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Black Mesa has now been in development longer than Duke Nukem Forever

Black Mesa has hit a big, weird development milestone

Black Mesa is a fan-made remake of the original Half-Life which was excellent enough to be approved for sale on Steam. It’s been in Early Access since it hit Steam in 2015, and we’ve spent most of that time waiting for the frequently-delayed Xen release. Black Mesa has been in various stages of development for over 14 years now, and this month its development time has surpassed that of Duke Nukem Forever.

That’s not an entirely fair comparison (even if it is an amusing one), since Black Mesa started life as community project released for free, and it’s still a part-time endeavor for much of the team. But as Reddit user Trenchman notes, the project began development way back in September 2004 – around Half-Life 2’s release – which technically puts the development time at 14 years and seven months.

Duke Nukem Forever entered development in December 1996, and eventually became the butt of every joke about unreleased games that would never actually come out. (Yes, Half-Life 3 is not the only title to hold that honour.) The game’s eventual release – lackluster as it was – came in June 2011, fourteen years and six months after development began.

Even unfinished, Black Mesa is already better than Duke Nukem Forever, but we’re still waiting for that final launch.

Alongside the release of the trailer above in November, the developers put forth a Q2 2019 launch for the Xen chapters that’ll finish out the game.

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Of course, it’s Q2 2019 now, and we don’t know exactly when Black Mesa’s final pieces are going to fall into place. Just soon. Hopefully soon.