The Last Guardian

Jun 01

Duke Nukem Forever: Randy Pitchford Talks PS3 Version, PlayStation Legacy

James Gallagher's Avatar Posted by on Jun 01, 2011 // Blog Manager, SCEE

Duke Nukem Forever for PS3

“It’s like shaking hands with Bigfoot or riding the Loch Ness monster,” said Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford when talking about finally releasing Duke Nukem Forever. Look up the term ‘vaporware’ and Duke Nukem Forever will likely be used as an example, but it’s real and it’s coming to U.S. PS3s in less than two weeks. I caught up with Randy to ask why you should always bet on Duke.

Duke is an all-American hero with the Stars and Stripes featuring heavily in the game’s art style, but characters like that haven’t always been so popular internationally. Why is Duke an exception?

It’s because Duke is a caricature of all that – it’s silly! Duke Nukem takes place 12 years after Duke saved the world and he has leveraged that to live like a king. He’s walked on the moon, climbed Everest… he’s done it all. The only thing bothering him is that they were supposed to make a video game about him saving the world and it has taken 12 years for them to finish it. I think it’s that angle that makes it work internationally because we parody that image of America that exists in Duke’s world.

How do you meet the expectations and conventions of when the game was originally conceived and those surrounding its release, so many years later?

Because of the legendary development cycle of the game, it’s natural to imagine that we’ve just been sitting on parts of the game since 1997. That’s not true – it’s a modern game. The way you get a character like Duke is take all of the action heroes you can think of and then blend all of their most memorable traits and blend them together, and then exaggerate that even more. Basically, he is borne from the sum of all clichés.

If you look at the modern heroes currently being created for games and action movies, for some reason, they’re all taking themselves very seriously and trying to be more human. We [Gearbox] have done that too – just take a look at our Brothers in Arms games. We’re dealing with real human emotions and problems, but Duke doesn’t have any problems – he just goes around kicking ass.

What I’m getting at is that Duke started out as a cliché but now he stands out from the crowd, which is an odd thing to happen. I think that’s why he has become a meme despite there being no games about him for so long and Duke Nukem Forever leverages that. In some ways, games have come so far, especially when you look at what a machine like the PS3 is capable of, but there are still game experiences and mechanics that are kind of timeless, and we’re trying to hit a smart balance between that and modern sensibilities and technology.

Duke Nukem Forever for PS3Duke Nukem Forever for PS3

How can you reassure PlayStation fans that the PS3 version of the game is going to be top-notch?

Gearbox has a lot of experience with the PS3 with Borderlands and Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway and the PS3 version of Duke Nukem Forever is something we’re really proud of. What I particularly like about it as a platform are the vibrancy of the colors you’re able to get, the great performance and just how open the PlayStation Network platform is.

Interestingly, most of the Duke games have found their way onto PlayStation consoles; in fact, there are more Duke games on PlayStation than on any other platform. Sony customers of this generation deserve to experience playing as Duke and I’m glad we’re able to do it so well.

How is that current generation you speak of going to ‘get’ Duke’s mythology know what he is all about?

The game is designed not to have any entry point so it doesn’t really matter if you’ve played the previous games or not. Anyway, everyone has heard of Duke if only from all of the memes I see going around like ‘Balls of Steel’, the ‘Ventrilo Harassment’ video and ‘Always Bet on Duke’, which is a funny joke because this game has been in development for so long that it’s the one thing you probably shouldn’t bet on, but now its here.

Duke Nukem Forever for PS3Duke Nukem Forever for PS3

Duke Nukem Forever is surely one of the most talked about games, not least by you yourself, after such a lengthy press tour. Is there anything you haven’t revealed yet?

This game is massive and we’re only scratching the surface. I feel like we’ve put less out there than we did for Borderlands but such is the interest in the game that people are jumping on anything we announce and picking up the stories. Take the Penny Arcade Expo, where we announced that we were releasing Duke Nukem Forever, we didn’t tell anyone that we were going to be there or schedule any press, yet it became the number one trending topic on twitter worldwide.

You’ve told us before that some members of the original 3D Realms team have been working on the game; what’s going to be next for them?

Each person is their own individual but, as far as I’m concerned, Allen Blum [3D Realms Senior Level Designer] walks on water. He is Duke and he is one of the reasons I moved out to Texas in the mid-90s to join 3D Realms. I’m going to try and talk him into coming to E3. It has to be amazing to be in his shoes right now, to see the game finally coming out having been there for the whole ride. Then again, I can’t just single him out and I have to recognise the commitment that George Broussard, Scott Miller and others brought to the game. They’ve done so much for the industry – without Scott and George, we wouldn’t have had Wolfenstein and I don’t think the first-person genre would be as popular as it is today.

//Add Your Own


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+ sindiewen on June 1st, 2011 at 12:58 pm said:

Pretty nice.

Still probably picking up the PC Version. God I hope its not a console port like Crysis 2 was.


