A new Duke Nukem will be made, but not necessarily all by Gearbox.
Gearbox acquired the rights to the Duke Nukem franchise back in 2010. Shortly after, the developer released Duke Nukem Forever, which had been stuck in development hell for over ten years at 3D Realms.
Everything has been quiet since then until Gearbox head Randy Pitchford started talking about it again today at Develop 2015 conference.
“I did not acquire the franchise merely so people could experience Duke Nukem Forever,” Pitchford said, as transcribed by Eurogamer. “That was, sort of, the toll to pay to give Duke Nukem a chance at a future.
“So yes. In fact, we’ve done some concept development. The challenge is that Gearbox is very busy. A faster way would be if the correct developer would become interested and we’d work with them.”
“I think that’s it’s a challenging problem,” he added, “but there’s no doubt that, when it does happen, the entire industry will turn its head. Getting attention in this industry is one of the hardest things to do.”
Perhaps the next game will have more attainable goals than Forever’s. Which, as Pitchford notes, “was promised as the greatest game that would ever be made”.