After two enormously successful hits with Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, Warner Bros. Interactive is set to launch Batman: Arkham Origins, along with a handheld tie-in game Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, without the help of fan-favorite developer Rocksteady Studios. As a result, fans remain mixed on the projects – with some Caped Crusader fans gravitating to the Metroidvania gameplay of Blackgate while others have their fingers crossed that the console Origins title will be more than a paint-by-numbers cash grab.
Earlier entries in the series have been known for their striking marketing and last week we were treated to a sneak peek at the potential Batman: Arkham Origins box art design – depicting an angry-looking Dark Knight in partial silhouette with a mob of villains making-up his left shoulder. Now, thanks to an Amazon listing for the game, we have further confirmation that Warner Bros. is pressing forward with this design – along with our first look at the Blackgate box art!
Gamers who have been following Batman: Arkham Origins news for the last few months will remember that Warner Bros. Interactive did, as mentioned, share box artwork concepts last week; however, fans that remember the pre-release buzz for Batman: Arkham City will also recall that that the publisher has, in the past, made drastic last minute changes to their cover designs.
For example, the image below was reported by numerous outlets as the final Arkham City artwork, only to be replaced shortly after by a significantly different design for retail (click to enlarge):
As a result, the Amazon listings serve as a good indicator that the previously shared artwork isn’t just the current concept – it’s the final approved packaging (since Warner Bros. has released the assets to retailers). Both images appeared yesterday; though, strangely, their placement is currently a bit sporadic.
In the case of Batman: Arkham Origins, all the console version listings still feature generic artwork, where as selecting the PC Download version reveals the previously discussed box art.
Similarly, the artwork for Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate appears in search results – but reverts to the template image when potential customers click-over to the order page. Unlike the console titles, this is our first look at the Blackgate cover design.
Check out both piece of artwork as they appeared on Amazon below (click to enlarge):
It’s unclear at this point whether the appearance of the box art in select categories is simply part of the slow and arduous process of adding/updating items on Amazon – or an unintentional slip-up. Given the amount of items listed at Amazon, it’s certainly possible that they don’t update all versions of a pre-order page at the same time – meaning we might see the artwork appear on the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, and PC listings over the next few days. Similarly, the disconnect between the Blackgate artwork in search results and the order page may be the result of Amazon choosing different “featured images” for search results – or a delay in refreshing certain page assets.
Regardless of the reason, given that the artwork is appearing in search results for non-marketplace listings and neither image is “user uploaded,” it’s pretty clear that regardless of whatever is happening behind the scenes at the retailer this is the final design for the two game boxes.
While Deadshot, Deathstroke, Penguin, and Black Mask are all clearly visible on the cover of the console version, it’s harder to make out the other assassins featured in the artwork (though, we know Joker will appear). Unfortunately, the Blackgate design isn’t much help in uncovering more of the villains that Batman will face; though, that’s not entirely a surprise given that the handheld version is telling a separate (but related) story.
Batman: Arkham Origins will be available on Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC October 25, 2013.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate will be available on Vita and 3DS October 25, 2013.
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