Sales expectations for Duke's "triumphant" return take a hit as well.
Market analyst firm Wedbush Morgan has trimmed a cool $25 million off its first quarter revenue predictions for Duke Nukem Forever publisher Take-Two, after the game received savage reviews from critics and sold much less than expected.
Duke Nukem Forever has proven unpopular with critics and fans alike. With a few exceptions, reviews for the game have been, at best, lukewarm, with reviewers taking issue with everything from the dated gameplay to the crude, often offensive attempts at humor. Wedbush Morgan originally predicted that Take-Two would make around $375 million, but reduced that to $350 following DNF's release. The firm had predicted that the game would sell around 3 million copies, but said that the final sales tally might be as low as half that amount.
It's not all bad news for Take-Two though; Wedbush Morgan has increased its sales predictions for LA Noire by half a million copies, and says that the publisher will still likely turn a profit, despite Duke Nukem Forever not performing as well as expected. "Of the major publishers, Take-Two has had the fewest 'misses' in terms of game quality over the last two years, and as a result, delivered a profitable FY:11 without a GTA release," said analyst Michael Pachter. "It has over a dozen core franchises, and if it can streamline development, can be expected to increase franchise releases to three or more per year."
Take-Two has stated that it plans to make more Duke Nukem games in the future, but it's going to have to work rather hard to overcome Duke Nukem Forever's negative response. It's possible, however, without more than a decade of baggage and old design, a proper "new" Duke Nukem game might be able to find an audience where DNF did not.