In what may be the most protracted launch of a game title ever, software development house Gearbox has announced that it has taken over Duke Nukem Forever, and will launch it in 2011.

3D Realms first announced it was to follow up the 1996 hit, Duke Nukem 3D with Duke Nukem Forever in April 1997.

But the title has become notorious with gamers as vapourware thanks to drawn out development schedules and numerous legal bunfights that saw it being continuously delayed.

Considering that the gaming industry works in dog years (eg: 365 days equals seven game development years), Duke Nukem Forever is now the digital equivalent of a fossil. This naturally begs the inevitable question - will it be a success?

Assuming that Gearbox does actually manage to launch it, Duke Nukem Forever will enter a difficult market that has become increasingly sophisticated and diverse.

What may have been a killer first person shooter in 1997 runs the very real risk of being somewhat ho-hum in 2011.

This said, a growing chunk of gamers (myself included) are likely to buy it out of nostalgia or sheer perversity having waited a massive 14 years for its eventual release.

The big question on the mind of many a jaded Duke Nukem fan is that after so many false starts, will Duke Nuken Forever finally launch?

Gearbox president, Randy Pitchfod is pretty adamant that it will hit all major game platforms (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC) in 2011.

We'll believe it when we see it.