Duke Begins was a cancelled video game proposed by developer Gearbox Software. Few details have been shared since its reveal in 2009, though its title carries the implication of a Duke Nukem origin story, illustrating how Duke became the person he is in chronologically later games.
Development on Duke Begins can be traced to within two months of the October 2007 legal battle between 3D Realms and Take Two Interactive, the original developer and publisher attached to the title. At the time of announcement, Duke Begins was given a release date of 2010, however 3D Realms' court filings state that the title was put on hold in April 2009 after $2.5 million in advance royalties were delivered to 3D Realms for the continued funding of Duke Nukem Forever. Following the court case, Gearbox Software acquired the unfinished Duke Nukem Forever and rights to the Duke Nukem franchise, promising to conclude the development of Duke Nukem Forever and revisit Duke Begins after the release of Gearbox's own delayed project, Aliens: Colonial Marines. With the release of Aliens passing on February 12, 2013, it now remains to be seen if Gearbox will develop a Duke Nukem origin story.