Nothing engenders rapid development of a video game like having a hit on your hands: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has announced that the UK’s Rocksteady Studios is already hard at work on a sequel to its well-regarded Batman: Arkham Asylum video gaame—and they’ve already launced a teaser site to give players and fans a hint of what’s to come.
“We are thrilled to build a global game franchise from Batman: Arkham Asylum, which is receiving an incredible response from gamers and Batman fans around the world,” said Warner Bros. Interactive president Martin Tremblay, in a statement. “Rocksteady has taken Batman to a new level in the video game space and we are committed to delivering a sequel the fans will love.”
Although the companies are cagey on the details, the sequel seems aimed at taking the mayhem out of the infamous Arkham Asylum—where Batman’s rogue’s gallery of adversaries typically spends some time “in treatment” before conveniently escaping for their next conversation with the Caped Crusader—out into the dark, rainy, crime-infested streets of Gotham City. As usual, it looks like the Joker (and gal-pal Harley Quinn) will be masterminding the festivities, although it seems likely a few other Bat-foes will turn up along the way.
The Batman: Arkham Asylum game has drawn solid reviews from both gamers and Batman fans, combining tight story elements with first-person shooters bat-gadgets, melees, and creeptastic surroundings. The Arkham Asylum game also succeeds by bringing in long-time animated Batman voice talent (Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as the Joker) to give the story some heft: for a whole generation of Batman fans, Kevin Conroy is the Dark Knight and Christian Bale is just a footnote. Although some fans might hope that moving out into Gotham might be grounds for an open-world Bat-game, it seems more likely the sequel will follow a story-driven plot.
Warner Bros. has not released a date for its sequel, but you can be sure the company does not want to miss next year’s holiday season.