‘Batman: Arkham Origins’ Officially Announced; Won’t Be About Arkham or Origins

Published 2 years ago by

A couple of months ago, Warner Bros. Interactive announced that we would be getting a new addition to the Batman video game franchise before the end of the year, and more recently rumors began spreading that the game would be called Batman: Arkham Origins, which was one of the domain names registered by Warner Bros. last year.

The rumors have now been confirmed with the official announcement of Batman: Arkham Origins, and a handheld game game called Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, details of which were given by Game Informer along with the reveal of their Batman: Arkham Origins-themed May magazine cover.

Fans of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City can look forward to the next  core addition to the game series on October 25, 2013, and the handheld spin-off will be available for 3DS and Vita on the same day. Here’s some early promotional images, as shown on the magazine cover:

[Click for full-size]

Batman: Arkham Origins on the cover of Game Informer

Arkham Origins is not being developed by Rocksteady Studios, who helmed the previous two games, but by the newly-established studio Warner Bros. Games Montreal who worked on the Wii U port of Arkham City, Armored Edition. Game Informer has also released an interview with the developers (included at the top of this post), which outlines what gamers can expect to see in Batman: Arkham Origins, and how they handled the responsibility of coming to such a strongly-established franchise and making it their own.

The thing that jumps out most from the interview is the impression that the game’s title is somewhat misleading. One of the developers explicitly says:

“We’re not telling the story of Batman’s beginning. We’re not telling the story of Arkham Asylum.”

Arkham Origins is a rather odd choice for the title of a game that is neither about origins nor Arkham. The game will be a prequel to previous games, with Bruce Wayne already established as the hooded vigilante, and will not be set in Arkham Asylum or Arkham City, but will instead, the developers excitedly explain, be set on the streets of Gotham on the night before Christmas:

“We really wanted to add that layer of life and make it look like a functional place, even though it’s Christmas Eve, even though it’s super-cold, even though everyone’s at home with their families, we did want to show that it’s a functional city and it’s not a deserted wasteland.

“We have eight of the best assassins in the world, who have come together in Gotham City for one night – Christmas Eve of all nights – to kill the Bat.”

One of the eight assassins is Deathstroke, featured in his new incarnation of the back cover of Game Informer. Other assassins from the Batman comics who could potentially be making an appearance include Lady Shiva, Ra’s al Ghul (one of the bosses in Arkham City) and his daughters Nyssa and Talia, David Cain, and expert marksman Deadshot. There are many assassins who make an appearance in the comics – an entire League of them, in fact – but from the way that the game is described, it sounds like the antagonists and allies that feature in the game will be central to the comic books’ canon:

 “This is a story about the first time Batman meets certain characters that are very important to him, and defines the relationships which ultimately start to define him.”

Batman: Arkham Origins will be set in Gotham on Christmas Eve

The “origins” of the title seem to be referring to the origins of Batman’s relationship with certain characters from the series, and it’s possible that the game will somehow tie into the story of Batman: Arkham Asylum in other ways, or will perhaps conclude with a set-up for a future Arkham game. It’s more likely however, that “Arkham” was used to securely link this new title to the two previous games, which both achieved a great deal of both financial and critical success.

Putting the misleading title and the changing of hands aside, there’s absolutely no reason not to get excited for this new addition to the Batman video game franchise. The idea of the hunter becoming the hunted, with the world’s best assassins all out to get the Batman, is definitely an intriguing one, and hopefully we’ll see Warner Bros. Games Montreal stepping away from the better-known villains like the Joker and Poison Ivy to let some members of the League of Assassins step in.

Batman: Arkham Origins will be available on Wii U, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC from October 25, 2013.

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate will be available on Vita and 3DS, also from October 25, 2013.

Source: Game Informer

TAGS: 3DS, Batman, Batman Arkham Asylum, Batman Arkham City, Batman Arkham Origins, PC, PS3, Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360

  • Bruce Wayne

    I call it bulsh*t. You have no idea what so ever how to take forward a story. Your writing was typical of anything that can be read on the internet. You tried hard enough to sound deep. You tried very hard to make the reader feel that you have original ideas. But I’m sorry to tell you that you are NOT!

    The origins story can be a great one. The gameplay can be amazing given the studio handles it right. You are outright bashing something you don’t even know about. At this point all we know is WB Montreal is not as experienced with Batman-Arkham franchise and may or may not handle it well.

    Although I do agree to one of your point which is: HUSH. I felt Arkham 3 would revolve around HUSH being main antagonist with misc characters. But this doesn’t cloud the fact that you’ve called the game BAD even before knowing anything about it…. right in the title of the damn article!

    After saying all this I’d like to see who’s right and who’s not.

