The 2001 build of Duke Nukem Forever just leaked online

It's available to play if you want, but don't expect to have a good time playing the early build of Duke Nukem Forever.


Duke Nukem Forever is the stuff of legends, but not for the right reasons. A follow-up to Duke Nukem 3D, which came out in 1996, Duke Nukem Forever was first shown off at E3 1998 and delayed numerous times until it finally came out in 2011. By then, Duke Nukem Forever had lots its hype, and it certainly didn't help that the game was buggy as hell.

The leaked footage is now reviving talks on who is really to blame for Duke Nukem Forever's failure.

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To date, Duke Nukem Forever remains a great example for studios about knowing when to quit.

Having said that, it's been years until people have talked about Duke Nukem Forever with some form of optimism, but it's exactly what happened earlier this week after a gameplay build of the game's original concept appeared online.

A 4chan user leaked footage of the build online and claims that they plan to release a full version in June. To prove its authenticity, Duke Nukem Forever's producer, George Broussard, said that the video looks authentic. However, Broussard warned that players should "heavily temper expectations", explaining that he has "no knowledge" about who leaked the build after saying that "there is no real game to play."

The leaker explains that "almost every chapter is present in some form" and that "a huge chunk is playable." In addition to the playable build, they will also release the game's source code with instructions for those who want to compile it.

If nothing else, it's interesting to see why Duke Nukem Forever didn't come out in 2001 if this early build is true. Judging by how complete it is, Broussard had little excuse to delay it by a decade only to ask Gearbox Software to take over.

While a critical failure, Duke Nukem Forever actually turned a profit for Take-Two.

In an ideal world, Duke Nukem Forever would have come out in the early 2000s, paving the way for the planned prequel, Duke Nukem Begins, in the late 2000s. Instead, what we got was a half-assed game that was completely out of its depth. As a product of its time, Duke Nukem wouldn't have succeeded in the 2010s at all, much more so these days. Still, it's nice to imagine what it would have been like Duke Nukem Forever came out when it should have. Who knows? The John Cena-led live-action adaptation would have probably aired by now.

Speaking of John Cena, the WWE superstar is now firmly established as one of the tentpoles of the DC Extended Universe. After the success of Peacemaker on HBO Max, Warner Bros. gave the green light for a second season with the uber-patriotic vigilante poised to star in another upcoming DCEU movie.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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