Picking apart the hype of new and classic video games.

Duke Nukem Forever delayed…again.

Old school FPS gamers and chauvinists alike received some painful news today.

Duke Nukem Forever, the 13-year-old vaporware champion of the industry, will be delayed another six weeks.

Gearbox Software’s president and DNF executive producer Randy Pitchford announced the retro shooter/strip club simulator will now be released internationally June 10, not May 6 as originally planned.

Delays like this are hard to avoid with any big budget title, but Duke’s legacy of burning out before hitting store shelves means the is drawing plenty of attention.

Hardcore fans of the series are probably not taking the news well, but given the delay I’ve asked myself just how many hardcore Duke Nukem fans actually exist.

I’ve written before about the retro shooter renaissance, but while new IPs like Bulletstorm and Painkiller focus on the run-and-gun strategy and frenetic pacing, Gearbox seems to have bought whole hog into what looks to be an increasingly dated approach to humor and consumer tastes.

Recently at PAX East I caught a glimpse of the DNF booth, where onlookers could sit for a picture in a throne with a school girl booth babe posing along side them.

I was not entirely  surprised to see that despite all the online posturing, next to no one was willing to publicly participate in what amounted to an awkward trip to Hooters . Combine that with the recent unveiling of the butt-slapping “capture the babe” mode and you are looking at a game a lot of consumers may not be willing to stomach.

I couldn’t shake the feeling that DNF may be aiming for the same pubescent male market they mined in the early 90’s, an age before the ERSB. Problem is the 13 year Duke Nukem hiatus means the gamers at the right age to be entertained by the game have none of the nostalgia their older, slightly more tasteful counterparts may hold.

Ultimately game sales are going to decide where we as a community stand on Duke’s brand of humor in 2011. At least, if there aren’t any more delays.

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