When Rocksteady Studios admitted that Batman: Arkham City was not going to have a multiplayer component, it disappointed a lot of fans. Sure, there were plenty of new characters being unveiled — some that could be working alongside the dark knight — but it just wasn’t meant to be.
Speaking with Rocksteady Studios’ Dax Ginn, Gamerzines was able to get to the heart of the issue: why isn’t Batman: Arkham City going to have a multiplayer? As it turns out, the development team made the decision in order to keep from delivering a sub par Batman game.
In Rocksteady’s eyes, development on a project should be as cohesive as possible, especially on a single player title. Not wanting to dedicate an equal number of man-hours to both a single player and a multiplayer experience, Rocksteady stuck to its guns and trusted that improving on Arkham Asylum’s fundamentals would win out.
Speaking about the team at Rocksteady’s main focus, Ginn explains that Arkham City will be an “off the scale” experience, one that is single player in nature.
"Our focus is on delivering an off the scale, awesome Batman experience, and that experience is fundamentally a single-player experience. We did consider it but when we thought it through from a production perspective, we thought it would compromise the end result.”
Still, despite Ginn and Rocksteady promising that Arkham City has plenty of secrets in store for fans of the first game, many gamers might imagine what could have been. Would Robin have been the optimum choice to work alongside the caped crusader, or would Catwoman have provided the perfect moral juxtaposition?
Though we will never know (unless of course the next Batman adventure features multiplayer) what type of an experience Rocksteady would have provided, Ginn suggests that, in implementing a multiplayer mode, the team at Rocksteady would have been delivering two average games.
"It's the sort of thing that you think could be cool, but when you start to play out what that would mean from a development perspective, splitting the development effort to make a single-player campaign and a multiplayer mode would have ended up with us making two pretty average games.”
While new trailers and details for the game, including the return of the Riddler, have been plenty satisfying to gamers anticipating Arkham City, there are still plenty more, we imagine, Rocksteady has yet to reveal. It might take some time for the sting of no multiplayer to wear off for some, but seeing Batman transition from glide to nose dive did the trick for us.
Now having heard Rocksteady’s side of the story, are you happy that Batman: Arkham City does not feature multiplayer? Do you agree that development on multiplayer splits the workload into two titles?
Batman: Arkham City releases October 21, 2011, for the Xbox 460, PS3, and PC.