“We looked when we were making [Batman: Arkham City] at what’s important for the game… what’s really important for the story we wanted to tell,” said Arkham series creator and Rocksteady Games co-founder Sefton Hill at E3 2011, “And the thing we wanted to do, the thing that got us really excited was taking Batman into this huge district of Gotham City and telling that story. So really that’s the filter by which we looked at what we were going to do. We looked at multiplayer and said, ‘Is that essential to tell that story? It’s not.’”
Rockstead isn’t working on the Arkham series at the moment, though. It’s Eric Holmes (Prototype) and his team at Warner Bros. Montreal that’s making this fall’s Batman: Arkham Origins. According to a source speaking with Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, Holmes’ crew came to a very different decision about how important multiplayer would be to its game.
Arkham Origins will indeed have multiplayer options. Taking a page from games like Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, this mode will put you in the shoes of both villains and heroes. In one part of the game, you’ll control gang members who team up against Batman and Robin. There are also a selection of villains, including confirmed newcomers Deathstroke and Black Mask, as well as past Arkham rogues like Deadshot and Killer Croc.
Warner Bros. Interactive, unsurprisingly, has refused to comment on speculation and rumor. The source in question, however, did mention a host of details about Batman: Arkham Origins long before the official Game Informer unveiling of the game earlier in April. The setting, name, and even promotional art featuring Batman in front of a snow-covered backdrop were all details described by the source that were later proved to be wholly accurate.
Rocksteady was adamantly opposed to the inclusion of multiplayer in its Batman games. “We firmly believe that what you do with your hands when you’re playing the game and your interaction with the game is king. We just didn’t feel that multiplayer was adding anything to that – it was taking away from that.”
“If I want to play multiplayer, I can buy a multiplayer game.”
Arkham Origins, being a game that details the early days of Batman’s career, doesn’t seem particularly well suited to multiplayer scenarios. Until Warner Bros. shows more of the game, though, the quality of any possible multiplayer modes is impossible to determine. It’ll be important to keep an open mind about the game going into E3 2013.