The lights are on
Rocksteady Studios is the original developer and innovator of the Batman Arkham series. The team has created Arkham Asylum and Arkham City and is working on the upcoming Arkham Knight. Last year's Arkham Origins, developed by Warner Bros. Games Montreal, marked the first time the series was handled by another developer. Batman: Arkham Knight game director and co-founder of Rocksteady Studios Sefton Hill spoke with us about the team felt about handing over its baby.
"I think for us the main thing was being able to make [Arkham Knight]," Hill says. "We knew we needed the time to make this game. It was going to be three years of development, so that meant a long time without an Arkham game. I think that was a decision for Warner Bros., not for us."
The Amount of Involvement in Origins
"To be honest, mainly we said, 'Make the game you want to make,'" Hill says. "For us the focus is 100 percent on [Arkham Knight], and we didn’t want to try and influence them from afar. We wanted them to be really passionate about the game they wanted to make. The main involvement was, 'Take our code. Make the best Arkham game that you can make. And we don’t want to try and be directing from across the Atlantic.' We were quite busy."
Story Guidelines for Origins
"We had our story down fairly early, so it was quite easy for us to say, 'That’s our story. That’s where we’re going. So just make sure you don’t tread on the toes of that,'" Hill says. "I think it was great for those guys to be able to take ownership rather than think they were just doing something subservient to us. We didn’t want that feeling at all. We wanted those guys to be able to take ownership of what they were doing."
"We definitely consider it canon," Hill says. "There are things through [all] the games, obviously. They have Barbara Gordon in as well and Oracle plays a very key role in our game. So there are things that are connected, for sure. But the events of Asylum and City are actually nearer to the events of Knight so it's easier to tie in to those events."
Teaching Rocksteady's Custom Unreal 3 Engine
"Those are really talented guys. It wasn’t actually much of a burden on us at all," Hill says. "There were a few bits and pieces. 'Tell us how this works. Tell us how that works.' I think they saw a few things in the game where they were like, 'Wow I didn’t know this was in the game.' Maybe that’s our fault because we didn’t promote those mechanics enough. There were things like, 'I didn’t know you rewarded that.' There were things that were happening under the hood. They contacted us. We had from our technical guys talk back and forth to explain the stuff that we’d done."
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