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 Duke Nukem Forever  Proved Profitable For Take-Two
Duke Nukem Forever Proved Profitable For Take-Two
August 8, 2011 | By Tom Curtis

Take-Two has announced that Gearbox's infamous Duke Nukem Forever ended up becoming to be a profitable title for the publisher, despite its poor reception from critics and analysts.

In a Gamasutra-attended conference call today, company CEO Strauss Zelnick noted, "Despite its disappointing reviews, Duke Nukem Forever was profitable for Take-Two."

The title, which was in development for over 14 years, released to extremely negative critical reception, with some reviewers describing the game as "heart-breakingly disappointing on almost every level."

As a reaction to this "disappointing Duke sequel," analyst firm Wedbush Morgan lowered its sales expectations for the title from 3 million units to roughly 1.5 million units.

Following the game's release, Take-Two said that it would remain committed to the Duke Nukem IP, potentially taking the franchise outside of video games.

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Alex Beckers
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So, wait... are they saying that they made up enough in sales revenue to cover the entire 14 years of development expenses, or just the immediate costs of Gearbox's development?

Iulian Mocanu
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Unless I misunderstood, Take Two funded very little of those 14 years. The game was mostly self funded bu 3D Realms. They're probably referring to the costs accumulated in the last 2-3 years.

Michiel Hendriks
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As far as I know DNF was mostly funded by 3D Realms themselves.

Samuel Batista
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My money's on the latter.

Aiden Eades
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Of course it was profitable. Its DNF, and i'd hope more gamers out there are like me and consider the majority of reviewers to be nothing like themselves.

I think a lot of reviewers had expectations of it being some kind of amazing ground breaking future game considering the 14 years development, when clearly that could never be the case. Its more along the lines of 14 years on the backburner if i remember rightly. Its a late 90's game, with mid 00's graphics. People who were fans of DN would buy it because of nostalgia, people who didn't play DN (me) would consider buying it just because of the 14 years development.

Jamie Mann
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Given that Take-Two bought the game at a firesale and released it after minimal reworking, I'm not surprised they managed to turn a profit. Or at the quality of the final product: after so much reworking and tinkering over the 14 years of development, DNF was always going to be either a masterpiece or a disaster.

(and it still could have been a masterpiece - games such as Serious Sam, Painkiller and Darksiders have shown that it's possible to combine black humour and violence with some epically-scaled levels)

John McMahon
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I did play Duke Nukem and I didn't buy DNF for nostalgia, you know why? Cause I have better things to spend my time on. If you see it worth your, fine. But for the most part I agree with reviewers. They are comparing the game to others that have come out now, instead of comparing the game to other late 90s titles.

I got friggin Batman: AC waiting in the wings for me. That will be awesome.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

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Profitable on that release and still owning the Duke Nukem IP? Sounds like Take-Two made the right decision there. What's next though... Call of Duke: Nukem Ops?

Ben Rice
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Grand Theft Red Dead Nukem...

That's just a fun name to say!

Em Artio
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Note that it says Take Two made a profit - it doesn't say anything about Gearbox. I suspect that Take Two purchased it for far less than it took to develop it.

Ben Lippincott
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Here I was hoping it would simply break even. I didn't want people to lose their jobs over the game, but it really shouldn't be repeated.

Justin LeGrande
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"Always bet on Duke!" just got reinforced...

Chris OKeefe
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Profitable for Take-Two. I wonder how many people who bought the game regretted their purchase. Hmm.

Jamie Mann
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Hey, things could have been worse. It could have been Rise of the Robots...