Batman to return to Arkham later this year, but on what systems?

BAtman Arkham City over the cityBuried in the talk of percentage increases and quarterly results, the Time Warner earnings call last week offered one tiny little nugget of information to get the blood of gamers going. During the call (which Yahoo Finance transcribed), beyond the reassurances to investors that their money was deeply in love and would soon be producing plenty of baby money, Time Warner’s impressively titled Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, John K. Martin, let slip some surprising news about the future of Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham franchise.

“And we also have a strong games release this year, which will include the next release in the Batman Arkham franchise,” Martin said. “So all in all, we expect Warners to post another very strong year in 2013. And with a little luck, the year should be as good or maybe even a little bit better than 2012.”

While the game is being developed by Rocksteady, it is being published by the Time Warner owned Warner Bros., which also holds all the licensing rights to the Batman brand. It’s no surprise that a new Batman game from Rocksteady is on the way, it’s the time frame that is surprising.

When Arkham City was released in October of 2011, it quickly went on to ship nearly 5 million copies in just 10 days, which made it the best-selling game of the year to that point. It was soon surpassed by a few different titles, but there was no question that it was a critical and commercial success. A sequel was inevitable.

In fact, it was soon leaked that the sequel would actually be a prequel depicting Batman’s first meeting with the Joker for the first time, and featuring the Justice League. It was also rumored to be based on the Silver Age DC characters, and would be set in the 1950s. That would make it more of a new game with familiar mechanics than a direct prequel though. Of course, Rocksteady wasn’t likely to comment, but the sources seemed convinced. The release date of that game was rumored to be 2014, which would have almost certainly meant a next-gen game. This seemed to be verified by the news that Rocksteady was actively hiring talent to work on a AAA title for the next Xbox and the PS4. It all made sense – until this news.

Martin specifically said that the game was an “Arkham franchise” game. There have been plenty of other Batman games, including recent ones like the Traveller’s Tale’s Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, but Martin’s statement seems to focus on the Rocksteady titles. But the question then becomes, will Rocksteady have time to release a third Batman game in such a short time frame? They have shown that they can – Batman: Arkham Asylum was released in August of 2009, then just twenty-six months later Arkham City was released. If releasing a third game in six years was Rocksteady’s plan all along, then a 2013 release is very possible. But given the development cycle the earliest we would likely see the new game would be late in the fall, perhaps October or November at the earliest. That raises another major question: What systems will the new game be released on?

the next generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles will be announced this year, and at least one – if not both systems – will almost certainly be in stores right around that time. If the game releases on the Xbox 360 and PS3, then it will likely be overshadowed by the new systems and their launch games. It should still sell well, but not nearly as well before the next gen splits its audience. That begs the question, could a new Batman Arkham game actually be a launch title for the new systems?  

If that is the case, to paraphrase the words of Philip J. Fry, Rocksteady and Warner can go ahead and “shut up and take our money!”


The Black Shark 2’s Ludicrous Mode promises the smoothest mobile gaming

Xiaomi-backed Black Shark has a follow-up to last year's Black Shark gaming phone, complete with high specs and a low price. Here's everything we know about the Black Shark 2 gaming phone.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

Make some room in your backlog. Here are all the games to look out for in 2019

2019 is already a huge year for video games, with a large number of series getting new installments, including some that have been dormant for years. Brand new franchises are also being created.

Here's what we know about the Dark Souls developer's next game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software. Here is everything we know about the new game, including its setting and combat changes.

Upcoming zombiefest Days Gone boasts 30-plus hours of story-driven content

Days Gone, the first PlayStation 4 title from Sony's Bend Studio, looks to offer a different type of zombie game. Here's everything we know about the forthcoming title, from the setting to its gameplay.

Is Google launching a game-streaming service? Watch our GDC livestream to see

Google is presenting its 2019 GDC keynote on March 19. Here is how you can tune in to watch the event, as well as what could be shown during the presentation. Google's Project Stream service could be on the agenda.

Need to perform a factory reset on your Xbox One console? Here's how to do it

Whether you're upgrading to a One X and giving your old console to a friend, or troubleshooting a technical issue, sometimes your Xbox One needs a clean slate. Here's our quick guide on how to factory reset an Xbox One.

New character Octane makes an entrance with the first Apex Legends Battle Pass

Apex Legends' first season kicks off March 19 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The Battle Pass comes in two versions, with the base version costing around 10 bucks. Seasonal rewards include a bevy of new loot such as legendary skins.

The Unevn One is a portable desk that brings PC gaming on the road

Bringing a gaming PC outside your usual setup can be a challenge, but the Unevn One is the first all-in-one, portable gaming desk complete with a computer chassis and integrated monitor mount.

How to get the most out of agent builds and specializations in The Division 2

The Division 2 has an intricate loot system to let you fine tune your agent to fit your play style. In our builds and specializations guide, we'll walk you through all of the stats you should pay attention to when tinkering with gear.

Transport your Nintendo Switch in style with these nifty cases

The Nintendo Switch, which boasts both wired and handheld modes, needs a good case to ensure it doesn't get beat up while you're on the go. We scoured through dozens of Switch cases to bring you the best ones.

Here's how you can control your PS4 right from your phone

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.

Here's our guide on how to progress through The Division 2 endgame

Your mission as an agent doesn't end after taking out the three main factions in The Division 2. The endgame brings the Black Tusks, a dangerous new faction, to D.C. Our endgame guide will help you on your quest for the best loot.