Many were shocked when Gearbox arrived at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle last week with Duke Nukem Forever in hand. The Borderlands developer had bought the rights to the long-awaited game and even snagged the Duke IP itself. Why take a risk on a title that's become the butt of oh-so-many jokes over its last decade of development? As Gearbox co-founder and president Randy Pitchford explains to Wired, he needed to keep the dream alive.
Pitchford worked on Duke Nukem 3D early in his career, as did a number of other Gearbox employees. Some of them even contributed to Duke Nukem Forever during its development at 3D Realms. According to Pitchford, "We felt like Duke was a part of us, too. And we were in a position where we knew that we could help."
The interview goes on to detail how Duke was freed from legal entanglements. It also reveals that a good chunk of the original development team has come to Gearbox to finish the title, and that Pitchford won't be messing with the formula. Gearbox is also looking into ways to take care of folks who have been sitting on early pre-orders for the game.
With Duke Nukem Forever so long in development, it seems impossible that years of built up expectations will be met. But this is also a game that few anticipated would ever see the light of day, so perhaps audiences will be more forgiving. I played a lot of Duke Nukem 3D back in the day, and even if it's only for nostalgia's sake, I probably won't be able to resist taking Duke Nukem Forever for a spin. Hail to the king, baby.