Source: Gaming blog Kotaku.
What we heard: The Duke Nukem Forever saga may not yet be over. Over a year ago, 3D Realms laid off virtually its entire staff after spending $20 million over nearly 13 years to develop the sci-fi shooter. Then, as is often the case with publisher-developer disputes, the game became the subject of a tit-for-tat set of lawsuits between 3D Realms and Take-Two Interactive, which had planned to publish the sci-fi shooter under its 2K Games label.
Now, the presumed-dead title has resurfaced. According to Kotaku's sources, Borderlands developer Gearbox Software--which, like 3DRealms, is located in suburban Dallas--has taken over the reins of the project, which was first announced in 1997. Because 2K Games still retains the publishing rights for the title, it could presumably go ahead with shifting development of the game to Gearbox--if 3D Realms didn't claim it owned the Duke Nukem intellectual property in its lawsuit.
And this is where the plot thickens. According to 3D Realms' lawsuit, Take-Two had commissioned Gearbox to prep another Duke Nukem-branded game, Duke Begins, for a 2010 release, but shut it down to stop royalty payments to 3D Realms. Court documents filed by Take-Two in July 2009 claim work on Duke Begins was shelved "for the time being," but the publisher disputed 3D Realms' claims that it was done for financially punitive reasons.
The official story: Gearbox reps had not responded to requests for comment, but Take-Two offered the following statement: "While it is the company's policy not to comment on rumors or speculation, we can confirm that Take-Two maintains the publishing rights for Duke Nukem Forever."
Bogus or not bogus?: Too little to go on. One possibility is that the Duke Begins project may be revived and simply retitled Duke Nukem Forever because it had been scheduled for a 2010 release already. A rumored Penny Arcade Expo panel by Gearbox may shed some more light on the matter.