Duke Nukem Forever release date disparity demystified

We've got a date with Duke.

The new Duke Nukem Forever release date raised a question around the PC Gamer US office: why is this game, which stars the quintessential American badass, is made by an American developer, and is published by an American company being released four days later in North America than internationally?

What gives? Don't 2K and Gearbox know that Americans have grown accustomed to preferential treatment? Who are the conspirators behind this? We want names!

We asked 2K PR Manager Charlie Sinhaseni, and the answer is so simple that it'll surprise you.

"We have a commitment to our fans to get the game out as early as possible, and every day counts. New games are available on Tuesday in North America, so we're getting the game out as early as possible in this territory. The international markets do not adhere to this release timing, and it just happens that they will be able to release the game a few days before North America. We don't want to hold it back, we want to get it into the hands of consumers as soon as possible," says Sinhaseni.

So there you have it: it's all the retail world's fault. While it's true that digital distribution knows no release schedule, big, powerful companies like Walmart and GameStop get their shipments of new games on Tuesdays, and don't appreciate the online competition getting a head start. Publishers can ignore the wrath of the retailers at their own risk, of course, but in a climate where every game sale counts, it's hard to blame them for going after those retail dollars.