Just two days after revealing its stewardship of the Duke Nukem Forever title at PAX, Gearbox Software just revealed that it has actually purchased the Duke Nukem brand. Gearbox president Randy Pitchford told an audience at PAX this afternoon that they're not just making sure Duke Nukem Forever makes it to store shelves, but they've actually purchased the entire Duke Nukem IP. "We actually bought the brand," Pitchford told fans. "We bought Duke Nukem."
A press release timed to go out with the announcement has some more information. Here's the big picture quote: "Gearbox Software announced today 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." Even more interesting: "The first product to be available under the Duke Nukem brand will be the long awaited Duke Nukem Forever." Naturally, if they're buying the brand you can imagine DNF won't be the last game to feature the Duke.
Pitchford made a point to say that Alan Blum, the creator of the Duke Nukem franchise, is now with Gearbox. "He's on the 10th floor with his team," he said. He also wanted to explain that this franchise couldn't simply have been purchased by anyone. "I didn't buy it from [3D Realms]," Pitchford said. "They sold it to me." In the press release, 3D Realms' Scott Miller said, "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."
So, Duke Begins then?