How a Twitter Joke Brought the Xbox ‘Duke’ Controller Back to Life

Years after a horrifying gauntlet of negative fan reactions to the extraordinary size of the original “Duke” Xbox controller, Seamus Blackley, the man who wrote the original proposal for the Xbox, was rummaging through old boxes. It was there that he found an early model of the Duke, complete with black and white face buttons.

Remembering the laughs and traumas that went along with releasing such a controversially large controller, Blackley gave it to his young son to hold for a picture, highlighting his son’s small hands against the bulky hardware. After posting the picture to Twitter, countless fans began clamoring for the oversized peripheral to return.

“Suddenly this tweet gets like 80,000 impressions, hundreds and hundreds of responses,” Blackley says on the latest episode of our monthly developer interview show, IGN Unfiltered (see full episode above). “‘We love the Duke! We love the Duke!’ I’m thinking, ‘Love the Duke? Screw you. Where were you when I was getting golf balls thrown at me? Love the Duke…’ So I gave some crap and it started getting to the point where I felt like I was genuinely insulting people who loved it.”

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