2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum came as a huge surprise to many people. It wasn’t the fact that a Batman game got made – the surprise came in when that game ended up being pretty awesome.
It was a natural shoe-in for a sequel – and no one was really surprised when Batman: Arkham City was announced and released to massive critical and consumer success.
Having treated the Batman name and universe with such respect and style, Rocksteady has rocketed to AAA-studio status – and they’ve only made 3 games.
Suddenly, all eyes are on the developers, looking and clawing for any bit of information as to where they’re going next – with an expectation that whatever it is, it’ll be just as amazing as their previous games.
We could sit around and express our wishes for what could come next – but let’s rather look at the 3 routes which have gathered the most murmurings.
Batman: Arkham Sequel
First, the most obvious – for everyone who’s finished Arkham City, you know that the game leaves a lot open for a possible sequel.
I won’t spoil the game (it’s still too soon after release) – but it’s obvious why Rocksteady left so many questions and eyebrow-raising conclusions; they’re onto a good thing here.
They’ve already established themselves pretty comfortably as the Batman guys, so to bank on another game featuring the Dark Knight is a pretty safe option. Chances of it being called “Arkham World”, however, is highly, highly unlikely.
This little seed was first planted on the internet in October 2011, when Paul Dini – DC Comics creative, and writer of Rocksteady’s Batman stories – expressed a pretty in-depth view of how the developers should move on to Superman next.
Obviously not speaking on behalf of Rocksteady in any way, it was a far-stretch from anything solid – however his reasoning was.
Firstly, Dini knows his stuff – he’s not some pleb off the streets; and having worked with Rocksteady on such an integral part of the game, he probably knows how their minds work and how they’d approach it.
Secondly, timing – Batman underwent a massive media “re-branding” with Christopher Nolan’s grittier take on the franchise; similarly, Superman is going through the same in a new movie.
There’s probably never been a better time to bank on the wave of change.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The latest possibility to get the “Batman” treatment from Rocksteady, comes courtesy of a rumour posted rather reluctantly by the Paul Gale Network.
The story isn’t linked to anyone directly tied to the project, but rather from “rumblings and small talk” within the industry, according to Gale, who admits this is strictly under the “rumour” category.
Apparently the next Rocksteady game will be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Manhattan Crisis – featuring the four turtles we all know and love – as well as a roster of enemies from the series.
Building on the Arkham City engine, and following similar progression; the Rocksteady treatment of TMNT is a less obvious option – but certainly the most intriguing.
Gale also does a good job reasoning out the publishing rights – TMNT isn’t a DC brand (and Rocksteady do seem to be laying their stock there), however, IDW Publishing, who own TMNT, have partnered with DC before.
So there you have it – three possible routes, each as unconfirmed as the next; considering the 2 year development cycle for games (that aren’t made by Valve), we’re probably still a long way off from any announcements.
We’ll have to wait and see.