Back in July there was a supposed "leak" for a Superman game rumored to be developed by WB Games Montréal. There is honestly substantial evidence showing that the Man of Tomorrow could be next in DC's ongoing run of games. The Arkham games started after the Nolan trilogy came along, providing Batman with a growth in popularity. I believe Man of Steel's release in 2013 helps the odds of Superman getting a game, something he hasn't had in almost 10 years.
Before I get on to the rumor/leaks from July, I want to say that on WB Montréal's website, it states the following: "We are a growing studio with two AAA projects in development focused on expanding the DC Comics universe in the interactive space."
When game developers are working on a project, they usually start pre-production on their next concept not long before their current one releases. Meaning Montreal has been working on something since Origins. Given how that game ended, it's likely Suicide Squad. But, we know they're working on 2 AAA DC titles. We know at least one of them is an open world action game, as they've confirmed with job listings in June of last year. The job listings also noted a preference for applicants to be familiar with Unreal Engine 3, which hints at them possibly using Unreal Engine 4. We also know that at least one of the games is on "next" gen systems only.
Initially, there was this picture that popped up on Twitter:
Rumors began flying around, and many assumed it was a fake. Until this gif of the same picture brought forth further controversy:
Soon after this, there was concept art that leaked seemingly tied to the game. The dates shown are from February of 2015, meaning it's possible they've been on the title for over a year now:
Superman Concept Art:
Brainiac Concept Art:
A week or so later a LinkedIn account (essentially an online resume) for a freelancer named Kieran Turan had been updated, showing what he'd been working on. The information says that he'd been "Troubleshooting and repair of the 3D facial rig of the upcoming "Superman" videogame for GameOn Audio."
GameOn Audio is a motion capture/audio company that has worked on games like Halo 4, Assassin's Creed, and the most important for this case, Batman: Arkham Origins.
Here's a picture of the profile before the bits regarding Superman and GameOn Audio were removed from it:
Not long after this more concept art had leaked of Superman, Doomsday, and a bigger one that also includes Brainiac. This concept art was done by someone named Xavier Howlett, who is a Canadian freelancer. He had made a DeviantArt account and posted the concept art, but later removed it. It should also be noted that in the picture, there is a smaller piece of concept art between Superman and Brainiac. From what I've been able to do, it appears to say "Aerial Concept - Kandor". We see what looks like Superman above a city, blasting one of two ships with Heat Vision.
Superman's 2nd Concept Art:
Doomsday Concept Art:
Concept Art of All 3:
If you're wondering what the text over the photo could be about and who is "Robic," after doing some research the Robic that the image is likely for is a company called of course, ROBIC. It's an Intellectual Property firm located in Montreal, Québec, Canada. This is also where the WB Games Montreal studio is located.
In December 2014, a NeoGAF user known as Verendus told us that Superman would be making his "triumphant return to video games" in the years to come. This user is said to be an insider who has surprisingly accurate predictions. The confidence of his statements, along with the evidence presented here certainly makes you stop and think.
Reddit user "VirgilHawkins17" has informed me that Verendus said the following less than 2 weeks ago:
Though I found it dubious, 4chan user fedupstep made a post with the following information supposedly regarding the game:
- 2 pieces of music they claimed were from the game (low quality): Boss Fight Music and Flying Music
- They say that it is made by WB Games Montreal and that there are many newcomers also working on the game.
- The game is run on Unreal Engine 4.
- The game is said to have a "huge" open-world Metropolis.
- No playing as Clark Kent.
- Nerfed Superman, they say he's around TAS levels.
- Semi destructible environments
- You can apparently lose health and fly towards the sun (not into space) and regain it while obtaining increased strength.
Now we have Rocksteady's numerous Easter Eggs and references to Superman in Arkham Knight. Fair warning, there are spoilers.
There's a picture of Metropolis that advertises for an airline which you can see around the city (mostly indoors.) In the top right corner you can see a red streak which isn't a bird, or a plane, but Superman!
