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Gearbox Rebooting Duke Nukem Franchise

By - Source: CVG | B 34 comments

Gearbox Software is rebooting the Duke Nukem franchise with Duke Begins once Aliens: Colonial Marines is completed.

The October 2011 edition of the Official Xbox Magazine reports that Gearbox Software plans to "reboot" the Duke Nukem franchise once Aliens: Colonial Marines is complete and out the door. The series, which began back in 1991 with the original Duke Nukem PC game developed by Apogee Software, will relaunch "with the long-discussed Duke Begins" on an unspecified date.

Believe it or not, there have been around 18 Duke Nukem-themed titles released on a whole, spanning the PC (MS-DOS), the Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, the Nintendo DS, iOS, to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC with the recent release of Duke Nukem Forever. Many fans will agree that 1996's Duke Nukem 3D was the most memorable of the bunch, and has since found its way onto more than nine platforms including Google's own Android OS (unofficially).

Gearbox Software was revealed as the developer of Duke Begins, the Duke Nukem prequel project, over two years ago. At the time, Gearbox was brought on to develop the prequel following a 2007 agreement between 3D Realms and Take-Two Interactive in which 3D Realms relinquished its rights to develop the prequel in exchange for an additional $2.5 million to dump into Duke Nukem Forever's ongoing development.

Gearbox was publicly named within Take-Two's answer to a counterclaimed filed by 3D Realms/Apogee Software during the Duke Nukem Forever dispute years ago. Take-Two said that the Duke Begins game was never terminated, and that it didn't need to consult 3D Realms/Apogee regarding to the change in its schedule. The company also denied that the halted development "materially harmed Apogee and/or will necessarily delay the commercial release of the Duke Begins game." Duke Begins was originally slated for mid-2010.

"Under the 2007 Agreement, any modification to the development schedule for the Duke Begins game, following Final Concept Approval (as defined in the 2007 Agreement), is permitted without Apogee's consent provided that both 2K Games and Gearbox (as defined in the 2007 Agreement) consent to the change," Take-Two stated.

3D Realms/Apogee Software retaliated, saying that a delayed release of Duke Begins would "delay any royalty payments...from sales of the Duke Begins game and prevent Apogee from being able to repay the [$2.5 million] advance when it becomes due in 2012."

Of course, since then, 3D Realms has shut its doors and Gearbox Software, along with a few other developers, pieced together the Frankenstein-of-a-game Duke Nukem Forever and published it back in June via Take-Two Interactive. As for when Duke Begins will launch, anything at this point is pure speculation.

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  • 0 Hide
    stingstang , August 22, 2011 6:30 PM
    Heheheh....Ahhh does anyone see another DNF coming? This joke just will not die! 100 years from now it's going to be going on, just with a different company, walking on the corpses of 100 other companies who tried to make a Duke game. Oh, the humanity..
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  • 8 Hide
    shloader , August 22, 2011 6:35 PM
    Gee, the 'let duke die' crowd wastes no time. Anyways... Good. Having this out of George's hands will be the only change necessary that keeps this from being another long, protracted development process.
  • 5 Hide
    PhoneyVirus , August 22, 2011 6:49 PM
    I'll get Duke Nukem when it's on sale for $6.99 this Christmas on Steam.
  • 9 Hide
    malphas , August 22, 2011 7:03 PM
    Duke Nukem has been due a reboot for a while, glad Gearbox finished up DNF and got it out the door first for the sake of closure, and can now get round to re-establish the character. Really, Duke Nukem 1 & 2 were really just prerequisites, Duke Nukem 3D cemented the character as we know him today, but after that the numerous sequels and spinoffs were all rather lame in comparison, DNF was kinda the culmination of all that, and I'm surprised people had such high expectations of it.

    Hopefully Gearbox return to more of the Duke Nukem 3D style character, which a bit of Duke Nukem 1 & 2 thrown in. i.e. a nasty, cigar chomping, steroid abusing, beer swilling 80's action-hero parody, that puts together his own pipe bombs and hangs out in seedy strip bars - not some toned-down PG-13 rated embarrassment he turned into in the later games.
  • 7 Hide
    stm1185 , August 22, 2011 7:03 PM
    Duke Nukem Forever a complete mess of a game was profitable. So knowing that they can make a much better Duke Nukem game from the ground up why wouldnt they? It just makes to much cents.
  • 1 Hide
    NuclearShadow , August 22, 2011 7:16 PM
    I think this is a good idea as a complete reboot means it no longer requires to follow the old trends that simply do not work anymore. This will also give Duke the opportunity to evolve some which is needed for any character. This is something Duke has always lacked, he never changed or evolved.
    It didn't matter what happened, to whom or what he had no development or progress at all.
  • 3 Hide
    shloader , August 22, 2011 7:31 PM
    NuclearShadow : I'm actually betting Randy Pitchford understands that. Duke is supposed to be a jab against developing cliches among the current crowd of modern heroes. It's not like there isn't source material to fuel evolution become evolution. For example Christian Bale's awkward altered Batman voice is just begging to make it's way into a Duke Nukem joke. I'm sure John St. John could do that easy.
  • -7 Hide
    Anonymous , August 22, 2011 7:40 PM
    To Gearbox: Don't even bother. As a veteran Duke 3d player, you have completely alienated me from good old Duke with your terrible DNF title.

