By now, most know that Duke Nukem Forever is in the hands of Gearbox. During its Sunday panel at PAX, Gearbox also revealed it actually bought the rights to Duke Nukem in perpetuity. However, there's more to the story than just one developer selling the rights to another.
In fact, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford got his start at 3D Realms working on Duke Nukem 3D's Atomic expansion with current Gearbox Vice President Brian Martel. While Pitchford left 3D realms in 1997 and founded Gearbox in 1999, he and Martel (along with a number of other Gearbox staff) remained close to staff at 3D Realms over the years