Sunday night during the BAFTA event in London, Gearbox Software head honcho Randy Pitchford revealed that Duke Nuken almost ended up with a "gay robot" sidekick. Because of Duke's strong sexuality, the team wanted to explore how he would react to a peer that had a different sexual orientation. But the idea was canned and the robot deactivated, yet it may still appear sometime in the future.
"I don't want to spoil it because we might go there," he told the audience. "Ultimately the robot was in a situation where for in order for victory against the aliens to be accomplished, the robot's inner workings – a nuclear generator – had to be sacrificed. The exploration was all very sincere and real and maybe we'll come back to that at some point."
He went on to defend the tone and content of Duke Nukem Forever, especially against the constant flow of misogyny and sexism accusations. Duke is a wild guy, he admitted. In his world, everyone loves him.
"His world is similar to ours but it's not our world. We are in the time when most of our heroes have become pussies," he added. "They're emo and everyone's trying to take themselves so seriously."
In related news, Monday brought reports that Mass Effect 3 will have a gay romance option for male and female Shepard characters. Mass Effect Executive Producer Casey Hudson confirmed this feature over the weekend on Twitter. "Happy to confirm #ME3 supports wider options for love interests incl. same-sex for m&f chars, reactive to how you interact w/them in-game."
The first two installments of Mass Effect allowed Shepard to participate in male/female, female/female and Asari (tentacle-head) encounters. This will be the first time players will have the ability to participate in romance situations will male characters (male/male). This feature is largely due to BioWare's Dragon Age series which allows players to actually define the sexual orientation of their protagonist.
As for Duke Nukem's robot sidekick, Pitchford didn't say when it would make a return. However Pithford did go off-subject and talk about Half-Life 2: Episode 3, saying that it wouldn't be surprising if Valve wasn't developing the third installment.
"We assume there's one but clearly [Valve's] priorities are different," he said. "Those of us on the outside are making assumptions, [but] let's cut 'em some slack."
Valve may not be working on Episode 3 because the company is seemingly focused on creating a valued platform, but more on that will be revealed in a separate new post...