Following the release of DC Comics and Rocksteady Studios' "Batman: Arkham City" video game in 2010, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the studio planned to revisit the franchise, teasing "Batman: Arkham World" in an animated acceptance speech at the Spike TV Video Game Awards in 2011 and rumors of the studio developing a prequel game featuring the Justice League.
The rumors of the "Arkham" franchise's return are, in fact true -- but while the game series will get another installment October 25, it will be without Rocksteady Studios. Game Informer revealed its May cover featuring "Batman: Arkham Origins" with concept art of both Batman and Deathstroke the Terminator (making his first "Arkham" series appearance), and that Warner Bros. Games Montreal has taken over the franchise from Rocksteady and has full access to the studio's modified Unreal engine used to create "Batman: Arkham Asylum" and "Batman: Arkham City." The game is headed up by creative director Eric Holmes, who served as lead designer for "Prototype" and also wrote the IDW miniseries "Transformers: Megatron Origin."
As the name implies, "Batman: Arkham Origins" takes place before "Batman: Arkham Asylum" when eight of the world's greatest assassins come to Gotham City on Christmas Eve to kill Batman.
The change in studio isn't the only major shift from the past two "Arkham" installments -- it's already been revealed that Paul Dini, who wrote the story for both "Arkham" games, didn't plan to come back for a third time. Game Informer also reports that Warner Bros. Games Montreal will simultaneously release a handheld version of the game called "Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate" for 3DS and PlayStation Vita.
Check out Game Informer's coverage video below.
"Batman: Arkham Origins" hits October 25 for Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. "Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate" releases October 25 for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita.
UPDATE 4/9/2013 1:15 PM PT: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has issued a press release confirming the existence of the game with more details on the story and plot, as well as the official game logo.
Official Press Release
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced Batman: Arkham Origins™ and Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate™, the next installments of the blockbuster Batman: Arkham videogame franchise. Batman: Arkham Origins will be available for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 system, the Wii U™ system, and Windows PC. Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate™ will be available for the Nintendo 3DS™ handheld system, and PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system. Both titles are scheduled to release worldwide Oct. 25, 2013.
Developed by WB Games Montréal, Batman: Arkham Origins features an expanded Gotham City and introduces an original prequel storyline set several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, the first two critically acclaimed games of the franchise. Taking place before the rise of Gotham City’s most dangerous criminals, the game showcases a young and unrefined Batman as he faces a defining moment in his early career as a crime fighter that sets his path to becoming the Dark Knight. As the story unfolds, players will meet many important characters for the first time and forge key relationships.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is a 2.5-D game developed by Armature Studio that brings the Batman Arkham experience for the first time to Nintendo and Sony handheld systems. A companion game to Batman: Arkham Origins, players can continue the storyline of the console version and discover more details of the Dark Knight’s past.
“Batman: Arkham is a huge triple-A videogame franchise and we are delighted to expand the experience with Batman: Arkham Origins,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “WB Games Montréal has an incredibly talented team building upon Rocksteady’s award-winning gameplay and technology to deliver a deep, immersive, quality experience fans will love.”
“WB Games Montréal is honored to have the opportunity to create Batman: Arkham Origins, a new chapter in this amazing franchise” said Reid Schneider, Vice President and Executive Producer, WB Games Montréal. “We are huge fans of the franchise and are committed to creating an experience that offers players more of what they love, as well as the chance to play as a younger Batman within a fresh storyline and expanded world.”
Batman: Arkham Origins is based on DC Comics’ core Batman license. Fans can visit www.batmanarkhamorigins.com for more information about the game.
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About DC Entertainment
DC Entertainment, home to iconic brands DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash), Vertigo (Sandman, Fables) and MAD, is the creative division charged with strategically integrating its content across Warner Bros. Entertainment and Time Warner. DC Entertainment works in concert with many key Warner Bros. divisions to unleash its stories and characters across all media, including but not limited to film, television, consumer products, home entertainment and interactive games. Publishing thousands of comic books, graphic novels and magazines each year, DC Entertainment is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world. In January 2012, DC Entertainment, in collaboration with Warner Bros. and Time Warner divisions, launched We Can Be Heroes—a giving campaign featuring the iconic Justice League super heroes—to raise awareness and funds to fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.
About Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc., is a premier worldwide publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of entertainment content for the interactive space across all current and future platforms, including console, handheld and PC-based gaming for both internal and third party game titles.
About WB Games Montréal
Since its launch in 2010, WB Games Montréal has more than 300 employees and continues to grow and recruit additional talent. Working with some of Warner Bros. Studios’ biggest brands, including DC Entertainment, the studio is focused on the most cutting-edge approach to games for the digital space as well as current and upcoming video game consoles.
About Armature Studio
Founded in 2008 by three of the principal members of the Metroid Prime franchise, Armature Studio strives to bring their game design sensibilities to a new audience. Located in Austin, TX, Armature currently has over 30 employees and is working on multiple titles.