Source: Ubiquitous social-networking site Facebook.
What we heard: Earlier this year, the 12-year-long Duke Nukem Forever saga came to an end when developer 3D Realms laid off almost its entire development team. Today, though, rumors that a new installment may be in the works began to circulate, thanks to a new Facebook profile of the cigar-chomping, catchphrase-spouting hero.
The profile, which appears to have been created last week, appears to be part of a viral marketing campaign to promote a new game, Duke Nukem D-Day. After posting the teaser status "Duke Nukem doesn't stay down for long," the profile's administrator posted a screenshot (pictured top) of what appears to be a screen of the game, which shows a helmeted soldier shooting a rifle at a towering monster inside a sports stadium.
The scene appears to be the same one glimpsed in leaked Duke Nukem Forever footage, which surfaced this past May. (The trailer, which is viewable below, contains brief nudity and profane language--viewer discretion is advised.) So is Duke Nukem D-Day a rebranded version of Duke Nukem Forever, which the still-extant 3D Realms retains the rights to? Or is it the Gearbox-developed "Duke Begins" game, which had a 2010 release date before development was suspended?
The official story: Take-Two Interactive and 3D Realms did not return requests for comment. Reps for Gearbox declined to comment.
Bogus or not bogus?: Unclear. Given marketers' infatuation with low-cost social media campaigns, the Facebook page certainly could be part of a grass-roots PR campaign for an upcoming Duke Nukem game. Given the near-identical similarity between the image and the leaked video, the game could very well be a rebranded version of Duke Nukem Forever, the title for which was a synonym for vaporware throughout its development.
Unfortunately, even if the Facebook page is part of an official campaign for a new game, there's little chance of the flat-topped protagonist blasting aliens anytime soon. The Duke Nukem license is currently at the center of a heated legal dispute between 3D Realms parent Apogee Software, which retains ownership of the Duke Nukem IP, and Take-Two Interactive, which lays claim to Duke Nukem Forever's publishing rights. Is the name change a way to sidestep the wording in the Duke Nukem Forever publishing contracts? Time will tell.
[WARNING: Video contains coarse language and brief nudity--viewer discretion is advised.]