Gearbox approves fan-made Duke Nukem 3D remake

New IP owner of iconic macho action hero grants noncommercial license for Unreal Engine 3-powered overhaul of 3D Realms' classic shooter.

Prior to its collapse in 2009, 3D Realms fired off one more installment in its Duke Nukem franchise, rereleasing 1996's highly regarded Duke Nukem 3D for Xbox Live Arcade. Now, Gearbox Software owns the rights to the Duke Nukem IP, and one of its first acts--beyond dating Duke Nukem Forever, of course--has been to grant a noncommercial license to revive Duke Nukem 3D with Unreal Engine 3-powered graphics.

As detailed in a post to Gearbox's message boards, forum user Fresch announced that the studio had granted him the license to proceed with his project, tentatively titled Duke Nukem: Next Gen. In the words of Fresch, the project gained legs after he built a "test" map using UE3 and posted screenshots to Gearbox's message boards.

Duke Nukem 3D has never looked so…3D.

"A few weeks ago, I played with the idea of a Duke Nukem 3D revision, made on Unreal Engine 3 Tech," he wrote. "Knowning that every other Duke project, not based on 3Drealms own technology (Build), has been knifed and cancelled, I didn't think it was possible to do…I contacted George Brussard and Scott Miller, to start a conversation about the project…But the project was only doable if Take-Two would approve it."

Enter Gearbox VP and general counsel PJ Putnam, who worked out the details with Take-Two, which culminated in a license for the project.

As for what that project will be, Fresch described DNNG as a complete graphical overhaul of Duke Nukem 3D using Epic Games' engine. The final release, which will be offered free of charge, will include a three episode single-player campaign and a multiplayer mode. The game does not yet have a release date.

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184 comments
dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

@Buriz: I never said it wasn't. I was making a joke about people getting excited. When people got excited about the 3DS they raised the price. I posted that comment a day after miyamoto said they priced it high because of the positive response. OF COURSE I think this is a good move, i am just really confused as to where in my comment you got that this was not a good idea... ....the only bad idea is to PUBLICLY praise it ;)

protokyoto
protokyoto

This will probably go the way of Black Mesa Source (The Original Half-Life fan-made remake)......no updates in a year and still says will come one day.....in the future....at some point. Still, looks good so far.

Skullcandy
Skullcandy

Well, the roof looks good. Should I expect this game around...2018?

DredWulf
DredWulf

if they update all the sounds then this game will be gold.

RJtheShadow
RJtheShadow

This...I think I just wet my pants... ...Nope, that's my soda I spilled. Same astonishment though.

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

Kudos to Gearbox and Broussard for not killing off the guy like most other money grubbers like Activision would. I hope this gets completed.

Hollow-Byakuya
Hollow-Byakuya

For the love of god, resurrect Destrega for the PS1!!! Epic fighting game.

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

Very nice. This is really what 3DR should have went for first. I tried playing the old DN3D, and without all the extra controls added by such games as System Shock, STALKER, et al, the game is almost painful to play. Gearbox should throw some resources their way and get it done late-cycle for a free DLC-style release. Then, they should take some of the 3rd-person maps sold way back then, get the rights to them, and make more DLC. And more. Note to programmers: not every game needs a brand-new engine. Might and Magic 6 - 8 did just fine. I remember the Doom add-on packs did quite well back then too. Just a not-so-subtle hint from an amateur game historian. :)

tsunami2311
tsunami2311

I will keep an eye on this, I rather have this then the DNF

squall_83
squall_83

@AceJakk Funny thing, I actually thought the exact same thing when I saw this. I was so sad when Square dropped a cease and desist on Chrono Ressurection. That was probably the most amazing fan game I ever ran across.

AceJakk
AceJakk

Reminds me of the fan created remake of Chrono Trigger about a decade ago. Square sent them a cease and desist. Gearbox wins.

wonzan
wonzan

O___O cool that they have a respect like this for the community. This is the way forward.

Massacher
Massacher

oh yes! it got the go ahead, thank you, thank you, thank you! i have tried playing Duke Nukem 3D with the EDuke32 mod, but it just doesn't work 100%. and now that this remake is going ahead it's gonna be so awesome to have two new Duke games to play, w00t! @squall_83 i definitely agree with you.

mike_ezm
mike_ezm

when reading the coments, i get to think gearbox is the most loved and/or respected company in these days... if not the only one

mustained13
mustained13

Dear id Software: Please do this to DOOM or even Wolf3d. Thanks.

squall_83
squall_83

All other game companies should act more like Gearbox. The game is old so they aren't making much money from it anymore and the fans are only doing it for their love of the game. Most companies would just slap them with a cease and desist order. Thank god Gearbox is full of level headed, decent people. This also makes me even more excited for the release of Duke Nukem Forever. I'm sure it's it good hands.

partytimekegs
partytimekegs

That is pretty honorable of Gearbox to allow some random guy to proceed with a remake. I'll give it a play when it is finished.

