Rocksteady Talks Ending Their Series With ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’

Mar 28, 2014 by  

Batman Arkham Knight Details

With Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City hailed as not only the best superhero video games ever developed, but some of the best third-person action titles in years, Rocksteady Studios had silenced critics completely. But unbelievably, the announcement of Batman: Arkham Knight promised to blow the previous entries out of the water; set in a full-scale Gotham City, adding the Batmobile to the mix, and launching exclusively on next-gen systems.

While the announcement was met with excitement from fans, it came with a bittersweet twist: Arkham Knight would not just be Rocksteady’s next Arkham game, but their last as well. Now the developers has offered some insight into their reasons for leaving the franchise so soon, and what the future could hold for the team moving forward.

The notion of leaving a superhero/blockbuster property just as new costumes are introduced, brand new villains are created to raise the stakes, and beloved characters get larger roles is a strange one for both the world of video games and movies (where box office draw and name recognition reign supreme). So why – or how – is the studio putting Arkham behind them?

Batman Arkham Knight Ending Series

Rocksteady’s Dax Ginn explained to IGN that while the decision to end the company’s work on Arkham wasn’t made lightly, the developers didn’t see the need to go on:

“Anything we do is a collective decision between Rocksteady, Warner Brothers, and DC Comics. But it was something that we were really pushing for because we had a really clear vision for how this story should end, and the way we wanted it to end.

“We’ve done all we can do here… it’s kind of time for us to walk away from it.”

It’s hard to argue that there are sides of the Batman character that haven’t been explored in the Arkham series, either in the central campaign or lengthy side content. Sure, most of the series’ plot centered on the caped crusader’s life-long battle with the maniacal Joker, but that’s generally the case with the comics as well. If the team’s initial goal was to simulate the experience of actually being Batman, they have little left to prove.

Batman’s use of stealth, fear, and his obsessive mission to save Gotham City have all been adapted beautifully by the developers, but there was always one trademark of the Dark Knight left unexplored – until now. With the Batmobile taking center stage in Arkham Knight‘s announcement trailer, and apparently adding a new dimension to the gameplay, it seems there is nothing left for the team to tackle. And according to Ginn, that itself seems like an accomplishment:

“For us I think the Batmobile is that final thing… It’s such a critical part of the game, the epicenter of the design, but once we’ve done this, I don’t know we’re ever going to feel like we’ve missed out on a critical piece of what it feels like to be the Batman. That was kind of our driving force all along.”

Batman Arkham Knight Batmobile Close Up Screenshot

“I’ve had a dream of us just shuttering the studio and walking away like rockstars, ‘We’re done here!’… Our attitude is: if we deliver on Arkham Knight, smash it out of the park, the opportunities we’ll have in the future will be massive. We will be able to control our own destiny in that respect.”

Having delivered two games that received impressive sales numbers as well as critical acclaim, one would hope that Ginn is correct in hoping the studio would earn the right to decide their next course of action. Rumors of a Justice League video game have circled for years, and hopefully the working relationship between Rocksteady, Warner Bros. and DC Comics would keep that a very real possibility. But only time will tell, and as Ginn points out, a successful finale with Arkham Knight will go a long way in determining their bargaining power.

How do you feel about Rocksteady moving away from the Arkham series? Do you agree with their thinking that there isn’t much left to explore, or hope to see them stay in the DC Comics universe for the future as well? Sound off in the comments.

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Batman: Arkham Knight will be released in 2014 for the PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: IGN

16 Comments

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  1. I would have an incredible amount of respect for them if they ended it after Arkham Knight. It would be refreshing to not see a franchise milked to death… though my unshakeable cynicism tells me that they’ll probably just hand the “Arkham” reigns over to some shameless lackey studio to hump it till the money stops leaking out.

    • “…to some shameless lackey studio to hump it till the money stops leaking out.”

      That statement is both hilarious and disturbing at the same time. Kudos to you sir!

  2. To be quite honest, with their success in those games I really would love to see them move onto Batman Beyond. I personally loved the time frame and see what could be possible to start with it.

    • Agreed, a game focused on Batman Beyond would be great! With Bruce taking on the part of Oracle. =)

  3. Hopefully our save game data won’t be randomly deleted. I’m seriously not going to buy another Arkham game until Arkham Origins is fixed in full, not just the major glitches, all of them. Rushing unfinished games to market is unacceptable. Could you imagine if Marvel released The Avengers with unfinished blue screen shots and mocap actors visible on screen?

    • We’ll rocksteady had absolutely nothing to do with origins. Don’t punish a hard working studio that has brought two of the greatest games I’ve ever played and the the greatest superhero game I’ve ever seen and played for warner bros trying tk milk out a franchise. Arkham knight looks incredible and it have no doubt rocksteady will deliver a entertaining and exciting experience that’s finished when the game ships.

      That said. I liked origins and unlike so Many did not have my save files lost or corrupted and experienced minor glitches. Origins wasn’t great but still very much entertaining and very enjoyable. Personally I’m looking forward to knight a lot because rocksteady is back at the helm. But

      • origins was pretty mediocre.

        I don’t consider as part of the series. It’s a stand alone trading on the franchise’s popularity.

    • This comment is just… wow.

      You need to put your head down for a while.

      Take a nap or something.

  4. I see WB and DC using a studio like WB Montreal to do more games post Origins, pre Arkham City(or maybe a Batman Beyond game if RS don’t).
    I’m hoping that being done with Batman doesn’t mean they wouldn’t do a Batman Beyond game. If not I’d love to see RS tackle a Green Lantern or Green Arrow game, or if they can do non DC, a Captain America game.

    • That would be cool. I don’t really care who makes it, but they should definitely make a pre-city and pre-knight game once Rocksteady walks away.

  5. This announcement maybe has something to do with the impending Bats Vs Supes movie I’d say…… Don’t be too surprised to hear that rocksteady are already working on a Justice League title….. I think that one more big send off is enough, some games (assassins creed) can rinse a popular title so much you actually come to resent the first two titles… If this is indeed a rocksteady trilogy (and this is the best of them) then this could be the greatest and the only video game trilogy history that is practically faultless…. I don’t include origins which corrupted my save TWICE very near the end, hopefully Warner Bros. flogged those responsible for a shoddy cash gta that very nearly put a lot of people off the next title…

    • The origins disk could have turned to dog sh*t in your console and spewed out all over your living room and into your face, and you still would have bought Arkham Knight.

      This game will be one of the best selling titles of all time.

  6. Nothing says shame more than this move by developers. If anything I would like to see the game series end with Alfred the butler saving the day and Christian Bale “rant” from the Terminator filming on set incident voiced over for Batman.

    Furthermore, I’m disgusted by all of you who left a comments, the article relating to this topic, the developers of Star Citizen, Shrimp-Nazis and Hello Kitty products.

    If I had not mentioned it earlier, Batman will be doomed to suck failure from a straw as did Arkham Origins. The only good Batman was Arkham City which got redundant after reaching games end. And GTA V sucks even more.

  7. I’d love to see them tackle another property of DC, the biggest challenges I think for them could be making a good Superman game, or a Green lantern game.

  8. they should end arkham series and start the beyond series.

  9. Well, i’m glad they r ending the Arkham series with this but i’ll really miss the greatest video game about batman of all time. Hope rocksteady thinks of something just as great as this. That’s my statement luve or hate it

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