Following the May 6, 2009 demise of 3DRealms and their long-awaited and oft-delayed game, Duke Nukem Forever, fans of the franchise were prepared to finally admit that they would never see another Duke Nukem game.
However, in a surprise move today, Valve Corporation announced that they had purchased the Duke Nukem Forever source code in its entirety, along with all rights to the Duke Nukem name and franchise. Fans' hopes that Valve would finish and release the game were quickly squashed by managing director Gabe Newell.
"We see this more as an IP or content acquisition rather than a source code or technology acquisition, if you will," stated Newell. "We're not interested in the technology of Duke Nukem so much as the intellectual property of Duke Nukem. We do have definite plans for the franchise, but I can't reveal too much about them at the moment."
Information from sources within the company hint at some of those plans. "I know there's a plan to create a crossover game with our main franchises. AVP was a big hit for Sierra, and I'm sure people would love to see Duke Nukem joining forces with Gordon Freeman," said a Valve employee, who did not wish to be named.
The proposed storyline for the crossover game has Gordon Freeman, desperate to escape life in a Combine-dominated world, falling into what seems to be a portal to Xen, but is in fact a portal to the devastated Los Angeles from the original Duke Nukem platform game. Gordon steps through just as Duke Nukem is about to step through from the other side. This incident, coupled with a freak power surge merges the bodies and minds of Gordon and Duke, creating a mostly-Duke hybrid being called Duke Freeman. During the rest of the game, Duke Freeman will battle monsters from the whole Duke Nukem series, from pig-cops, aliens and mutated humans all the way to Dr Proton himself.
The player will have the ability to switch between the Gordon and Duke personas at will. In fact, most puzzles in the game can only be solved by using the right character. In the spirit of the side-scrolling platformer, the Duke Nukem persona will be used to solve all running and jumping puzzles, much like the original game. The Gordon Freeman persona will be used to solve puzzles of the Half Life 2 variety.
Following the defeat of Dr Proton, Duke Freeman will be teleported back to Gordon's reality. Here, another freak power surge will turn Duke Freeman into a mostly-Gordon hybrid called Gordon Nukem, who will then battle the denizens of Half Life 2 through to a thrilling conclusion.
Valve were quick to deflect criticisms that such a move would dilute the value of the Half Life 2 series. "The Half Life 2 franchise has been an incredible success, and so was the Duke Nukem franchise. We're taking Half Life 2 and adding more to it. It can only get better." said the unnamed source.
The game, tentatively titled "Gordon Freeman in the land of Nukem" is scheduled for release "when it's done".