The exaggeration of Duke Nukem’s most generic features is what makes him special, according to Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford.
“If you look at the modern heroes currently being created for games and action movies, for some reason, they’re all taking themselves very seriously and trying to be more human,” Pitchford told the US PS Blog.
“We have done that too – just take a look at our Brothers in Arms games. We’re dealing with real human emotions and problems, but Duke doesn’t have any problems – he just goes around kicking ass.”
Explaining that Duke Nukem was born as “the sum of all clichés”, exaggerated from classic action hero traits, Pitchford noted that the character now looks original, compared to the current fashion for “human” protagonists.
“What I’m getting at is that Duke started out as a cliché but now he stands out from the crowd, which is an odd thing to happen,” he said.
“I think that’s why he has become a meme despite there being no games about him for so long and Duke Nukem Forever leverages that.”
Even Duke’s famous over-the-top patriotism is winning hearts.
“I think it’s that angle that makes it work internationally because we parody that image of America that exists in Duke’s world,” Pitchford commented.
Duke Nukem Forever releases next week on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.