misfortunes That Will Prevent the Release of Duke Nukem Forever
Edit: HOLY S–T. It has already begun. Since we published this list, the game was f–king delayed again!
If Gearbox is to be believed, Duke Nukem Forever is going to actually come out in about six weeks on May 3. There is just no way that’s going to happen, though, because the universe is not going to allow it, and it will go to lengths that are as extreme as is necessary, perhps going so far that people don’t even realize what’s happening is because of DNF. There are an infinite number of ways in which God can stop the game’s release, but here are the ones we have decided are most likely.
1. An intern drops the game code into a storm drain
DNF goes gold, and an intern is told to carry the final build on a flash drive to the DVD and blu-ray printers while everyone else parties like it’s 1998. As the intern skips and whistles down the street, he bumps into some guy and drops the flash drive into the street, after which it bounces into a drain. They would later discover they used cut and paste rather than copy and paste to move the data to the flash drive, which makes recovering the drive of the utmost importance. It would become their Holy Grail.
The development team goes on a quest to find the flash drive, and they do; unfortunately, it’s on the edge of a bottomless pit deep beneath the earth’s surface. Blum tries to pick it up, but he only manages to knock it over the edge onto a small outcropping a couple yards down. Blum falls off too but is saved by Randy Pitchford, who is laying at the edge of the pit holding onto Blum by only one leather-gloved hand as Blum reaches for the drive with his other hand. They then have an exchange that goes like this:
Pitchford: Elsa. Don’t, Elsa. Elsa. Give me your other hand honey, I can’t hold you!
Blum: I can reach it… I can reach it…
Pitchford: Elsa. Give me your hand, give me your other hand!
Then Blum’s hand slips out of Pitchford’s grip and falls into the pit, knocking the flash drive down with him.
2. Activision announces new Call of Duty title will be released on 5/3
They’ve been hard at work on Modern Warfare 3 for some time now, and with three studios grinding away at it, they have a breakthrough: it’s ready hella early! And so next week sometime Activision will announce that the game will street on May 3, 2011. 2K decides immediately that they don’t want to pit their first-person shooter up against that big swinging phallus, and so they flinch and delay the game. A new release date is not immediately announced, and so the internet becomes abuzz with familiar discussions about how the game is never gonna come out. This sends many of the folks working to finish the game into a spiral of depression, drugs and hookers, and before anybody knows it, yeah, the game is totally never coming out.
3. All game code is destroyed in a freak fire.
As the game’s release gets closer, the folks doing QA on it begin to finally realize how crazy it is that they’re working on a near-complete version of freaking Duke Nukem Forever. The weight of this knowledge proves to be too much for any of them to handle, and so they begin sneaking drinks while working. A few drinks becomes getting way the hell drunk, and one thing leads to another and then all of a sudden both Gearbox and 2K QA are burned to the ground. It just happened.
4. 90′s game code prevents it from being playable on current consoles and PCs.
As the final builds are constructed, an old section of garbage code — a wireframe image of a penis some 3D Realms employee drew into a level map which isn’t even being used anymore — somehow makes the game unplayable on current consoles and PCs running anything newer than Windows 98. Gearbox techs think they remove the code, but it turns out they can’t find all of it. Gearbox decides it isn’t cost-effective to rebuild the game, and it’s cancelled.
5. Allen Blum has a meltdown
As release day approaches, Blum — one of the creators of Duke Nukem — spends more and more time in the office trying to make sure the game is “perfect.” Eventually he is spending 24 hours a day, seven days a week hard at work, never speaking except to mumble things like, “We’re not there yet gotta get it just right or we’re gonna die where’s my meth dealer somebody call him pleeeeeeease,” and so on. Gearbox higher-ups don’t want to go against Blum’s wishes, but after a few months of delays they tell him the game is good enough and must be pressed immediately.
Blum responds by pulling out a gun and pointing it at his monitor and saying, “If I die, the game dies, too,” before returning to work. A couple days later he has a heart attack, and his last act before death is to empty the clip of his gun into the monitor. This actually manages to destroy all traces of the game from the universe for some reason.
6. Metacritic ruins everything
2K sends out review code to the press three weeks before release day, and they make a point to send it also to notoriously conservative publications who don’t typically review games because they thought it would be funny. An inexplicable (read: the universe at work) server glitch allows their scathing, embargo-breaking reviews to be listed on Metacritic, and the game is slapped with an initial MC score of 15.
Take-Two stock plunges, and 2K is forced to drop the game, leaving it without a publisher. Gearbox tries to publish it themselves, but retailers refuse to carry it after the ESRB decides to re-rate the game to AO, just because. Gearbox then closes its doors for good.
7. The Duke Nukem Forever Prevention Society kills everyone involved with the game
Just days before the game is set to go gold, a terrorist organization bombs the s–t out of Gearbox HQ. A group called the Duke Nukem Forever Prevention Society claims responsibility for the bombing along with every other setback that had prevented the game from being completed thus far. They say the end is near and that everyone who has ever worked on the game must be killed. Those still alive are given ’round-the-clock police protection, but it’s for naught; the DNFPS has millions of members across all walks of life, and there is no one they can’t get to. Their efforts are quite thorough.
8. The fall of capitalism
The United States owes a lot of cash to China, and the commies are finally calling in on that debt. This breaks the US treasury and those of most European nations as they attempt to bail the US out, leading to the shockingly swift and mostly bloodless rise of communist thought in the West in the course of just a few weeks. By May 2, laws are passed in all involved nations that ban all video games because they’re frivolous and a distraction to the workers and peasants of the world.
9. Alien apocalypse
Vicious aliens in giant spaceships come to Earth and blow it the hell up on May 2.
10. The entire universe folds in on itself upon first sale
Like the Forerunners, God has one last-ditch plan for if every other effort fails. If, somehow, the game manages to survive the gauntlet and see commercial release, the entire universe will fold in upon itself, destroying everything that exists at the moment the first copy of the game is sold. It’s cool — he can just make a new universe.