Upon its release, Batman: Arkham Asylum was immediately hailed as the Batman game that players had long awaited. It defied everyone’s expectations and garnered some well deserved good reviews. Sales were also enormous for a licensed superhero game.
In the face of all this success, Warner Bros. Interactive and Rocksteady Studios made the obvious financial and business decision to produce a sequel. As a result, gamers the world over now sit with bated breath, biting their nails and waiting for the release of Batman: Arkham City later this month.
It seems obvious that Batman: Arkham City will be a big game this holiday season, but will this fact alone provide enough incentive for Rocksteady and Warner Bros. Interactive to make yet another sequel? Dax Ginn, marketing manager for Rocksteady and spokesperson for Batman: Arkham City, recently offered some comments on just how many Arkham games Rocksteady feels capable of delivering.
“Man. That’s really tough. I mean I think as long as we’re still enjoying it and as long as we feel we can contribute to the Batman universe… That’s how it feels. There’s some amazing stuff going on with Batman all around the world at the moment and we feel as though we’re making our own little contribution in the form of the Arkham-verse.”
The interview, conducted by CVG, also goes into further detail regarding why the team would be interested in pursuing a sequel.
“There’s no other character that’s as awesome as Batman who’s got such an incredible rogues gallery, who’s got such and amazing structure for gameplay. All it takes is to give a guy an assault rifle and it changes the entire nature of combat.”
Ginn’s comment about the combat highlights one of the biggest selling points of the first game, as its combat wasn’t just a simple “elimination of all bad guys” objective, but also a puzzle in its own right. Combat in Arkham Asylum enticed players to use different moves in order to gain experience for leveling up and, in the challenge maps, reaching higher rankings on the leaderboards. Ginn, however, is quick to point out that the team at Rocksteady won’t just frivolously commit to a sequel if they aren’t full invested.
“So as long as we’ve got stories to tell. So long as we feel we can do that and do that really well.”
Indeed, story is a big part of the Arkham franchise as it affects everything within the game’s design aesthetic from the voice actors used to the gameplay. It’s also the central reason why so many people enjoyed Arkham Asylum. Alas, the decision may not be entirely up to Rocksteady, however, as it is Warner Bros. that owns the license and rights to the franchise. Therefore, it’s entirely possible that if Rocksteady weren’t on board to make a sequel that Warner Bros. could, in theory at least, farm it out to a different studio. Ginn expresses some of this uncertainty within the interview.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but right now I feel like we’re in a real sweet spot with the games that we’re making, the opportunities that we have so I don’t really want that to change.”
There are gamers the world over who would agree with that sentiment and, as they eagerly await the next game, are also wondering what the future holds.
What do you think, Ranters: should the Arkham games be entrusted exclusively to Rocksteady, or would you like to see another developer take a shot? Let us know in the comments below!
Batman: Arkham City will be available October 18, 2011, for the Xbox 360 and PS3. A PC version has been announced, but will not see release until sometime in November, and a version for OnLive is also in the works.
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