Ask any gamer for an example of "vaporware" and most of the time their immediate answer will be Duke Nukem Forever. Vaporware is the term used to describe software that is announced (and often hyped) and then never sees the light of day for years after its originally scheduled release date, if ever. Duke Nukem Forever is the prime example, as it was announced (and hyped) way back in 1996 after the tremendous success of Duke Nukem 3D. Duke Nukem Forever was scheduled to be released in 1998, but it's now 2009 and it's still "in development." In 2007, new screenshots were released along with a teaser trailer, thus causing many people to finally believe that the game may actually come out sometime in the near future. Alas, Duke Nukem fans may have to wait a bit longer.
Yesterday, Shacknews broke the news that Duke Nukem Forever developer 3D Realms has shut down, along with Apogee Software. The studios shut down due to funding issues and employees for both companies have apparently already been let go. 3D Realms webmaster Joe Siegler confirmed the news. On the bright side, the closure doesn't mean the end of Duke Nukem Forever. Publisher Take-Two retains the publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever, so the company could seek another studio to develop the game. Take-Two VP of communications Alan Lewis also stated that its relationship with 3D Realms was strictly a publishing arrangement and did not include ongoing funds for development of the title, which helps to explain the 3D Realms situation.
So Duke Nukem Forever remains vaporware for the foreseeable future. It's no wonder that Wired News awarded Duke Nukem Forever its Vaporware Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.