A Batman: The Dark Knight tie-in game never made its way to store shelves and this investigative video explains all of the problems that led to the game’s inevitable cancellation.
Only a few years ago, it was nearly impossible for a blockbuster action film to launch without a companion licensed video game. This was especially the case with superhero flicks and everyone from Spider-Man to Wolverine launched films with video game counterparts of varying quality. Despite the plans of Electronic Arts, that wasn’t the case for Christopher Nolan’s Batman: The Dark Knight in 2008. After nearly a decade, the community finally has some answers as to why the game never made it out of development hell.
Although the game was never finished, Pandemic was hard at work on tests and designs for the tie-in title before the team had ever seen a frame of the flick. The previous movie’s tie-in was developed by Electronic Arts and despite launching to mediocre reviews (especially compared to some other Batman games), it did have an impressive voice cast including Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, and Katie Holmes to give it some credibility.
Unseen64 created a detailed video that follows the game’s development from inception (Nolan pun intended) all the way through cancellation. For fans interested in how things look behind the scenes, this is a great learning experience about how things can quickly take a turn for the worse…
After all was said and done, it seems like the game was never meant to be thanks to a buggy engine and some questionable decisions by management. The studio behind a game like Star Wars Battlefront seemed like the perfect team to bring Batman back to consoles, but things just didn’t come together that way. The film went on to be the highest-grossing movie of the year in 2008, so it’s hard not to think that a lot of money was left on the table by neglecting to release a companion video game.
That said, the cancellation did (in a roundabout way) lead to the move away from movie tie-ins and towards a new line of game’s that became Rocksteady’s Arkham series. The first installment, Arkham Asylum, launched just a year after The Dark Knight hit theaters and was the first of multiple critically adored installments in the franchise, including last year’s Arkham Knight. Regardless of the community’s love for the Batman series that ended up arriving, it is still a shame to think about the employees who lost their jobs when Pandemic’s Brisbane offices closed down due to the cancellation.
What do you think of the story behind the cancelled Batman: The Dark Knight tie-in game? Let us know in the comments.