Rumour: Duke Nukem Forever resurrected

The games industry's most renowned piece of vapourware, Duke Nukem Forever, is rumoured to be back in business, courtesy of Borderlands developer Gearbox.

Claiming to have spoken to sources close to the situation, gaming blog Kotaku says development on the famously-delayed sequel is now continuing, despite its original developer 3D Realms shutting up shop last year.

At the time, the game's publisher, Take-Two, claimed it still owned the publishing rights for the game, and it looks as though it's now passed the development job to the guys at Gearbox.

Unsurprisingly, no one has offered an official comment to the site yet. The former head honcho of 3DRealms, George Broussard, hasn't responded to requests for comment, and Gearbox president Randy Pitchford also declined to comment. Interestingly, however, Pitchford did say he might be able to "clarify the situation further" at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle later this year.

Last month, court filings revealed that Gearbox had been passed the gauntlet to develop Duke Begins by Take-Two, so the rumours aren't entirely unfounded. The developer's website says it's currently working on three "Mystery Projects," one of which is a new concept, but nothing is known about the other two. As such, it's possible one of these could indeed be Duke Nukem Forever, but this is of course all speculation at the moment.

It's now been 14 years since the Duke first uttered "Let's Rock!" in Duke Nukem 3D, but 3DRealms claimed it was working on the game right up until its closure in 2009. A playable version of the game was also shown on the Jace Hall Show, proving the game did at least exist in some form.

According to Kotaku, one of its sources even reckons a playable demo of the ridiculously-delayed game could be doing the rounds later this year.

If the rumours are true, it will be interesting to see whether Gearbox finishes off the original code from 3DRealms, or if it creates its own game from scratch. In the meantime, we'll believe it when we see it.