+ thetruth8431 on June 1st, 2011 at 1:03 pm said:

I pre ordered this game weeks ago i can’t wait for it 2 come in.


+ FellOpenIan on June 1st, 2011 at 1:04 pm said:

The question is whether or not First Access Club members will be able to download the DNF demo on the 3rd.


+ pj179 on June 1st, 2011 at 1:04 pm said:

Having never played a Duke Nukem game before, I was surprised at how excited I was to play this game after seeing the trailer. Will definitely be picking this up.


+ Blkant on June 1st, 2011 at 1:08 pm said:

My biggest fear is how the port will fair in comparison. There is already no doubt I’ll get the PS3 and PC version, but I simply cannot fathom having an inferior version on the PS3. So far no one has confirmed that the console versions are of equal quality, so can someone comment on this please?

Anyways, I am ecstatic to finally play the new DN. It has been a long 15 years since I bought DN:3D and became obsessed with the series, even then I bought the PS1 version just to play the new missions that weren’t on the PC version (hence why I’m getting a PC and PS3 version now :P). Like with the above comment though, lets hope the PSN store will be up in time to get the First Access Club demo. :)

Thank you guys for finishing it up and finally letting us get our hands on DN once more, it has been a long time.


+ Maxpower1096 on June 1st, 2011 at 1:09 pm said:



+ Maxpower1096 on June 1st, 2011 at 1:09 pm said:

lol or not


+ LuiguiPR on June 1st, 2011 at 1:13 pm said:

In this game is only aliens??? There will be zombies in paradise???!!
Ohhh And I whant the ps Store!!!!


+ Enforcer_X on June 1st, 2011 at 1:16 pm said:

Have the PC and PS3 version both pre-ordered … BALLS OF STEEL!
Let’s Rock!


+ Myke-Myke on June 1st, 2011 at 1:18 pm said:

Can’t wait to play the demo.

Very excited!


+ xaos on June 1st, 2011 at 1:18 pm said:

“What I particularly like about it as a platform [is] just how open the PlayStation Network platform is.”

Was that a subtle dig? I kid, we all know that Duke doesn’t do subtle/


+ station3fever on June 1st, 2011 at 1:19 pm said:

duke is the man!! and as a duke fan i will buy this game while chewing gum & kicking @$$


+ Lord_Ka1n on June 1st, 2011 at 1:19 pm said:

ehh, not for me. i like the more serious fps’ with real weapons and no aliens or zombies or any crap like that. its nice to see old games coming back though like duke, MK and TM.


+ JamesL007 on June 1st, 2011 at 1:22 pm said:

All Hail the King baby!!! I mean finally after long long last we get Duke Nukem and I can’t wait I want the balls of steel edition but I will most likely just pick it up non steel edition but still just to have this game no matter the reviews or critics it will be good to have Duke on the PS3 at last


+ NO_FEAR on June 1st, 2011 at 1:26 pm said:

Get some!


+ ChaseHammerJ on June 1st, 2011 at 1:28 pm said:

i preorderd this thing like what 10 years ago? sheesh forget it.


+ Sarge435 on June 1st, 2011 at 1:28 pm said:

Wow, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, and Uncharted 3 all in the same year. This must be some kind of record. Friend Sarge435 if you will get any of these. Can’t wait for E3


+ jimfear on June 1st, 2011 at 1:30 pm said:

What will happen to those who have a duke nukem first acces demo if the store is not up on June 3rd?


+ karate_chop_fuey on June 1st, 2011 at 1:33 pm said:

“Legendary development cycle”

I’d say it’s more of an embarrassing development cycle than anything. Almost as notorious as Daikatana, but at least that came out within a few years of development.

“…it’s natural to imagine that we’ve just been sitting on parts of the game since 1997. That’s not true”

*Sigh* 1997 was pretty much the golden age of FPS, DOOM, Quake, Quake 2 on the horizon, times couldn’t be better for gamers in all genres. That statement decimated all hope I had for this.


+ John-117 on June 1st, 2011 at 1:37 pm said:

Randy Pitchford knows how to spread the excitement for his games. Really genuine guy from what I can tell and it makes the games his studio puts out that much more special.

I don’t think I could call myself a gamer if I couldn’t say to my children (when I eventually have them) that I played Duke Nukem Forever! This is going to be a day one purchase for sure.


+ Teus on June 1st, 2011 at 1:46 pm said:

if the stores not up by the 3rd you guys just gonna have to wait till it is, or move your platform preference to pc or 360 (if you have one) if you absolutly have to have it on the 3rd..

due to psn store issues i decided to play it safe and get the 360 version of the demo
dont worry i preordered the ps3 ver


+ TheGuardianFID on June 1st, 2011 at 1:49 pm said:

The DUKE is back!!! 8)


+ Wolokowoh on June 1st, 2011 at 1:51 pm said:

@1 The specs for the recommended settings aren’t very high at all so it’s probably not going to be just far superior to the PS3 version.


+ doodooshorts on June 1st, 2011 at 1:54 pm said:

played the ol duke back in the day….cant wait to be taken back!!!!


