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After being stuck in development hell for years, Duke Nukem Forever was finally released in 2011. The game received mixed reviews on release because, according to Gearbox's Randy Pitchford, expectations were so high.
"In the case of Duke Nukem Forever, there has been 15 years of expectations built up," Pitchford said in an interview with VOX Games. "There are a lot of people who were perfectly gratified by the game; they liked the surprises, the details of how the humor manifested itself or how the scenarios manifested themselves ... and there were other people, because of the development effort or because of the way it’s been upsold throughout the years, there is just no possible way to meet or exceed such expectations."
3D Realms started development on DNF in 19998. When the studio was down-sized in 2009, most of the DNF team was laid off. However, a group of these team members created a company called Triptych Studios to keep the project alive. Gearbox then jumped in to help polish the game and port it to consoles. Pirahna Games was enlisted to create the multiplayer.
Regardless of the reviews, Pitchford is happy that the game was finished and that his company played a hand in it.
"We are so proud of that, you have no idea. It’s like, it is a miracle. The game exists and we get to see that content with what those guys have been working on for so long. And I love the game, I think it is hilarious frankly."