Learn to Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem

Long story on the epic fail that is (was) Duke Nukem Forever.

The Duke Nukem Forever team was unusually small; by 2003, only 18 people were working on it full time. This might have been adequate back when the game was announced in the mid-’90s. But in the years that Broussard had spent tweaking Duke Nukem Forever, games had become bigger and bigger. It wasn’t unusual for a developer now to throw 50 people or more at a single title. In essence, 3-D games had grown up: It’s as if Hollywood had evolved from tiny hand-cranked three-minute reels to two-hour epic blockbusters in half a decade. Successful developers had disciplined management that set deadlines and milestones. Someone at the top carefully made sure every piece was moving along. Yet Broussard and Miller hadn’t changed with the times. They were still designing “with a 1995 mentality,” as one former employee told me — trying to produce a modern, massive game with a stripped-down little group. —Wired

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