Duke Nukem was a gnat's tadger away from having a "gay robot sidekick", but the character was axed for the final version of Duke Nukem Forever, the forthcoming game for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. However, it may still make an appearance in a future title.

Speaking to Eurogamer, founder and CEO of Gearbox, Randy Pitchford, said that the sidekick was originally created in order to "explore how Duke would relate to a peer that might have a different sexual orientation". He also added that, "Ultimately the robot was in a situation where for an order for victory against the aliens to be accomplished, the robot's inner workings – a nuclear generator – had to be sacrificed.

"The exploration was all very sincere and real and maybe we'll come back to that at some point."

Those who have seen the teasers and trailers for the game, including the now infamous "Babes of Duke Nukem Forever exposed" video, will know that sexual stereotypes are very much an aspect of the new shooter. And while it would've been interesting to see how a gay character would have been dealt with by Gearbox, we suspect it would've been more Dick Emery than My Beautiful Launderette.

Mind you, that's never harmed C3PO's career.

Duke Nukem Forever will be out in the UK on 10 June.

Pic of Japanese gay robot Kobian.