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Duke Nukem is (probably) coming back for more

Yeah baby, you'll be seeing more of me.
Yeah baby, you'll be seeing more of me.

So, Duke Nukem ... he's not the most popular gaming icon at the moment.

After all, the last game the alien-killin', cigar-chomping, uber-macho protagonist appeared in — "Duke Nukem Forever" — was released earlier this year only to be panned by critics and gamers alike.

But to be fair, the developer responsible for the game — Gearbox Software — only released "Duke Nukem Forever" after rescuing it from more than a decade spent in a complicated and unhealthy limbo.

Things might have turned out differently if, say, Gearbox had had its hands on the game from the get-go. These are, after all, the folks responsible for the excellent shooting franchises "Borderlands" and "Brothers In Arms."

In fact, it's looking like we'll get to see what a fully Gearbox-developed Duke game turns out like.

During a panel discussion at the Penny Arcade gaming expo this weekend, Randy Pitchford — Gearbox president and CEO — suggested that his company is not done with the Duke franchise and will soon be announcing a brand new Duke game.

"I know that you guys figured out that, when Gearbox acquired the franchise, we didn’t do it just to make sure we could all play Duke Forever, but because we wanted to make our own Duke game," Pitchford told a room of Gearbox fans. "Soon, we’ll talk about that, but not today.”

This seems to gel with rumors that started percolating earlier this month — rumors that Gearbox is working on "Duke Begins" – something of a franchise reboot. Though that reboot allegedly won't be the company's focus until after they finish the highly anticipated "Aliens: Colonial Marines." Gearbox, by the way, is also busy with "Borderlands 2."

It sounds like all will be revealed soon enough. While you're waiting for your next dose of Duke news, go ahead and watch/listen to the dulcet sounds of the Duke Nukem theme song played on two ukuleles ... I mean, Dukuleles.

(Thanks to Kotaku for the heads up)

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Winda Benedetti writes about games for You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+ . And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here.