When Gearbox first surprised fans at PAX by not only announcing that they would be releasing Duke Nukem Forever on all major platforms, but also giving players a chance to get hands-on with what they’ve developed so far, it was clear that fans had something to look forward to. But Gearbox Software, developers of the smash-hit Borderlands have now clarified the Duke situation: they aren’t just releasing the next installment in the franchise, they own it.

When presenting the game, Gearbox President Randy Pitchford expressed his excitement that their studio had been in a postion to bring the game to completion, but stopped short of giving any details on ownership or property rights. But now, 3D Realms‘ Scott Miller and George Broussard, the previous owners of the Duke Nukem name, have revealed that the franchise and its tiular hero are now property of Gearbox Software.

In Gearbox’s press release, Miller expressed his approval of handing over the reigns to Pitchford and Gearbox:

“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. 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.”

Broussard seconded the sentiment, as well as hinted at the potential that Gearbox sees in the future of Duke Nukem:

“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 This will be a win-win situation for everyone involved, especially the fans.”

It’s difficult to disagree with these two, since Gearbox’s dedication to its title has already become clear. I don’t know about you guys, but after everything that’s happened in the past few days, Gearbox Software, and their captain Randy Pitchford is my new favorite gaming team. I mean, listen to the way they talk about the game on Gearbox’s own website:

“Put on your sunglasses and prepare to step into the boots of Duke Nukem, whose legend has reached epic proportions in the years since his last adventure. The alien hordes are back and only Duke can save the world, again. Pig cops, alien shrink rays and enormous alien bosses won’t stop our hero from accomplishing his one and only goal: to save the world, save the babes and to be a bad-ass while doing it. The King of All Shooters is back with over-the-top weapons, massive aliens and unprecedented levels of interactivity. This game puts pedal to the metal and tongue firmly in cheek, among other places. Shoot hoops, lift weights, read adult magazines, draw crude messages on whiteboards or ogle one of the many beautiful women that populate Duke’s life; that is if you can pull yourself away long enough from kicking ass and taking names. Duke Nukem was and will forever be immortalized in gaming history, and this is his legend.”

“Hail to the king, baby! It’s unbelievable, it kicks ass and it’s totally going to happen!” said Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software, “Gearbox has enabled die-hard key Duke Nukem franchise builders and skilled veteran game makers to stand together and deliver. All gamers deserve a happy ending and after all of us gamers feeling the full range of emotions about Duke Nukem Forever, I am thrilled to be in a position with the trust, power and means to make it happen. Am I crazy? Balls of steel, baby, balls of steel!”

It’s safe to say that I am dying to get hands-on with this game, and I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way. As we all wait to hear more details concerning the game’s development, I’m interested to hear what you guys think. Are you already over Duke, or are you counting the days until your own return to adolescence when Duke Nukem Forever is released on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC next year?

Source: Kotaku, Gearbox

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