+ SOOPERGOOMAN187 on June 1st, 2011 at 1:54 pm said:

Wow I get to relive my twenties, Yeah sort of. I cant wait to play this game. Hey peeps at gearbox did you know that your company name was the name of a local punk band where I live? Any plans for anything for Borderlands like a 32 player patch for multiplayer. I love that game too….


+ SpiritThief on June 1st, 2011 at 2:17 pm said:

Will “dncornholio” still work?


+ Chaotic_Renegade on June 1st, 2011 at 2:36 pm said:

cmon hurry up with the fixing I want to DL all my plus stuff (that I had on my old ps3 that died)


+ RE_Player on June 1st, 2011 at 2:40 pm said:

Going to get this a week after launch, need my infamous 2 hero edition money, but I will defiantly buy it. Hail to the king baby.


+ GilgameshVIII on June 1st, 2011 at 2:51 pm said:

I wish Duke Nukem: Forever was going to be a PlayStation exclusive. They could have done so much more with the game by making is PSEx.


+ marlyt on June 1st, 2011 at 2:55 pm said:

Balls of steel, baby!!!


+ Deathspear666 on June 1st, 2011 at 2:57 pm said:

According to ALOT of chatter the hacker group LulzSec plan on hacking Sony and the PSN again within the next day or two…


+ hush404 on June 1st, 2011 at 3:04 pm said:

I dunno if I want Duke on mah PS3 or PC….


+ PICK34 on June 1st, 2011 at 3:42 pm said:

Looks cool don’t know if I’ll buy yet though.


+ lostinplainsight on June 1st, 2011 at 3:49 pm said:

all hail the king baby.

i don’t believe it, for one nobody post on twitter among other places that their going to commit a crime and two hacking sony right now would be like breaking into a house during a police investigation.


+ allentrill on June 1st, 2011 at 3:49 pm said:

I remember how hard duke 3d was when it first came out and now its a piece of cake. But i loved having to actually think to figure out all the secrets like doom and hexen etc.. i am so tempted to preorder this just to have it but with all the fail fps out there im kinda on edge though.


+ Afro117 on June 1st, 2011 at 3:49 pm said:

duke nukem epic fail


+ Budapesti on June 1st, 2011 at 3:51 pm said:

This game has been in development hell for over 15 years. That’s almost as long as the Playstation NOtwork has been out of action.


+ BJtheLegend on June 1st, 2011 at 4:40 pm said:

ALWAYS bet on Duke. lol


+ nick9221 on June 1st, 2011 at 4:56 pm said:

I think I may have to buy this game..


+ MaximusDM on June 1st, 2011 at 5:00 pm said:

You can always bet on Duke, but you obviously can’t bet on Sony. You can flush those first access codes right down the toilet because it looks like the game will come out before the demo does with the Playstation Store out for the count.


+ Zorvan on June 1st, 2011 at 5:01 pm said:

I did the smart thing and changed both my demo preference and my pre-order from PS3 to PC. So I know I’ll be fully enjoying both with no problems.


+ Chuckbait on June 1st, 2011 at 5:28 pm said:

Is it that hard to form a proper sentence, Mr. Gallagher?


+ Chuckbait on June 1st, 2011 at 5:31 pm said:

I still have Duke Nukem 3D, for one of the best consoles ever: The Sega Saturn, baby!

Will pick this game up after it becomes a Greatest Hits Titles. I still have yet to pay Crysis2, and I’ve had that since a couple weeks after it dropped.

I’m still rockin’ Portal2.


+ quatero15 on June 1st, 2011 at 6:06 pm said:

sooo ya this looks boss!


+ alok893 on June 1st, 2011 at 6:15 pm said:

I had an Awesome time of the PS1 with Duke Nukem:Time to Kill!


+ ccrogers15 on June 1st, 2011 at 6:19 pm said:

who cares about duke nukem, bring the store on already. This is getting B-S! It does NOT take 2 months to “internal test”.


+ GGod0 on June 1st, 2011 at 6:37 pm said:

I will bet until this game is on shelves for sale that something catastrophic will happen and prevent its release.


+ GGod0 on June 1st, 2011 at 6:39 pm said:

@44 so you would rather they rush it and have nasty bugs like, oh say, it takes your money but doesn’t register the purchase? gives you something completely different from what you bought? puts a photo of the joker in thong on-screen whenever you buy something?


+ wilsonfamily on June 1st, 2011 at 6:55 pm said:

Can’t wait to get this. I am a huge duke nukem fan and have been playing em since the very first pc game.

Can’t wait to see how it plays and other than great story, and i am sure there will be more memorable duke quotes to come, i hope there is tons of unlockable stuff and maybe even downloadable content.

“Hail to the king baby”
“Your face or you a$$, what’s the difference”
“Your an inspiration for birth control:”

haha just to name a few good quotes from duke


+ jonny2010 on June 1st, 2011 at 7:02 pm said:

lol @46

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