In a stunning bit of PAX 2010 news, Gearbox Software has announced that they have bought the rights to the Duke Nukem franchise.  This is a huge development considering the finally completed and long awaited Duke Nukem Forever is poised for a release sometime next year.

It seems that Gearbox CEO and ex-3D Realms employee Randy Pitchford spearheaded this effort and will now carry the torch for Duke into the future. Everyone is behind Randy and Gearbox and it wasn’t a hard sale.  To quote Pitchford, “I didn’t buy it from them, they sold it to me.”

Since Gearbox has purchased the Duke Nukem IP, they’re now in charge of all subsequent games in the franchise. Great news for the Duke in a weekend full of news. Fans can now expect Duke Nukem games … forever (or for the immediate future at least).

Ripten also had a chance to sit down with Randy Pitchford as well as Mikey Neumann (Creative Director) to talk about all things Duke, and what it means to have Gearbox bringing him back. Check back in to Ripten.com to read the full interview soon!!

Mikey Neumann (Left) Ripten's Dave Oshry and Randy Pitchford (Right)