It had long been rumored that Rocksteady Studios, the developers of the best-selling and critically acclaimed superhero games Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Knight was, at one point in time, considering applying their creative vision to the DC flagship character that is Superman.
Now, says James Sigfield, a GWW reporter who’s been at the forefront of Arkham-related leaks for several years, it seems that the reason we won’t see a Superman-based video game isn’t because Rocksteady was never planning to make one in the first place, but because their pitch was rejected by Warner Bros.
According to Sigfield, who posted the news in a tweet, Rocksteady pitched the Superman project to WB executives as a follow-up to 2015’s Arkham Knight, but their idea was not well-received.
Hearing from multiple sources that Rocksteady pitched a Superman game to WB as a follow up to Arkham Knight, and WB passed on the project.
Judging how similar this feels to the “New Gotham” section of Arkham Knight, this could be for that. pic.twitter.com/RKIE6ugKSP
— James Sigfield (@Jsig212James) April 15, 2020
Why WB would have passed on the project is puzzling, especially considering Rocksteady’s Arkham franchise ranks among the most popular in recent years, and the original Arkham Asylum is widely applauded for showing the industry that superhero-based games – which had long been both a critical laughing stock and a commercial train wreck of a genre – could in fact be great.
Sure, the final title in the original trilogy, Arkham Knight, may have received slightly lower ratings than its predecessors, but at the end of the day it still sold millions of copies, leaving WB without a reasonable explanation for refusing to further associate with the now-legendary developer.
A more viable possibility might be that the entertainment empire is moving forward with their superhero games in-house. In 2014, their own studio, WB Montréal, launched a relatively successful and, presumably, much less expensive spinoff game set in Rocksteady’s Batman universe called Arkham Origins. Given that team is already pretty much confirmed to be developing a new Arkham installment based around the Court of Owls, it does seem plausible that WB simply has no interest in continuing their business with Rocksteady. But then again, why put all your eggs in one basket? And, more importantly, why settle for one when you could have two games? After all, it’s not like WB has an appetite for franchise fatigue.
Last but not least, they might simply just not be interested in a Superman game, which would be very understandable considering the character is among the least popular in the DCEU, and the only member of the Justice League whose franchise is not being continued anytime soon.