Duke Nukem Evercade
Image: Oskar Manuel / Blaze

A couple of days ago, Blaze lifted the lid on its plans for the Evercade family of systems this year, and one of the most exciting announcements was the impending arrival of two cartridges dedicated to Duke Nukem.

One of the carts features remastered versions of the first two Duke Nukem games, along with brand-new cover artwork by Spanish artist Oskar Manuel.

Soon after the announcement was made, it became clear that Manuel makes use of AI tools to create his images, and this predictably triggered a hostile response from several members of the retro gaming community.

Duke Nukem Evercade
The original tweet highlighting Manuel's involvement, which has since been deleted — Image: Oskar Manuel / Blaze

This backlash has forced Blaze to issue a statement saying that it will replace Manuel as the cover artist. Blaze CEO Andrew Byatt has also apologised for the oversight.

Here's the statement in full:

Over the last 24 hours, we have been humbled by the support and excitement over our newest cartridge announcements and our partnership with Gearbox to bring the Duke Nukem franchise to Evercade.

As part of this, an artist was commissioned to produce a lead image for the new Duke Nukem 1+2 Remastered game developed by Blaze Entertainment. It is abundantly clear from the response on social media that the work on this commission has fallen below the expectation and standards demanded by fans due to the artists’ use of AI in the process.

We are immediately removing the art where possible to do so and will be announcing a replacement commission in due course that better meets the high standard expected.

We would like to apologise to you, all of the fans, who have felt passionately about this enough and please be assured are working to remedy this. We also would like to thank everyone who’s worked on the project to date for their input.

[source evercade.co.uk]