Gearbox Rebooting Duke Nukem Franchise

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.

  • stingstang
    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..
  • Ridik876
    DNB vaporware roflcopter
  • shloader
    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.
  • Darkerson
    Wait, what?
  • spanspace
    Next title that is due to be released is called "Duke Nukem: Glad you didn't have to wait another 10 years?"

  • DSpider
    Milking it like Final Fantasy now, are we?
  • PhoneyVirus
    I'll get Duke Nukem when it's on sale for $6.99 this Christmas on Steam.
  • malphas
    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.
  • 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.