Duke Nukem Wiki

Duke Nukem Arena, also known as Duke Nukem Arena 3D[1][2][3][4][5][6] or Duke Nukem Mobile Arena,[7] is an adaptation of the first-person shooter game Duke Nukem Mobile 3D but with added multiplayer functionality, a survival game mode, and a second singleplayer campaign.[3] The game was licensed by Apogee, developed by MachineWorks Northwest, and published by SkyZone Entertainment.[8] It was released for select Verizon mobile phones on June 14, 2007.[2][4]

In 2010, the game was re-released without multiplayer functionality under the title Duke Nukem Battlefields.[9]

In April 2020, it was discovered that Duke Nukem Arena was ported to the Nintendo DS as Duke Nukem DS, though the port was never released.[10][11]


Duke Nukem Arena is similar to Duke Nukem Mobile 3D, but it features several enhancements:

  • The player can now choose between two singleplayer campaigns: the classic 21-level "Mobile 3D" campaign and a new 10-level "Depth of Evil" campaign,[3] the latter of which features the same 10 arenas from multiplayer but with computer-controlled enemies[7]
  • "Nukem Dead!" survival game mode in which the player fights waves of incoming enemies, and the player's score is posted to an online leaderboard[3][5][8]
  • Multiplayer game mode with 1-3* players on any of 10 playable levels[3][7]
  • Two new playable characters: Pigcop and Paratrooper ("Assault Trooper" in Duke Nukem 3D)[2][12]

*Although some sources claim the multiplayer allows up to four players,[5][6] the developers have stated that the game only allows up to three players,[13] which is corroborated by in-game footage of the multiplayer setup menu.[12]


MachineWorks Northwest announced they had completed development of Duke Nukem Arena on January 15, 2007.[13] In the following March of that year, the game was showcased at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco.[14] Soon thereafter, it was published by SkyZone Entertainment on June 14, 2007.[2][4] It was only available for purchase on select Verizon mobile phones and was sold through Verizon's "Get It Now" virtual store, requiring either a $3.49 monthly subscription or a one-time $9.99 purchase.[2]

Duke Nukem Arena was built in the Ripp3D engine[2] for the BREW mobile operating system.[6][15][16]


Most contemporaneous media coverage of Duke Nukem Arena was provided by Levi Buchanan, an editor at IGN.[6] Citing its relatively smooth controls and the ease of establishing a multiplayer connection, Buchanan praised the game as the best first-person shooter that had ever been developed for mobile phones[6] and rated it 8/10 with an "Editor's Choice" distinction.[5]

A review published in Hardcore Gamer Magazine was more ambivalent, stating, "Arena actually does a pretty good job for being a true FPS on mobile, but too bad that the platform itself can't do it justice. The controls slow the game down and kill the fun. The game is good, but the handset just isn't up to snuff for it." The review concluded with a final score of 3/5.[3]

Nvidia selected Duke Nukem Arena as a finalist in their "Mobile Innovation Hunt" at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2007.[14][17]

MachineWorks Northwest also claims that Duke Nukem Arena was nominated for "Best Mobile Multiplayer Game" as part of the 2007 Spike Video Game Awards,[1] but records of the event do not corroborate that such a category ever existed or that Duke Nukem Arena was ever nominated for an award.[18][19][20]

Current status

Despite an exhaustive search effort and correspondence with numerous collectors and game developers, there are no known surviving copies of Duke Nukem Arena on the consumer market.

In 2020, Andreas "Andy" Vasen, the CEO of MachineWorks Northwest, stated that he believes the game has been unplayable for over a decade, due to the obsolescence of the original flip phone technology.[21] At the very least, the game would probably lack any multiplayer functionality because of its reliance on a specially dedicated server, as indicated in footage of the multiplayer setup menu.[8]

Having been developed for the BREW mobile operating system,[6][15][16] the game's files would most likely contain a ".mif" file that behaves analogously to a file shortcut in Microsoft Windows, a ".mod" executable file, a ".sig" file containing a code signature, and a series of ".bar" files containing graphics and other game data.[22] Given the compatibility of other Duke Nukem mobile games by MachineWorks Northwest, the game is likely compatible with the Melange emulator for Android.[23] When the game was first released, an editor at IGN reviewed it on both an LG VX8600 and an LG enV (VX9900) and concluded that the game controlled significantly better on the enV.[5][6]

Leaked version

In March 2020, a lost adaptation known as Duke Nukem Battlefields was rediscovered and leaked online.[9] Duke Nukem Battlefields is a 2010 remake of Duke Nukem Arena that includes all content from Duke Nukem Arena but without the multiplayer functionality.[9]



Duke Nukem Arena Wireless Game Trailer - Trigger Happy


Duke Nukem Arena - Multiplayer Gameplay


Duke Nukem Arena - Alternate Trailer


Because there are no known surviving copies of the game, it is not possible to produce new screenshots of Duke Nukem Arena. Apart from the videos above, there are 8 surviving screenshots of the game.

