It is speculated by many that this title will never see the light of day, though the developers still insist that the title will ship "when it's done".
The game has undergone at least two major changes to its game engine under the course of development. Originally utilising id Softwares Quake II engine, the 3D Realms team switched in the middle of development to a heavily modified Unreal engine, forcing them to redo all previous work except the games textures. It is now believed to be using the Unreal Tournament engine with no detrimental effect on development.
On December 18, 2003 GameSpot.com published an article stating that Jeffrey Lapin, CEO of Take Two Interactive, the publisher of Duke Nukem Forever, revealed in a financial conference call after being pressed by an analyst on the subject, that he recently had a conversation with 3D Realms and they told him that they expect Duke Nukem Forever to be finished sometime at the end of 2004 or the beginning of 2005.