It’s been almost six years since Arkham Knight and I’ve been itching for some Bat-related gaming fun. But sadly, I’m going to be scratching a little longer as Gotham Knights has been hit with a major delay and will now release in 2022. In a statement posted to Twitter, the developers (WB Games Montréal) explained that they’re “giving the game more time to deliver the best experience for players.”
So, what does that mean? Well, COVID-19 has negatively impacted on video game development, though it’s worth remembering that Gotham Knights‘ original release date was announced midway through the pandemic, so it’s difficult to use that as an excuse. My bet is that the developers have taken a look at current trends in the industry and realized that their co-operative games-as-a-service model might not be the surefire money-spinner they’d assumed.
The obvious comparator is the heavily hyped and hugely disappointing Marvel’s Avengers, whose repetitive grind was greeted with a shrug by gamers, negative reviews and currently has such a low player count that it’s effectively on life support. It’s also resulted in a $63 million loss for publisher Square Enix, so I reckon Warner Bros. Interactive have gotten cold feet and could be retooling the title to de-emphasize the live service aspects.
In any case, you can see their tweet below:
— Gotham Knights (@GothamKnights) March 19, 2021
In addition, as the disaster of Cyberpunk 2077 proved, it’s never a good idea to release an unfinished and buggy game, even if arriving later than planned will disappoint your customers. One silver lining to all this is that a 2022 launch may mean it’ll now be exclusive to PS5 and Xbox Series X, which might allow it to crank up the graphical quality without being constrained by the limitations of ageing last-gen hardware.
Whatever the case it, looks like we’re settling in for a long wait. Let’s just hope Gotham Knights proves to be worth it.