It looks like it could be time to initiate the "Knightfall" protocol, because Batman video games as we know them have just been put out to pasture. Picking up from a convoluted history of dire Batman games (apart from the Lego ones), Arkham Asylum brought a shining light to the gaming world of the Dark Knight in 2009 and spun it into one of the most successful franchises of all time. However, according to Batman himself, it could be time for the Caped Crusader to hang up his cape in the Batcave for the foreseeable future.
Bat'll Do, Kev, Bat'll Do
Everyone knows the grimy textures and New 52 atmosphere of the Arkham games, which have ruled our consoles and PCs with its impressive storylines and developed rogues gallery. However, when asked what was next for Arkham at this year's Wizard World Nashville, #KevinConroy seemed to close the doors on the asylum and the city for good:
“I can’t believe that they’re not going to do another one, but they’re not. Isn’t that amazing? They made literally billions of dollars on those games, but no, there’s no plan to do another one. Sorry.”
Well, that's thrown a batarang in the works, hasn't it?
Given that 2009's Arkham Asylum won a slew of awards and critical acclaim, it was only a matter of time before the franchise continued, and it did — there was then the sprawling Arkham City from 2011, followed by the Arkham Knight threequel in 2015. Don't forget there were numerous mobile games, a remastered version of Asylum, and even a VR entry to put the cherry on top. Hopes were high for a new game coming in 2017, which was tentatively titled Arkham Insurgency. With a game focusing on Damian Wayne, the return of the Joker, and a new coastal backdrop, a prequel that picked up after Warner Bros. Games' Arkham Origins looked all set to go.
After nowhere near exhausting the gigantic roster of heroes and villains from the streets of Gotham, Insurgency was also reported to focus in on lesser-known bad guys like Maxie Zeus, Killer Moth, Dusan al Ghul, and the Court of Owls. While all of the above had been at least alluded to in previous installments, Insurgency was also rumored to have actual boss battles as the Bat Family faced off against their biggest foes. Like it or lump it, it was thought that the Batmobile would return, but learning from the mistakes of Arkham Knight, the maligned Battle Mode would be done away with. Everything seemed to be a little too good to be true, while it now sounds like it was nothing more than just hearsay.
Conroy has voiced Bruce Wayne/Batman on and off since The Animated Series in 1990, so if anyone has the inside scoop, it would be him. Having been the man behind Bruce in all of Rocksteady's Arkham games, WB could reprise Roger Craig Smith as the Caped Crusader from Origins, but it seems unlikely that Conroy would be so out of the loop. Admittedly, the voice star may not be up to speed with future plans, but for the time being, Arkham games are very much like the Joker and confined to an early grave.
Check out the trailer for Return to Arkham and don't forget our poll below:
Are you sad that no more Arkham games are coming?