This game has a [[DevelopmentHistory/DukeNukemForever page]] about its (in)famous development.
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* [[BannedInChina Banned In Australia]]:
** Averted. Incredibly, given Australia's reputation, ''Duke Nukem Forever'' arrived on Australian shores completely uncensored and unabridged.
** The game itself wasn't banned in the UK, but they had to change the cover art due to it [[NoSmoking being illegal to publicly depict smoking]] in the country. As a result, Duke's cigar was deleted, and [[LampshadeHanging his expression changed to a vaguely annoyed look]].
* DevelopmentHell / {{Vaporware}}: To put it in perspective, '''everything on [[http://duke.a-13.net this list]]''' took less time to make than this. It's finally over.
** Among other things, the the complete development of ''nuclear weapons'' was shorter
* ExecutiveMeddling / PrimaDonnaDirector: George Broussard was infamous in the development team for being a heavy-handed [[ThePerfectionist perfectionist]]. Wanting to keep [[EscapistCharacter his beloved Duke]] as perfect and up-to-date as possible, he went on a decade-long self-appointed quest to apply everything he found interesting into the game, to the point of buying the licenses for entire game engines to force his employees to work around them. Due to this, [[Creator/ShigeruMiyamoto table flips]] were constant, and Take-Two Interactive had to resort to threatening lawsuits to get them to speed up, falling through with the threats in 2007, causing 3D Realms to be fired and downsized and the developing rights handed over to Gearbox Software by 2010. It can be said that this made Broussard's reputation end up matching that of [[VideoGame/{{Daikatana}} John Romero]].
* HeyItsThatVoice:
** Creator/JonStJohn reprises his role as Duke in English.
** Creator/FumihikoTachiki provides Duke's Japanese voice for the first time ever in the story of the franchise. This is also considered as HilariousInHindsight, since his most famous role was voicing '''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Gendo Ikari]]''', and unlike Duke, he wants his girl back, [[spoiler: '''and he'll bring the end of the world along with her!''']]
** The Holsom twins are voiced by Creator/EriKitamura and YukoGoto, aka [[Anime/QueensBlade Alleyne and Menace]] and [[Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica Sayaka Miki and Junko Kaname]]. Miso and Chastity are voiced by Izumi Kitta and Sora Tokui, aka [[Anime/TanteiOperaMilkyHolmes Cordelia and Nero]] and [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Applejack and Rainbow Dash in Japanese]].
* [[NetworkToTheRescue Gearbox To The Rescue]] / UnCancelled: Randy Pitchford (and Gearbox as a whole) deserves a Nobel for going to the rescue of a game which was destined to die.
--> '''Randy:''' ''[[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming "Duke can never die, man."]]''
* LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition: [[http://www.gearboxity.com/images/web/dnf_balls_of_steel.jpg BEHOLD!]] The Duke Nukem Forever Balls of Steel Edition! Comes with a bust of Duke himself, an artbook with art through the ages, a limited edition comic book, and other such novelties! All for the heart attack-causingly low price of $99.99! If you [[NoExportForYou live in the US]] and are near a Gamestop or have access to Amazon, that is. No actual Balls of Steel included, though.
* NoExportForYou: ZigZaggingTrope: the Russian version of the game is a separate Steam entity. Meaning: it is locked out of Steam's usual language-selection options, as well as ''any'' patches and DLC, because the localization company and 2K Games cannot agree on whose responsibility it is to adapt them for the locked-down Russian-only release. All the appropriate access and unlock codes are provided, but they are simply not compatible with the Russian version.
* PigeonholedVoiceActor: Jon St. John is reprising, once again, his long-standing role as The Duke himself.
* PromotedFanboy: Randy Pitchford, who worked on ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'' as a junior developer, states he was (and is) Duke Nukem's biggest fan, and made sure that 3D Realms' game wouldn't die.
* TalkingToHimself: Near the beginning of the game Duke gets into a brief argument with an obnoxious tourist sitting on his throne. The obnoxious tourist is also played by Jon St. John, apparently. It seems the guy has a pretty impressive vocal range.
* TroubledProduction: 12 years in which the engine was changed, money was spent, insults were thrown, and eventually [[CreatorKiller 3D Realms went bankrupt (taking George Broussard's reputation along with it)]]. The game still managed to come out after Gearbox took over.
* ScheduleSlip: The epitome of this for video games.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** ''Forever'' started as a sidescrolling platform game based on the engine of AlienRampage and the sprites of VideoGame/DukeNukem3D. Said project was scrapped, and the title was used to the sequel to VideoGame/DukeNukem3D. An unrelated sidescrolling shooter titled ''VideoGame/DukeNukemManhattanProject'', based on the Prism3D engine, was relesed in 2002.
** Start with the fact that the game we got only ever got finished because many of the levels were shortened, merged, or just cut out and work from there.
** Many of the characters, weapons and setpieces seen in the early trailers were not used for the final version. An ActionGirl DistaffCounterpart of Duke (Bombshell) and a character named "The Prospector" were both absent from the final game (and were likely cut long before Gearbox got their hands on the game).
*** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpG54vQNdQc Bombshell's getting her own game now.]]
** There were also plans to introduce a [[AlternateUniverse mirror universe]] "[[EvilCounterpart NegaDuke]]".
** [[Creator/BenCroshaw Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw]] of WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation was [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/extra-punctuation/9002-Extra-Punctuation-Yahtzee-Could-Have-Written-Duke-Nukem-Forever asked to write the script at one point]]. Most of the development team absolutely loved his outcast, but George Broussard was more skeptical and kept asking "Would Duke really do/say this?", and eventually it was turned down. According to Yahtzee it portrayed Duke as an ironic character and made fun of everyone around him, as he believed it would be the best way to reintroduce Duke Nukem to a modern audience. It got scrapped in favor of "Duke played straight in a silly world" that we see now. Yahtzee was given a chance to revise the script to go with this tone, but he declined because that didn't make any sense to him.
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