Warner Bros. acquires majority stake in Rocksteady

Media conglomerate buys into Batman: Arkham Asylum developer to further expand its gaming holdings; studio to be charged with other WB IP.

Today, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced that it has acquired a majority stake in Rocksteady Studios, the London-based developer of last year's critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham Asylum. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The game, which was published by Eidos (now part of Square Enix), has sold more than 2.63 million copies since its August 2009 debut.

Batman: Arkham Asylum was a commercial and critical hit for Rocksteady and WBIE.

The move follows a string of games-based acquisitions for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Most recently, it purchased beleaguered publisher Midway in a $49 million deal. WBIE also purchased Traveller's Tales, developer of the Lego Star Wars series, after receiving a $500 million investment from Abu Dhabi Media Company in 2007. In early 2009, the publisher also picked up Death Tank developer Snowblind Studios, which underwent a round of layoffs in January and is currently working with the Lord of the Rings license.

"We have been looking to increase our development capacity, and as a high quality games development Studio, Rocksteady definitely fits that strategy," said Josh Berger, WBIE UK's president and managing director. "With the ground-breaking release of Batman: Arkham Asylum, Rocksteady has really helped reinvigorate the Batman franchise, which is a significant focus for Warner Bros. in gaming."

Berger also indicated that Rocksteady won't be pigeonholed into the Batman universe, saying that the development studio is also at work on other Warner Bros.-owned franchises. "Rocksteady is working on the sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum, and we hope to have them work on other Warner Bros. intellectual properties too," he said.

Warner Bros., which owns the DC Comics brand, will be publishing the upcoming sequel to Arkham Asylum, as well as focusing on developing the Mortal Kombat, The Lord of the Rings, and Lego franchises.

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Discussion

149 comments
LordRaymond
LordRaymond

@ahpuck Lol well true hope Square Enix doesn't turn out to be like them too. Can't wait for a Batman AA2.

Xplode_77
Xplode_77

@clintbrew: no..... just... no...........

clintbrew
clintbrew

i hope they will make Lego Batman 2: Arkham Asylum or Lego Justice League

Blood_Diamond
Blood_Diamond

Bring on Batman Arkham Asylum 2... i know that's not the offical title... has it even been given one yet? I got the plat trophy on the PS3 version of the last one *victory dance*

killeroo
killeroo

mckmetal, i hope so 2, but i bet warner bros will rush it to make more $$. hope im wrong

Matthew-Butler
Matthew-Butler

@cejay0813 Aye I've played the first one, I had the collectors edition (with the batarang) on day of release, unfortunately the only thing I was dissapointed about was that the batarang was plastic...fantastic game though, haven't had a decent stealth game since splinter cell chaos theory.

rko48
rko48

Green Arrow game

santinegrete
santinegrete

Since they have Midways franchises I hope they make another "The Suffering" game. It's about time to do it right. About the next Batman Arkham asylum?pretty obvious: bring it!

mckmetal
mckmetal

the first arkham was great, but not very long though. i hope they increase the length and number of gadgets for the sequel. i dont want them to rush it though, hopefully it will be ready for holiday 2011.

AIRWALKTDK666
AIRWALKTDK666

@th3_bly "Like Rizer said, it'd be a great opportunity to introduce some of DC's other characters. I would love to play as Flash, but I'm not sure what kind of game genre it would turn out to be..." I believe the genre would come under: AWESOME!

maaly81
maaly81

Im getting Arkham for sure. they bought Midway for basically nothing. 49mil and they will probably make twice as much of the first new titles

Xplode_77
Xplode_77

They better make some kick but games with the amount of money they're using... Make Looney Toons game!!!

steven141
steven141

I'm not sure how i should feel about this but i'll be optimistic

otanikun
otanikun

No surprise there, but I am looking forward to this game, now I just have to get the first one.

keyboard-hero
keyboard-hero

From what I saw from this teaser trailer and the site, it seems Joker is starting to have health problems. Is he getting old? Wonder if he will die soon.

cejay0813
cejay0813

@ Matthew-Butler A complete Matrix re-haul would be nice, and I'm looking forward to the Batman sequel. If you haven't played Batman:AA I highly recommend you get around to it.

cpinheiro2
cpinheiro2

Whatever. If that helps better games to be developed... Fine.

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

@edua7x and everyone else spiderman is now part of disney, so expect to see him and wolverine in the newest kindgom hearts! HA! yes, marvel is now part of the ss crapship known as disney.

Ovirew
Ovirew

@ Darth_Pietrus, Spiderman isn't gay or 'kidy', and I think there have been lots of good Spiderman games made. Other than that, Spiderman is a Marvel series and Warner probably won't get their hands on him, now anyway.

