The Borderlands developer explains that it "has acquired the full intellectual property rights of the 'Duke Nukem' brand including Duke Nukem Forever and all future projects in a cooperative deal made with 3D Realms."
"Gearbox was handpicked as the new home for Duke Nukem because of their continued passion, commitment and long-time heritage with the brand and 3D Realms. Gearbox and Duke Nukem make for a devastating match made in video game heaven," Scott Miller, co-founder of Duke creator 3D Realms, said in the announcement.
The gaming community's love and demand for the Duke Nukem brand never wavered and Gearbox will not disappoint them. As you have seen from titles such as Borderlands, Gearbox will bring the right level of addictively compelling gameplay, humor and high powered explosive action to the franchise. Duke Nukem is back and will be bigger than ever.
Saying that "Fifteen years ago, Duke Nukem 3D helped launch my professional video game development career," Gearbox president Randy Pitchford offered his thoughts.
The Gearbox Software team and I are ecstatic that we have grown to a position to be able to pick up and carry the torch and help Duke rise back to glory in his time of need. Fans of the legendary hero and all the incredible talent that have ever helped him all deserve the very best support that we can bring. Please join me in supporting Duke in his triumphant return so that we may all enjoy the unique, one-in-million entertainment experience that only Duke Nukem can bring.
3D Realms co-founder George Broussard looked to the future, saying:
Gearbox was the only home appropriate for the Duke Nukem brand. They are very talented and possess the perfect perspective and understanding of the brand. Their vision for its future direction is exciting and unbelievable. I am personally cannot wait for fans to see their unique take on the franchise.
Having been mired in developmental and legal woes for over thirteen years, Duke Nukem Forever is now slated for release on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2011.
Our Brian got to play DNF over the weekend at PAX, check out his impressions.
DNF as it now stands is essentially the game series creator 3D Realms had been working on before it shut it down. Development was continued by a handful of former 3DR employees at Triptych Games, then Gearbox took the reins. According to former 3D Realms art director Tramell Isaac, the PC version of DNF was nearing something resembling completion when Gearbox joined development.