Duke Nukem Forever confirmed!

It’s been one of gaming’s biggest jokes, but it’s finally here after more than a decade of waiting. 2K Games‘ Big Announcement at PAX this morning reveals that Duke Nukem Forever has been secretly developed at Gearbox Software – and it’s playable on the showfloor, with an anticipated release date of 2011 (2010 if we’re lucky!).

George Broussard, sparking rumours

Estimated ship date...

The suspicions had been mounting for some time, with original developer 3D Realms‘ George Broussard posting an image depicting flying pigs… one of which seemed to be wearing the good Duke’s sunglasses. This harked back to a quote from 2006 about the timeframe DNF was being developed within: the game would be ready “when pigs fly”.

3D Realms, of course, was all-but closed down in May of 2009, with the DNF team let go in the downsize. The game itself was the focus of an awkward lawsuit between parent companies Apogee and Take-Two Interactive which was dropped earlier this year, just before rumours started surfacing that Borderlands developers Gearbox were in fact working on Forever, rather than the previously hinted-at spin-off title, Duke Nukem Begins.

Duke Nukem Forever

Don't call it a comeback!

More recently though, Randy Pitchford from Gearbox has been acting very coy about the title, building a wall of “No Comments” around the game, and promising more information would be revealed at PAX.

2K Games spokesperson Elizabeth Tobey seemed to agree with this yesterday:

“Something big is going to happen at the 2K Games Booth this PAX – and we want to share it with everyone – whether or not you are at the show. We’ll be streaming the first day of PAX live from our booth and giving you exclusive access to everything we’re doing – and it’s going to be AWESOME.”

And awesome it is!

Always bet on Duke.

Always bet on Duke.
(image courtesy @2kgames)

Gearbox are officially onboard, putting the finishing touches on the fourth instalment in the critically-acclaimed series.

This is actually a nice story: Randy Pitchford worked on Duke Nukem 3D, before leaving 3D Realms to create his new company, Gearbox Software.

…and while it was one of the worst-kept secrets by the end, Gearbox actually started working on the game back at the end of last year, as Randy explains:

“Clearly the game hadn’t been finished at 3D Realms but a lot of content had been created.

The approach and investment and process at 3d Realms didn’t quite make it and it cracked at the end. With Gearbox Software we brought all those pieces together. It’s the game it was meant to be.”

So – what do we know? It’s for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, it’s a sequel to Duke Nukem 3D, it’s promising both single player and multiplayer, and there’s a bunch of aliens that the Duke has to deal with.

Even better? It’s currently expected to ship later this year (but, y’know, those pigs have to earn those wings, so 2011 might be more realistic).

…the question begs though – if Duke Nukem Forever does actually make it to retail and people are able to buy it and play it, who will we pick on for long development times? Will it be worth the leadup? Will Duke ever get some more bubble gum?

Check out our Duke Nukem Forever Video Interview

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