"What does this mean for you?" Gearbox asked on the Duke Nukem Forever forums. "It means that regardless of where or how you buy Duke Nukem Forever on PC, your purchase will be tied to your Steam account, ensuring that you'll always be able to install a copy of the game even if you lose your disc."
The move isn't surprising, but the news now leaves us wondering what will happen in regards to brick-and-mortar retailers who are opposed to selling PC games packaged with Steamworks. As it stands now, the selection of PC games is limited at best, reduced to a few shelves or a small, standalone rack as opposed to the countless shelves mounted on each wall exclusively for console games. Banning Steam-based PC games would mean an even lesser selection-- and possibly no Duke Nukem Forever at all.
"If we have a digital service, then I don't want to start selling a rival in-store," said one retailer executive.
But presently GameStop is still signed up to offer the $89.99 PC version of the Duke Nukem Forever Balls of Steel bundle featuring a collectible bust of our favorite action hero, a 100-page hardcover book, poker chips, a mini-card deck and other collectibles.
Those who pre-order the PC version now will receive an additional DLC Pack called Duke's Big Package which includes the Ego Boost, Big Heads and Lady Killing War-Drobe mods. Pre-ordering also buys a ticket into the Early Access Club which grants first dibs on the demo (read: Duke Nukem Forever demo on PC!), exclusive assets, developer access and other goodies.
Duke Nukem Forever arrives on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC on May 3, 2011.