Is Duke Nukem Forever really dead? It turns out that the website “savedukenukem.com” was created on May 7 – the same day 3D Realms dropped the bomb that it was closing down.
The site is empty at the moment except for a small “Stay tuned…” image but its mere existence and the timing of its registration give credence to the theory that the surprise collapse of Duke Nukem developer 3D Realms is just a publicity stunt in advance of the game’s release. Attempts to access the site’s image directory only adds to the oddness: Rather than displaying an error or a blank page, the site greets users with a “No peeking!” message.
According to a reddit user by the name of “innocentbystander,” the process to complete a domain registration takes enough time that the owner, someone named Jeff Shenk, would almost certainly have needed foreknowledge of the closure in order to get the job done so quickly. I have no idea how true that is but in an update he also noted that the Saveduke.com domain was registered by an anonymous proxy the day before 3D Realms revealed it was closing its doors. Coincidence?
Yeah, probably. But there’s denying that a ton of DNF images and videos have hit the tubes since the announcement, a flow that the copyright holders have made no visible effort to stanch. Where was all this material previously? And if the game is as far along as many “former” 3D Realms employees say, why has the company been unable to come up with enough cash to get it to the finish line? The timing is also suspect; the flash and bang of the resurgent E3 is less than a month away.
I’m not a conspiracy weirdo by any measure but the whole thing sounds awfully dodgy to me. I don’t expect to ever see Duke Nukem Forever actually hit the shelves; on the other hand, until someone rams three Klingon pain sticks into it and says “Sonchi,” I’m going to have a hard time believing that the Duke – and this story – is really dead.