Psycold
Psycold

Would be cool if Gearbox was officially doing this as something extra to give people when DNF comes out, kinda like Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay remake

Forcecaster
Forcecaster

Way to go for the industry, let the fans expand what they like and let the IPs get what they deserve, the true love of the fans around the world!

GabrielOnuris
GabrielOnuris

Surely I will play this!! A remake of the old Duke, with nowadays technology? Very well Gearbox, now I can see you are a serious company; you have my gratitude!

BibiMaghoo
BibiMaghoo

Gearbox, much, much respect to you for this. If all games companies were this nice to fans, us gamers would have a much better hobby.

redness19
redness19

I doubt I'll play it but good on Gearbox for letting someone work on the remake. I am still bitter at Squaresoft for putting the axe on Chrono Trigger Revolution.

ejay_kain
ejay_kain

i guess one of the trophies or achievements must be called: Mac Daddy!! loved the old games!

admiral_picard
admiral_picard

Cool, Duke Nukem 3D was my favourite shooter as a kid - I was 5 when I got it and played the hell out of it. So much fun! Someone has already made high res packs that improve the look, but this looks to be even better than that. And of course, free of charge makes this an even bigger win. One minor suggestion - make it so you can see his legs and feet when you look down. It's just kinda cool to have that perspective (Similar to what L4D does).

frazzle00
frazzle00

Looking good. Would definitely get it if it gets a console release :).

burnteyeball
burnteyeball

I will get this, and play the flak out of it.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

great idea but stupid for letting a fan do... I love duke3d and that title has been released a dozen times since it was made waay back when so I don't really understand why not just remake the game and just resell it as a collectors edition with the new dnf? It be way better then all the other crap we have been getting for collectors editions of late....

Fayt1986
Fayt1986

its true the birth would be nice but that never came with the launch of duke 3d

TxtBin
TxtBin

@majere613 The Unreal Engine dev kit is available free to download from the Epic Games website - and you can use it for noncommercial purposes. If you actually plan to generate profits out of your creation, then you will need a license from Epic.

Dragonsingh3000
Dragonsingh3000

my god, how cool would that be if that come out over xbla and psn or bundled with Forever.... i would LOVE to see that hit the xbla/psn once fully complete, if that ever happens lol in the mean time tho i will play eDuke32 with high rez lol

Grim_Reaper007
Grim_Reaper007

I would really love to see Zero Hour remade in the unreal 3 engine. By far my favorite Duke Nukem game.

majere613
majere613

One slightly confusing element of all this- as I understand it the Unreal engine has to be licensed, you can't just use it without paying Epic. Of course, it may be that this guy has already done that, but it's not cheap, as I understand it. Still, assuming it does get done, I'll certainly check it out :)

Neo987
Neo987

While I'm not complaining (I can't wait to see this), I have to wonder: 3 episodes? What about "The Birth"?

Bortson
Bortson

Smart move by Gearbox. DN3d already made its last actual money for anyone with the PSN Live release. The only thing left it can do is help promote Forever, and letting a fan rebuild the game is free promotion and publicity

MATTxQCx
MATTxQCx

Gearbox have ruined the best shooter multiplayer game ever Brothers in arms when they have release Hell' Highway, im not a fan of Duke Nukem, just hope for the fans they will not do the same thing this time.

Huntress67
Huntress67

@stakex007..LOL don't even suggest that idea to the teriffic fan base of the Thief series. They've made plenty of extensive mods to those games and are still making them. Also another group of them completely overhauled Doom 3's engine into a new editor to make Fan Missions with, called "The Dark Mod" and no money for anything made/used. Another group even made a multiplayer game for Thief. So I have solid faith that if this guy went to all this trouble to get his permissions, I believe he will succeed! ;)

shooters125
shooters125

Looks great. I bet that fan has a future in making video games.

m_lw
m_lw

I bet you after 13 years or whatever its been, the New duke nukem 3D will be better than duke nukem forever!

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

Any bet that this fan made will be released before the vapor ware?

GingerDeadMan
GingerDeadMan

Wow. I'm genuinely surprised. Can't wait to hear more.

Buriz
Buriz

@dRuGGeRnaUt I think the move to give fans the ability to remake the original Duke Nukem 3D is a great move by gearbox. People will play this new free-to-play version of an old 1998 classic, and will want to play DNF. It's a good decision. Gearbox really knows how to get the fans excited.