    The mere thought of Duke fills me with disgust today, thanks to you. You can take your fake Duke franchise and bury yourselves in bankruptcy with it. The mere mention of Duke is boycotted for all eternity.




  • 5 Hide
    sticks435 , August 22, 2011 7:53 PM
    supperweeeeTo Gearbox: Don't even bother. As a veteran Duke 3d player, you have completely alienated me from good old Duke with your terrible DNF title. The mere thought of Duke fills me with disgust today, thanks to you. You can take your fake Duke franchise and bury yourselves in bankruptcy with it. The mere mention of Duke is boycotted for all eternity.

    You do realize that Gearbox had nothing to do with DNF right? All they did was piece together what 3d realms had been working on and get it out the door finally. It was 80 or 85% complete when they bought it.
  • 3 Hide
    palladin9479 , August 22, 2011 8:19 PM
    NuclearShadowI think this is a good idea as a complete reboot means it no longer requires to follow the old trends that simply do not work anymore. This will also give Duke the opportunity to evolve some which is needed for any character. This is something Duke has always lacked, he never changed or evolved.It didn't matter what happened, to whom or what he had no development or progress at all.


    And this would be exactly the wrong thing to do with the Duke.

    Duke Nukem isn't about any character evolution, spiritual awakening, learning moments, nor touchy-feely characterization. He's back a$$ kicking, more a$$ kicking, name calling, ohh and chewing bubblegum. He doesn't develop or change, nothing but jokes upon jokes upon jabs. There is nothing wrong with this, it's who the duke is. Notice they never give him a name other then "Duke Nukem", no history, no parents, no romantic interests (other then the twins). Just shallow dirty humor.

    Sometimes I really have to wonder what everyone expects from Duke? His entire character concept is a joke on modern day hero's. He's basically the anti-hero.
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , August 22, 2011 8:26 PM
    palladin9479And this would be exactly the wrong thing to do with the Duke.Duke Nukem isn't about any character evolution, spiritual awakening, learning moments, nor touchy-feely characterization. He's back a$$ kicking, more a$$ kicking, name calling, ohh and chewing bubblegum. He doesn't develop or change, nothing but jokes upon jokes upon jabs. There is nothing wrong with this, it's who the duke is. Notice they never give him a name other then "Duke Nukem", no history, no parents, no romantic interests (other then the twins). Just shallow dirty humor.Sometimes I really have to wonder what everyone expects from Duke? His entire character concept is a joke on modern day hero's. He's basically the anti-hero.

    This started happening in Duke Nukem 2 (Why I'm So Great, anyone?). But nothing in DN1 lead me to believe he was a hero parody... That only arose in DN3D...
    Maybe I'm just old school, but a back-story doesn't hurt my perception of DN...
  • 0 Hide
    palladin9479 , August 22, 2011 9:19 PM
    So are you saying in the first sequel there wasn't any character progression? Maybe my memory is a bit fuzzy but I could swear there wasn't a single bit of hero back-story or character progression in the original either.

    So umm, the first, second, third and fourth versions all had no character progression, yet somehow we want that now?

    Now I like back-story as much as the next guy, I'm an avid reader and enjoy a good RPG, but Duke Nukem is the exact wrong type of game to do that with. Rebooting is fine, have him as a younger duke kicking alien a$$ with young chicks on his arm, nothing wrong with that. Just don't try to create some sort of sad mother / father story with his dog dieing type stuff.

    Thing of Duke as the game version of Chuck Norris.
  • -1 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , August 23, 2011 12:36 AM
    I guess the 9 people (so far) that have thumbed down my comment haven't played Duke Nukem Forever. I've deleted that game off of my hard drive and I'm still kicking myself for purchasing it.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 23, 2011 12:59 AM
    This is the best news for the franchise I have ever heard. I can only hope that with proper management we can see a decently timed release with a decent finished product.
    Duke multiplayer is the only thing that barely saved Forever, Duke deserves a decent return to modern era. Our society could use the shake-up.
  • -2 Hide
    SmileyTPB1 , August 23, 2011 2:12 AM
    Wow a lot of people here don't like to hear most people think that DNF stinks.

    The joke of DNF being the most hyped game that never got finished isn't nearly as bad as the joke of it finally getting finished and being considered one of the worst major game released ever.

    The game is bad enough that they should let the franchise die. Not to mention that the world has moved on from FPS like Duke. Has anyone noticed that no one cares for Unreal or Quake either anymore?
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