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The Dallas Business Journal has vehemently defended itself against accusations of inaccurate reporting regarding a 2008 release date for Duke Nukem Forever.
A simple story about a highly-anticipated (for over a decade now) piece of gaming software turned into quite the reporting fiasco over the past days.
About a week ago, the Dallas Business Journal ran a story stating that Garland, Tex.-based Duke Nukem Forever developer 3D Realms had "confirmed" a late 2008 release for Duke's next long-delayed adventure.
Following the report, Next-Gen contacted 3D Realms' boss Scott Miller promptly for confirmation. What we got was a one-line e-mail from the always-outspoken Miller:
"Quite simply, they are lying b******s and they know it."
During the course of the day, the DBJ updated its story, removing the "confirmed" line and scaled back the statement, saying Duke Nukem Forever is "possible" in 2008, and noted the story's update.
But being called a "lying b*****d" stings for any publication, particularly for DBJ Web editor Stephen Webster, who wrote the original piece after an interview with Miller.
Webster contacted Next-Gen following Miller's remarks, saying that he stood by his report, as did the entire 41-paper American City Business Journals Network.
A self-professed fan of Miller and 3D Realms, Webster was disappointed with the turn the Duke story took. "We are not liars," Webster said.
3D Realms' George Broussard eventually posted a message on the developer's official forums regarding the DBJ piece that said, "In what appears to be an unfortunate turn of events, there seems to have been some confusion between what was 'off the record' and what was not. I suppose we're used to dealing with gaming press and not mainstream press. Lesson learned."
So what was really said during the interview between Miller and the DBJ? The DBJ website posted the audio clip (mp3) in question in direct response to Miller's comments to Next-Gen:
Webster: Ideally, we'd like to spotlight some of the projects coming out in 2008: Ghostbusters, Rage, Borderlands, and maybe it's just hopeful on my part, Duke Forever. Of course, you don't have to tell me when it's coming out. I know how...
Miller: It might make this year. We can't make any sort of official announcement. We're pushing for this year. Frankly, I think we're going to miss it by just a by a few months, but it's definitely an internal push.
Webster: That's good to hear.
Miller clearly said Duke "might make this year," a sentiment that was reflected in the DBJ's updated story (an update that Miller probably didn't see before his "lying b*****d" remark). There was nothing anywhere near a confirmation of anything, so DBJ was right to update the story. An "internal push" in Duke Nukem's case could put the game on shelves sometime between this holiday and the advent of cyborg butlers.
And could we expect anything else than vagueness regarding Duke Nukem Forever's release date? This is a game that's been in development in some shape or form since 1997, and 3D Realms is known as one of those "when it's done, it's done" game makers.
The DBJ plans to run a print story this Friday on the North Texas videogames industry, including Webster's full report on 3D Realms and Duke Nukem Forever. Editor-in-chief Kevin Bumgarner will be examining the Duke Nukem reporting fiasco in his weekly column.
Next-Gen expects to receive a scan of the DBJ piece this week.
Our insightful conclusion? We still have no damn clue when Duke Nukem Forever is coming out.
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