Thugs reference the Man of Steel multiple times. One of them being "You know the only thing that's missing is if that freak from Metropolis flew in here." which I totally agree with.
"Haha, man we got this city locked down. I thought taking over a place like this would be hard." to which his ally replies "Yeah, who knows? Maybe the Knight will have us hit Metropolis next time." The former thug then says "Hah! No way man. You think the Bat is tough to kill? You don't wanna go up against the other guy in a cape."
"That'll teach him. Who does he think he is anyway? Superman?"
"C'mon, man, fifty bucks, pay up." to which Thug 2 says "C'mon, it's not like you guessed it was Wayne." Thug 1 goes on to say "You're the one who put money on him being an alien refugee from a dying planet." Thug 2 responds with "Uhh, coulda sworn I'd heard that before."
At the GCPD, talking to Firefighter Leary-Wood will prompt dialogue that says "Seeing Scarecrow freaking out in that cell, it's making up for a lot of crap I've been through tonight." He goes on to say "So Bruce Wayne, huh? Never would've guessed. Next thing you know someone's gonna tell me Superman's really a janitor. Or no, a journalist."
Thugs have talked about him running for President and that they've seen it on TV.
Thugs have talked about rumors of him having put money into Scarecrow's plot for Gotham in Arkham Knight.
He leaves a personal message to Bruce Wayne's personal office phone in Wayne Tower where he talks about his interest in buying Bruce's tech division and how he's apparently offering $1,000,000,000 for it.
There are also the Lex Corp signs and buildings throughout Gotham City.
Recognize this bald fellow? This is from the a cutscene at the end of Arkham Knight:
I'm also missing possibly one or two Lex references. My brother recently don't me what one of them were and I was surprised to hear it, but I honestly can't remember what it was.
Also, there is another interesting conversation in Arkham Knight that might be foreshadowing something:
Thug 1: "First "Arkham Asylum", then "Arkham City". Now "Arkham Knight". What's next?"
Thug 2: "I don't know, maybe we should leave Gotham "for a while"".
Thug 1: "But Gotham's been good to us."
After New Years, WB Games Montreal had posted on January 3rd via their Facebook page either an image or video (I honestly don't recall, wish I had screenshot it at the time) that had a caption which informed us they had some "serious surprises" for us this year. It was removed within a day of being posted. I would personally expect something at or before E3.
Though it could be reaching, WB Games Montreal posted a picture of a "Knowledge Sharing Session" they were having, with Superman in the background. Coincidence? You decide:
I didn't really want to post this, but I'm throwing whatever I have. They liked a comment on their Facebook page where someone talked about hoping it was a Superman game:
The famous voice actor Nolan North has recently said in an interview that he's working on a "Big, big project" with WB. The article states the following: "North is currently keeping details of his next big game close to the vest, only adding that starring in the game '[will] be another 10 years of my life.'"
North is known for voice acting many characters, but he has actually voiced the likes of Superman in some DC animated films as well as the popular TV show "Young Justice."
We have some hints to 1 or both of their games being announced this year. If I had to place a bet, I'd say we'll definitely hear something by E3 regarding at least one of their projects. I would expect a late 2016/early 2017 release date. This is possible because it will have been ~32 months since their last project released. Just for comparison, Arkham Knight was announced 29 months after City released. If my math is right, we're currently at 29 months since Origins. Then there's the time after the announcement that leads up to release, which could range from something like 6 months or more. Those 6 months puts that at 38 months, which is over 3 years. WB Games Montreal has roughly 400 employees. That's over 3x what Rocksteady has, so this is definitely possible. Arkham Knight had an original release date of October 14th, 2014. That would have been over 3 years, including pre-production. It was delayed and released June of the following year, which puts it at roughly 40 months with a smaller team. Basically, I'm saying we should be hearing something about one of their games soon.
There you have it folks, the supportive evidence that points toward Superman starring in our next game from WB Games Montreal. I hope to see this become a reality and I think it's only a matter of time, but until then, "Up, up, and away!".