The saga continues. Like a foul-mouthed, stripper-loving cockroach in a nuclear war, the Duke Nukem franchise simply refuses to die, despite the best efforts of several publishers that have held the rights to the game and failed to produce the nearly mythical Duke Nukem Forever.
For those keeping score at home, a sequel to Duke Nukem 3D has been in development since the beginning of 1997. To put that in perspective, the world hadn’t even heard of Harry Potter yet, and Hong Kong was still under British control.
Despite it all, Kotaku is now reporting that trusted sources wishing to remain anonymous are claiming that Gearbox has begun development on a new Duke Nukem title.
This isn’t Gearbox’s first attempt at the seemingly cursed franchise. Earlier this year, the developer was forced to scrap development on Duke Begins, a potential spin-off of the franchise. Take-Two Interactive, which published Borderlands, owns the rights to Duke Nukem.
The troubled franchise has been in legal limbo since 2009, when developer 3D Realms closed up shop. To no one’s surprise, Take-Two sued 3D Realms over the failure to produce a new Duke Nukem game. The suit was recently settled in May of this year, paving the way for a revival of the series — at least legally.
Since it was announced, Duke Nukem Forever has seen two separate developers and three separate publishers.
The report claims that the game is far enough along in actual development that a playable demo could be released later this year. Even if the project is confirmed, even if a demo is released, even if the game becomes a priority for Take-Two and Gearbox, consider this a rumor right up until the game is physically sitting on store shelves. Even then, greet it with skepticism. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us since 1997…