June 21, 2011 at 1:53 PM ET
Duke Nukem has been taking quite a beating in the last week ... but it seems he may be coming back for more.
While the latest game in the controversial "Duke Nukem" franchise — "Duke Nukem Forever" — has earned a whole lot of derision from fans and critics alike as well as a dose of controversy since launching last week, Take-Two Interactive has said this isn’t the last we'll see of the swaggering, womanizing alien hunter.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick told Forbes that they have more plans for The Duke.
"We don’t really talk about it in detail but you will see future Duke IP coming from this company," he said in response to a question about spinning Take-Two games out into television or movies. "If we can take some of our intellectual property and bring it to another medium in an extraordinary high quality way, that delights consumers and represents an interesting commercial opportunity for us, we will … So far we haven't brought anything to market, but stay tuned."
"Duke Nukem" and "extraordinary high quality" don't exactly seem like two phrases that go hand-in-hand at the moment. "Duke Nukem Forever" has been roundly roasted by reviewers who have given it a rating of 50 out 100 on Metacritic.com. In-Game’s own Todd Kenreck called it weak, uninventive and "exactly like it was made 10 years ago…and not in a good way."
Meanwhile, the game found itself at the center of a public relations flap after the head of The Redner Group — the PR company responsible for promoting it — fired off a tweet threatening reviewers who gave "Duke Nukem Forever" especially mean-spirited reviews. Take-Two fired the company. (For an interesting read, check out founder Jim Redner's guest column in Wired explaining how and why things went down like they did.)
In all fairness, it’s worth noting that Strauss made the above comments during the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo, which took place before "Duke Nukem Forever" launched. So will all the bad publicity since then perhaps change Take-Two’s tune? It seems only time will tell.
Of course, The Duke has never been the kind of guy to let a little adversity or bad press get in his way. The only question is, does anyone care about this cigar-chomping, muscle-bound, out-dated protagonist any more? Right now, it's hard to see why they would.
(Thanks to Forbes for the heads up.)
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