Five such screenshots are from the IGN page on Duke Nukem Arena:

An alternate logo and three more screenshots come from a Hardcore Gamer Magazine article on Duke Nukem Arena:

Several of these screenshots feature an enemy resembling a robotic Pig Cop, referred to as a "Robopig" in the game files for Duke Nukem Battlefields. This was likely intended as a computer-controlled enemy that acts as a stand-in for player-controlled enemies during the "Depth of Evil" singleplayer campaign, which is known to feature NPC substitutes on levels from the multiplayer game mode.[7]


Although the official credits for Duke Nukem Arena have not been published, the following individuals have taken credit for working on the game:

  • Andreas "Andy" Vasen, CEO of MachineWorks Northwest[4][21]
  • Seth A. Robinson, programmer[16] and project lead[21]
  • Akiko Robinson, graphic designer[16]
  • Mark Fassett, programmer[24][25]

External links

About the game

MachineWorks Northwest

SkyZone Entertainment


  1. 1.0 1.1 MachineWorks Northwest official news feed: "MachineWorks garners nominations at 2007 Spike Video Game Awards" on December 10, 2007. <http://www.machineworksnorthwest.com/news.htm>.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "The Duke Arrives on Verizon Wireless" via TechCrunch on June 14, 2007. <https://techcrunch.com/2007/06/14/the-duke-arrives-on-verizon-wireless/>.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Review of Duke Nukem Arena published in the August 2007 edition of Hardcore Gamer Magazine (Number 26: Volume 3, Issue 2), page 51. <https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/10810574/number-26-volume-3-issue-2-defunct-games/50>.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Duke Nukem Deploys" via IGN Wireless on June 14, 2007. <https://www.ign.com/articles/2007/06/14/duke-nukem-deploys>.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 IGN review: "Duke Nukem Arena 3D Review" by Levi Buchanan on June 15, 2007. <https://www.ign.com/articles/2007/06/15/duke-nukem-arena-3d-review>.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 IGN Mobile Podcast, June 2007 episode with Levi Buchanan released on June 21, 2007. Cached on April 6, 2012 by Wayback Machine: <https://web.archive.org/web/20120406082415if_/http://wirelessmovies.ign.com/wireless/audio/article/798/798287/IGN%20Mobile%20Podcast%20-%20June%202007.mp3>. Original article with broken audio link: <https://www.ign.com/articles/2007/06/21/ign-wireless-podcast>.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Duke Nukem Arena" written by Levi Buchanan and published by IGN on March 15, 2007. <https://www.ign.com/articles/2007/03/15/duke-nukem-arena>.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 YouTube video: "Duke Nukem Arena mobile" copyrighted by IGN and posted by Kryakus on April 14, 2007. <https://youtu.be/qWxE8Q7rdPc>.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 See the Duke Nukem Battlefields article.
  10. YouTube video: "Unreleased Duke Nukem Prototype Cartridge Nintendo DS Game" by DScapades on May 3, 2020. <https://youtu.be/07U5eWDiJ-Q>.
  11. NintendoLife: "Someone Bought A Duke Nukem Prototype For Nintendo DS On eBay" by Gavin Lane on May 19, 2020. <http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2020/05/someone_bought_a_duke_nukem_prototype_for_nintendo_ds_on_ebay>.
  12. 12.0 12.1 YouTube video: "Duke Nukem Arena Wireless Game Trailer - Trigger Happy" by IGN on June 23, 2011. <https://youtu.be/PrysYg19jC4>.
  13. 13.0 13.1 MachineWorks Northwest official news feed: "Duke Nukem Arena completed!" on January 15, 2007. <http://www.machineworksnorthwest.com/news.htm>.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "GDC 2007: Mobile Innovation Hunt" written by Levi Buchanan and published by IGN on March 6, 2007. <https://www.ign.com/articles/2007/03/06/gdc-2007-mobile-innovation-hunt>.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Ripp3D at a glance" via QSoundLabs. <http://www.qsound.com/products/ripp3d.htm.bak>.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 "About us" page on RTSoft.com, retrieved May 31, 2020. <https://rtsoft.com/pages/about.php>.
  17. MachineWorks Northwest official news feed: "Duke Nukem Arena finalist at GDC 2007" on February 28, 2007. <http://www.machineworksnorthwest.com/news.htm>.
  18. "Nominees for Spike TV's 'Video Game Awards 2007' revealed" written by Dan Dormer and published by Engadget on November 9, 2007. <https://www.engadget.com/2007-11-09-nominees-for-spike-tvs-video-game-awards-2007-revealed.html>.
  19. "Spike TV's 2007 Video Game Awards nominees revealed" written by Mark Androvich and published by gamesindustry.biz on November 9, 2007. <https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/spike-tvs-2007-video-game-awards-nominees-revealed>.
  20. "Spike Video Game Awards: The Winners" published by The New York Times on December 10, 2007. <https://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/10/arts/10bvideo.html>.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Private correspondence with members of the development team
  22. Private correspondence with the YouTube user KrZ One, a collector of obsolete mobile phones and owner of several other Duke Nukem Mobile games. <https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-c4v27-3H_rZJW_jk3jPJw/videos>.
  23. Melange compatibility list. Game Tech Wiki. Accessed January 1, 2023. <https://emulation.gametechwiki.com/index.php/Melange_compatibility_list>.
  24. "About" page on Mark Fassett's personal website, retrieved May 31, 2020. <http://markfassett.com/about>.
  25. Mark Fassett's blog: "The Waiting Is Killing Me" by Mark Fassett on March 23, 2008. <https://markfassett.com/page/54>.