A driveable Batmobile, a bigger open world than Arkham City and an “explosive finale” were all things set to be gifted to us later this year in Batman: Arkham Knight, which Rocksteady Studios was calling the final (of their developed games) in the series.
But you can’t just round off a series of brilliant games, including Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, sloppily, can you? Especially not when the Gotham defender himself “faces the ultimate threat against the city he is sworn to protect." This is something that Rocksteady understands and it’s something that they’re keen to address which is why in a new statement today the developer has announced that Batman: Arkham Knight has been delayed into 2015. Surprise!
Batman: Arkham Knight joins the list of games set to be released on next-gen consoles that have been delayed, with the total number of release date pushbacks drastically increasing in recent weeks. That list includes MMO The Division, RPG The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, dragon slaying MMO The Elder Scrolls Online (it has technically been delayed for just 6 months, but an early 2015 release date looks far more likely) video game spinoff Mad Max, PS4 exclusive The Order: 1886 and even Valve’s Steam Machines and their controllers won’t see the light of day until next year.
When it comes to the software on that list, one common factor clearly stands out: the scale. The Order: 1886 may be a linear exception to the other open-world offerings but they are all big AAA titles and, most importantly, they are set to push the specs of the PS4 and the Xbox One to their limits. We hope.
However, you won’t hear that from Rocksteady Studios’ Dax Ginn who spoke to Kotaku under embargo back in May to say this about the Batman: Arkham Knight delay,
“Now Batman: Arkham Knight is totally awesome. The thing about awesome, though, is awesome takes time. And totally awesome takes a lot of time. So in collaboration with our colleagues at Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment and DC Comics, we have decided to extend the development time of Batman: Arkham Knight. Now, the very simple reason for doing this is to ensure we are delivering the awesome level of quality that Batman fans and gamers expect from this, the final episode and the epic conclusion to the Rocksteady Arkham trilogy. The Dark Knight will face his ultimate challenge in Batman: Arkham Knight now to be released in 2015."
So Rocksteady won't land Sony and Microsoft right in it, but they don't need to for questions to be raised about the manner in which the PS4 and the Xbox One were released.
One Crytek executive recently expressed concern at the amount of RAM that the two consoles offer (8GB), explaining to GamingBolt that with game development going on the way that it is, they will "quickly run out of RAM," making us wonder how viable in the long-term the current generation of consoles is in comparison to the PS3 and the Xbox 360. Comparisons are also being drawn with last gen and its impressive longevity as games industry pundits are beginning to suggest that the PS4 and the Xbox One were both rushed, and now we're having less and less games available in its first full year.
The PS3 notoriously had low sales at its start due to it launching almost a year after the Xbox 360 (it also commanded a much higher retail price too) so Sony certainly had the imperative to not repeat this generation, and Microsoft wouldn't want to shoot themselves in the foot by trailing behind on the release date either with the Xbox One.
That competition and the aging tech of the old consoles resulted in a PS4 and Xbox One launching while missing many basic functions functions their predecessors have and now, with many big buzz games being delayed, the real next-gen for consoles doesn't really begin until 2015. Was the early release dates for the PS4 and the Xbox One really worth it and are the consoles now going to be antiquated even quicker? We're already having issues with resolutions and frame rates on both consoles which are comparatively easier to program for compared to the old-gen consoles.
Batman: Arkham Knight will be released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in 2015.