Batman committed to Arkham Asylum

[UPDATE] Warner Bros., Eidos, and Rocksteady bringing Bioshock-like action game featuring the Joker to PS3, 360, and PC in 2009.


Last week ended with the Associated Press reporting that Pandemic Studios was, at one point, indeed working a game based on the Batman blockbuster The Dark Knight. However, the report said that development had halted prior to the $400 million-grossing film's release, costing Electronic Arts an estimated $100 million in game sales.

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Today on its Web site, Game Informer confirmed a new Batman game is in the works--at a publisher other than EA. The September 2008 issue of the Minnesota-based magazine touts Batman: Arkham Asylum, a new Eidos Interactive action title based on the DC Comics which inspired the films. Besides Batman, the game will feature the Joker and "an army" of other supervillains, and will be set in the titular madhouse featured in many Batman comics and graphic novels, including Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.

According to Game Informer, Batman: Arkham Asylum has a "dark and gritty setting reminiscent of Bioshock." Cowritten by Paul Dini, producer of TV's Batman: The Animated Series, the game begins when the Joker breaks out of jail and escapes to Arkham. There, he orchestrates a plan to kill Batman and wreak havoc on Gotham City with the help of unnamed accomplices.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is being developed by Rocksteady Studios, which is currently boasting a Batman-logo countdown clock on its Web site. Though there is no text on the site, its Web page description reads, "Rocksteady Studios is an independent videogame developer based in North London, currently working on our latest FPS title for next-gen platforms." (Emphasis added.) Rocksteady's sole previous effort was 2006's lukewarmly reviewed Urban Chaos: Riot Response for the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox.

[UPDATE] Wednesday morning, Eidos publically announced Batman: Arkham Asylum will ship for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC in 2009. In North America, the game will be co-published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, which is self-publishing the forthcoming Lego Batman. WBIE is the game division of Warner Bros., the movie studio holds the Batman film rights and bankrolled The Dark Knight.

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