There was never any doubt that Warner Bros.’ Batman: Arkham Origins was designed to continue the franchise that Rocksteady Studios had built, while the UK studio went on to develop their next project. It was almost a certainty that the game would be a new Batman experience, but specifics have been hard to come by. When word broke last month of an impending announcement, fans knew they simply had to count the days, but the details may already be appearing.
Now, a retailer has spotted what looks to be promotional material for Rocksteady’s next Batman title featuring a new logo, and a projected release date of October 8, 2014. Take all these reports with a grain of salt, but if past reports hold true, fans may have an official announcement to look forward to within days.
It’s been a foregone conclusion that Rocksteady would continue to work on DC Comics’ most famous vigilante, with rumors of a Silver Age adventure just one of several options. Voice actor Kevin Conroy already confirmed that he would be voicing Bruce Wayne in an unannounced Arkham game, hinting that Rocksteady wasn’t straying too far from a successful formula. Now a retail employee has spotted a piece of promotional artwork in the wild:
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There doesn’t seem to be much revealed in the artwork, aside from the continued Arkham logo, and what appears to be a fiery tinge to the design. According to Kotaku, a GameStop employee revealed that stores were also receiving an a poster tied to the game dubbed ‘Zeppelin,’ but photos of that artwork have yet to appear online.
That’s little to go on for most, but Batman fans know that zeppelins are one of the signature trademarks of Gotham City’s skyline, so perhaps Rocksteady is building and even bigger open world than before; tackling Gotham proper, not merely Arkham? Add in the prospect of seeing the city (like the logo) bathed in fire, and you’ve got a head-turning piece of advertising (not to mention potential Game Informer cover) promising not just a more complex game world for next-gen, but devastation fans have yet to see.
The Joker may be out of the picture after the events of Arkham City, but there are plenty more choices for ‘big bads’ whenever Batman is being discussed. If we had to choose a prime contender, we’d go with ‘Deacon Blackfire.’ Not only due to his name being somewhat of a play on the apparent logo for the game, but his ruthlessness. In the brutal Jim Starlin story arc “The Cult,” Deacon Blackfire takes over Gotham City by force, capturing and brainwashing Batman in the process.
That’s just one theory based purely on speculation, but it would promise a level of maturity and scale of disaster that would take the Arkham series into a new realm – something that the developers are likely looking to do after two entries placed squarely in the most famous Batman characters. The same batch of leaked details claims that employees are instructed to only place the material after March 3, and that the still-unnamed game has a release date for October 8, 2014.
Hopefully the truth can be separated from fact in just a few short days, when Rocksteady gets around to making an official announcement – if any. What are your hopes for the next Batman game from the makers of Asylum and City? Would you like to see a familiar sequel, or a completely new direction for next-gen?
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.