    • extermin8or

      Um what are you on about- the developers have said it’s not an actual origin story, I didn’t see them call the actual game bad just that the title so far seems slightly misleading based off the developers’ comments- they are using Rocksteady’s engine and tools and most of the same gameplay elements plus some new stuff. Personally I think it’s called Arkham Origins as in the origins of this little Arkham franchise and Batmans personality within them. It certainly sounds like an excellent game- I just wish it was on the next Gen consoles rumored to be releasing around the same time :(

      • Bruce Wayne

        I think you didn’t take the time to read what I wrote. I am IN favour of this game.

        • Lcarr

          Bruce Wayne seems to have read a completly different article from everyone else here. At no point does it say that the game will be bad or cast any sort of negative light on it. It just says that it has a misleading title. which it inarguably does. The aticle seems to be in favour of the game yet Bruce Wayne didn’t even finish reading the title before somehow coming to the conclusion that this article is calling the game bad. Then exterminator pointed this out and bruce responds with “I said I like the game actually” :S It’s like he reads things and then later decides on the meaning lol Nothing said actually matches up with what he’s talking about 😛

          • Atriark

            What Bruce Wayne is doing is responding to another post not the actual article. Unfortunately his post came after a new page had started. He is in fact agreeing that the game can be fairly well made and should not be judge on what he feels is chopped together argument from different internet postings.

          • http://Gamehermits.wordpress.com Josh Calkins

            Atrial explains below, but even that is odd to me. Bruce said the article was badly written. How can that be a response to a post? Was the post an article with a title on it? If he’s unfairly coming across as a huge jerk then maybe an editor/moderator can fix it. If not, then I don’t know what his problem is. The article is good, and the title is not disparaging at all. If this is how he offers constructive criticism to the site then he is squirrelly in his head. Maybe this is a misunderstanding?

            Game sounds good. I want BIG open space and a GTA vibe to the freedom and variety. Finally we could get the Batmobile! Or even the Batwing! (Not counting when they were parked in the other games).

    • suh8lim3

      Let’s face it, the game is being made in Canada, so it’s gonna suck more than a vacuum. Nothing good has EVER come out of Canada. I honestly don’t know why we let them be a country.

      • L2404

        I would disagree, Ubisoft Montreal has been proving that theory wrong with their past couple of games, (not to mention FC3: Blood Dragon)

      • 5mac

        CLEARLY you have not heard of Deadpool’s origins.

  • Franky

    I think we are in for a surprise. No point in calling it “Arkham Origins” if it…well, wasn’t, right? I truly believe it will tie into Asylum.

    I’ve been playing Asylum and City for months and months now; even before a new title was announced or domains being registered. I love all things Batman, and I especially love both games. So I know where everything is, and I’ll give clues to what Origins may bring.

    Obviously this is a game where Batman is well established. If this is his first time making a name for himself, Oracle, AKA Barbara Gordon, is not even around. And according to GI(Game Informer), Gordon is only a Captain, not Commissioner. So everything is new. No Dick Grayson; heck, how much does Batman know about Joker? I expect a cool and fun twist.

    And lastly, in Asylum, Batman has made reference to Ivy’s attack on Gotham a year ago; even Oracle referenced a year ago when she gave her dad a pipe(birthday gift, or promotion?). If Origins is set “several years ago”, then the future events that occurred is not far behind. If Ivy managed to attack Gotham a year ago before Asylum, then many of the well established villains are already in existence. And by default, Batman has already made the reputation.

    The important question is this: how big of a timeline will Origins cover? Will it continue, or will it just explore Batmans beginnings?

    I say this because in City, signs do point for another Arkham: from Azrael ominous warnings, to Hush, or Scarecrows threatening return, I wonder if Origins will just be that. Origins.

    I don’t have all the answers yet, but no doubt many will be answered after the game is out.

    • http://Gamehermits.wordpress.com Josh Calkins

      Well they already told us it isn’t an origin story and it isn’t about Arkham. When you suggest that the opposite is true it is strange. It seems obvious to me that they picked the name first, solely for the sake of associating with the best Batman games ever instead of the random crap of yesteryear and unimpressive quality of most similar games. That seems pretty clear. But as for the connection to the asylum, that is a different, secondary consideration for the team.

      I expected as much, thinking that a game title like “Arkham World” would of course not get its name the way City did. In other words it would not literally be an Arkham World in the game at all. (Title chosen first.). It could be a story about the themes and elements, such as super villains, that move outward from the Arkham city origin point. It could involve several discreet locations around the globe to compliment Gotham, the way Bruce went to Hong Kong in the second Nolan film to hunt down a criminal in the skyscrapers.