Ovirew
Ovirew

It sounds like a good break for Rocksteady, so hopefully things work out.

newhighscore
newhighscore

I just hope this doent backfire on us. AA was a great game that really did the Batman franchise some justice. Lets cross our fingers, and hope for more.

taylormadederek
taylormadederek

Come on Superman.......I sure it would at least be better than Superman 64.

Matthew-Butler
Matthew-Butler

Hopefully Rocksteady will go on to make some decent games based off of WB's IPs, I'm hoping for a Matrix re-haul

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

Good purchase for WB. Rocksteady are a good developer. Arkham Asylum is one of the best games released this gen.

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

@ Black_Adder_ WTF are you smoking? Cause it must be dam strong if your triping that much that you think terminator and wanted came even close to BM:AA

Darth_Pietrus
Darth_Pietrus

Other comicbook characters wont work well in a decent game. Superman and Spiderman are kinda kidy and so I dont think u could make a game with them serious. Or good. I geuss what im saying here is that they're kinda gay

Darth_Pietrus
Darth_Pietrus

Yay more LOTR games are coming to town. Should make a Conquest 2 but then a lot better.

damodar_thade
damodar_thade

Hopefully warner leave the game to Rocksteady other wise it'll suck like every Batman game before B:AA

tastyhalloween
tastyhalloween

now...after batman arkham asylum 2....rocksteady you should make Superman/Batman cross over...and make sure you get Tim Daly to be superman....i can only trust you guys with that...or well yall doing any comic book game it seems...since yall nailed batman...

ahpuck
ahpuck

@LordRaymond they all turn to the dark side when they get too big. EA, Activision, Eidos, you name it. once their games start getting some recognition they start pumping them as fast as they can, forgetting about what games care the most, fun, quality gaming.

j666hul
j666hul

aa was such a good suprise, once i started playng, i couldnt stop. terminator had good level design, but that was it. the easiest platinum there is. infact they should give it you for free to start off your account.

Skargamer
Skargamer

NICE! LOVED the first game. had a LOT of fun trying to get all the trophies (as in in game trophies). very creative game and i hope it will finally get GOTY cuz their previous game almost made it but got over shadowed by othe awesome games. like all the others said, i hope WBIE dont rush Rocksteady and let them work on it for some time and produce a GOTY! :)

im-a-roustabout
im-a-roustabout

I'm scared that Hollywood is seeing how much Video Game sales are trumping their competition and so are now acquiring video game companies. If the two merge, good god games are going to suck so bad!

Kleeyook
Kleeyook

Sorry, I don't really care about comics much less super heroes things. U should know just by looking at my avatar. i don't even know which ones are DC or Marvel. :(

edua7x
edua7x

@Kleeyook spiderman is from marvel not dc dumbass lol.

Gen007
Gen007

man thats alot pressure for a relatively new dev team. i mean now they have to make hits but i guess its time to separate the men from the boys. WB dosent exactly have an amazing track record though.

Makhdoom82
Makhdoom82

Rocksteady has proven with their game that they have talented people working in it. No wonder a media giant like WB buys their shares. Whatever comes from them now will be more interesting.

ekultus
ekultus

maybe this will mean I can finally try the first AA as the price should drop soon

richioso
richioso

On topic though we do need to have some more proper boss fights and maybe if they can do it right some Batmobile sequences. I know they don't need to make the mistake of going all "bigger is better" but if the story is as the trailer suggests then the second one is in Gotham City and I'll be damned if I'm swinging around Gotham like a damn spiderman

richioso
richioso

@Black_Adder_ there are valid reasons why you wouldn't like Batman AA, but then you said Wanted and Terminator were better and that kinda showed you up as D1ckWadd.

pete_merlin
pete_merlin

IF you rush the game or ruin the game I wont buy it, remember this!

robram9
robram9

@Black_Adder_ I guess just because YOU didn't like it means is bad, maybe I should stop playing it then, because YOU think it sucks, 2.63 million people disagree with you, you must joking when you said Wanted and Terminator are better than BAA.

rockstar_88
rockstar_88

Maybe now we can get decent iterations of games for 300 and Watchmen.

3zone5
3zone5

I hope teh folluw up will be as good or even better then teh first

Kleeyook
Kleeyook

I wish they'd make an awesome Spider-man game.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

good news - Rocksteady deserve some sterling financial backup for their effors with Arkham Asylum

LordRaymond
LordRaymond

Hm all good if Warner Brothers doesn't turn into a Activision.

mission76
mission76

Batman AA was, at least for me, the best game of last year. Only game I have ever even considered trying to Platinum in...hopefully the sequel makes it two games I have platinum trophies in. I just hope there are a few legit boss fights this time around.