Take-Two has confirmed rumours that Borderlands maker Gearbox Software is currently completing work on the long in development Duke Nukem Forever.
The firm said in a press release that its 2K Games division will release the title – which was originally announced in 1997 – for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC “in calendar 2011”, adding that it holds “the exclusive, long-term publishing rights to the game”.
Meanwhile, Gearbox said in a separate release 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".
Take-Two launched legal action against previous Duke Nukem Forever developer 3D Realms after the studio failed to complete the title after 12 years. Gearbox co-founders Randy Pitchford and Brian Martel actually worked on the game for a brief period at 3D Realms prior to forming their current studio.
Duke Nukem Forever was playable for attendees over the weekend at the Penny Arcade Expo, “giving the first hands-on experience with the game that was originally announced during the tail end of the Clinton Administration”, Take-Two said.
"All great things take time… a lot of time," said 2K president Christoph Hartmann. "After a hiatus from the videogame world, Duke Nukem is back and better than ever. The return of the King from the glory days of shooters will satisfy our patient, die-hard fans, as well as a new generation of bubble gum-chewing, flat top and shades-wearing bad-asses. Make no mistake about it – Duke Nukem Forever is a testament to the era of when shooters were bodacious and fun."
Gearbox president Randy Pitchford added: “Hail to the king, baby! It's unbelievable, it kicks ass and it's totally going to happen! 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.”