      In this sense the lack of using Arkham asylum as a location AT ALL could still seem thematically relevant. This sort of name use seems very likely, but so does the inclusion of the actual asylum in the story, even if only briefly, or in dialogue without any playable visit to the place. The game doesn’t sound like it is secretly all sort of about Arkham, at all.

      But as for your belief that it will tie in…. I think that is what they committed to when they chose the name, even if that tie is perfunctory and unsatisfying. Nobody wants to take the name Arkham off of the next game they make. That could hurt sales. It’s bad enough that some people will know its a different team. The name carries weight, and I would be shocked if they didn’t want to keep using it, however strange the fit may be.

  • Atriark

    While I hope this game turns out well. I do feel that a spin off should have put off tell after the trilogy (If they are making one) and this could be a way to make money off a popular franchise. This can be a great thing but must be handled with care. I don’t think joke will have an appearance because Mark Hamill has stated he has retired from the Joker because the voice was very tough on him. He brought a certain flare to the character Joker and I think if his voice was changed it would throw me personally off. I very well could be wrong about them just changing the voice actor though.

  • ran76

    If David Cain is in the game, could that mean Cassandra exist within this universe? Please say yes!!!

  • Ryan

    Perhaps “origins” is aimed more in terms of the criminals, not Batman’s origin. It’d make sense.

    • http://Gamehermits.wordpress.com Josh Calkins

      Yes, the villains, the allies (Gordon, Dick, etc), the tech, the world, even the asylum are ripe to be introduced to a younger Batman. Makes sense to me. Besides, I don’t want to play an origin of Batman game. I like the movie version, as well as Batman year One, and would rather play a new story.

  • Carlos Hugo

    I think the game is called that way because the same reason the Wolverine movie had “The X men” at the beginning, trademark reasons.

    • http://Gamehermits.wordpress.com Josh Calkins

      Good idea, but I think not. In both cases I suspect it is just a matter of marketing for the biggest audience, the highest expectations and the strongest associations. Who would want to be handed the chance to make the next Batman game while being told to take the name Arkham OUT of the title? The developer would be like “gee, thanks. So instead of people executing the same level of excellence they won’t know what to expect. Then they will see that a new company made the game and maybe not risk trying it or preordering it at all.”. Regardless of the story, era, or content, the name was going to be there because it sells and has quality associated with it.

  • David

    Oh, come on. It’s got freaking Deathstroke. It CANNOT BE BAD.

  • DissidentRage

    Horrendous name for a game just to keep a single part of its title…

  • Charlieholmes

    I’ve got a good feeling that we’ll see a good game here. Honestly though, I’d rather have seen the story continued from where City left off but I’m not gonna Bach at a new Batman Adventure.

  • Snot

    Im guessing if Ra’s and Talia are in it, it’ll cover why there was tension between her and Batman in Arkham City, forget batman though im more excited about Deathstroke being in it, i hope if they do extra playable characters as a story add-on or a challenge map add on he would be a playable character

  • snipe

    Who cares? This is the kind of stupid nitpicking that makes geeks look like the fools they are.

  • batfan

    Just so happy its not set in arkham or a prison it really needed to move into the city itself otherqise ots more of the same stuff

  • Kuro

    I think that maybe there will be an appearance of Dead pool or Green arrow maybe?

    • Jason Todd

      Uhm, no. Deadpool is Marvel and unless there’s a cross-over series going on that I’m not aware of than it would be impossible for him to make a cameo. Perhaps in spirit (i.e. a joke made by Slade Wilson about being the top assassin with a bad attitude).

  • Saitaina

    I’m just glad it’s not a Batman Orgin story, I’m getting sick enough of those that I’m ready to drop most Batman media for the next few decades. EVERYONE knows how Batman came to be, it’s time to move on.

    Sadly, if it’s just regarding the assasins of the franchise, I think I’m going to have to pass on this. My love is more for the over the top costumed criminals and these guys don’t do it for me.

    As for the title, the series is known as Arkham Series in most circles as a collective, it makes sense to use the name somewhere in the title to indicate this one goes into that world, rather then stands alone. They may eventually drop Arkham, but Batman: Origins has a worse ring to it, if you consider more casual gammers who will see it on the shelf and pass on it, having, like me, dealt too much recently with how Batman came to be. Keeping the Arkham will cause them to pause and think “Huh, I liked the other two, maybe this one will be just as good’ and pick it up.

    As for the developer change many are worried about, I’ve seen brilliant series change hands and become even more beautiful…and I’ve seen them become shit…time will tell, and it’s no use worrying until it happens.

  • Fangface

    Half Life wasn’t about decaying radioactive stuff and The Rolling Stones were actually people!!!

    Strange article….slow news week?

  • John Leng

    Sounds like a bad clichê fanfic D=