Duke Nukem is a video game series focusing on its protagonist, Duke Nukem. Originally created by Apogee Software Ltd./3D Realms as a series of video games for the PC, the franchise expanded to games released for various consoles by third party developers. In 2010 the rights to the franchise moved to the hands of Gearbox Software who will complete the development of Duke Nukem Forever and release it in 2011.
However, the games really broke out of the shareware niche and into the mainstream gamer audience with Duke Nukem 3D, which also brought the series to the forefront of video game controversy. The game, like others such as Star Wars: Dark Forces, was one of the first titles considered to match Doom in quality. The Build engine used in 3D has also become one of the most popular engines ever, in terms of games using it. Duke Nukem 3D was controversial because of its depictions of sexuality, pornography, obscenities, graphic violence, drug use, and other taboo topics. This caused the game to be banned in Brazil and in other countries the sale of the game was strictly regulated against purchase by minors. Despite this, Duke Nukem 3D was a commercial and critical success for Realms.
Duke Nukem Forever has been in development hell since 1997 which has drawn a number of jokes related to its development timeline. The video gaming media and public in general have routinely suggested several names in place of Forever, calling it "Never", "(Taking) Forever", "Whenever", "ForNever", "Neverever", and "If Ever". Many fans have noted that the game's initials also stand for Did Not Finish which is an acronym widely used in motorsports to denote cars which didn't reach the finish line (usually due to mechanical failure or crash). The game has also won a wide variety of "vaporware awards" and the game has a permanent place in video game culture. However, people who have actually played parts of the game, such as Jace Hall, have complimented the game.