As Per James Gunn, The Arkham Series Will Continue, But Will It Be The Same?

I don't want the present WB anywhere near it.

Story Highlights

  • James Gunn says the Arkham series will continue past Suicide Squad, but I fear it won’t be the game we want.
  • WB is pro-live service now, and the last thing I want is for it to ruin Batman. The series ended for me with Arkham Knight.
  • Rocksteady is a shell of its past self now; the founders are no longer around, and I can’t trust it with a new entry now.

Whether you’re a kid or an adult, the fantasy of embodying a superhero is hard to eliminate. At some point, everyone had the thought of just rushing to a troubled scenario and fixing it in a flash provided they had superpowers. While it’s nothing more than a pipe dream, a saving grace is that you can fulfill these fantasies by delving into the rich world of gaming. Here, you can break free and become the superhero you always wanted to be.

As video games began as a means to realize imaginative situations, it’s pretty fitting that the superhero genre became a part of it. And we’ve received plenty of such adventures, some pretty exciting, while others just okay. And in that pretty exciting list, Spider-Man and Batman games reign supreme. It’s a shame about no Superman though, but at least we have the magnificent Batman Arkham series to enjoy. However, I have mixed feelings about the series continuing, and I have my reasons.

As Much As I Love Batman, The Arkham Series Returning Is Less Than Exciting

Reading all that might have given you the impression that I do not like the Batman Arkham series, so let me rectify that first. I’ve been a die-hard fan of the Caped Crusader long before the Arkham saga came into existence. Games like Batman: Vengeance were among my favorite classics, but everything changed once Arkham Asylum graced us with its presence. Playing as the Dark Knight had never felt more impactful and genuine before this.

Batman Arkham Asylum was a revolutionary entry that forever changed superhero games.
Batman Arkham Asylum was a revolutionary entry that forever changed superhero games.

Next was Arkham City, which took the same formula, but only took it by several thousand notches if not more. Overall, I consider this to be the peak of the Batman games. While Arkham Origins is weaker than all others, it is still an underrated gem I wish wasn’t forgotten. And then we come to the latest adventure; Arkham Knight. While not without flaws, its gameplay mechanics are the best and most fluid in the entire series. 

To me, Arkham Knight is the best of the series. Best gameplay, suits, graphics, details, atmosphere. Also it has Photo Mode. I love driving the Batmobile around. Having the ones from the movies is a dream come true. The game has flaws, but the good outweighs the bad. Super proud of this screenshot.
byu/Daredevil731 inBatmanArkham

All in all, Batman Arkham games are a gem you can never undermine in any case, they’re that good. You might ask then why am I against it continuing? It’s with a very heavy heart that I say this, as deep down I want nothing more than it to continue, but the present circumstances are just that dire. Take a look at the present WB and Rocksteady, and you’ll see why I think like this. Do you want Batman to suffer the same fate as the Suicide Squad? I know I don’t.

WB Is Very Likely to Turn The Batman Arkham Series Into Another Live-Service

So how do we know that the Arkham series is certainly returning? Well, it came directly from the DC co-head James Gunn. In a reply to a fan about the future of the Arkham series beyond the Suicide Squad game, he replied “No plans of it being the last!” Though this has since been deleted, the images are circulating over the internet, and there’s a solid chance it is a reality. However, instead of being excited, I fear for one of my most beloved series.

James Gunn confirms future for the Arkham game universe
byu/TheMysticMop incomicbookmovies

Why do I think it’ll be a disaster? Well, it’s because WB is up to no good now, that’s why. Although the mega corporation’s decisions have been becoming more profit-centric for a considerable time now; the nail in the coffin for gamers was the recent announcement of how WB intends to transform many of its major franchises into live-service titles. In other words, it wants to make as much money as possible now and will use every asset at its disposal, and Batman is no exception.

As if Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League was not enough, we have to brace ourselves for all our favorite heroes becoming live-service fodder now. It’s truly a shame, as WB characters had a ton of potential to spearhead their games full of creative mechanics and depth, but the company wants money so live service it is. I lament the day it came up with the Nemesis system, as that gem of a mechanic catches dust while WB is busy catching the live-service train.

The nemesis system in Middle-Earth Shadow of War is the best gaming innovation in the past 20 years and it’s insane that WB is doing nothing with it
byu/potatoguy21 ingaming

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Is Torture Enough, Need No More

If you want a glimpse into the future of WB franchises and what it can do with the Arkham series, I suggest checking out Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, so you can share my dread. I’m a sucker for everything DC, and Suicide Squad is pretty close to the top. When a new game featuring the iconic villain squad was announced, I was jumping with joy. I didn’t know that Joy was pretty short-lived, as it was revealed as another live-service project, a pretty bad-looking one, too.

Suicide Squad: KTJL is not looking impressive so far.
Suicide Squad: KTJL is not looking impressive so far.

I was genuinely shocked at this decision, as a crystal clear example of how it could turn out was pretty close by. That is none other than Marvel’s Avengers. It hadn’t been long since that game flopped, and pretty hard at that, yet another game of a pretty similar setting learned nothing from it? The live-service formula indeed earns a lot of money, but if it flops badly, what about all the losses and repercussions? Yet WB went ahead with another live service, and one that had many problems, too.

Suicide Squad: Killed by Live Service
byu/durranifahad ingaming

For starters, can someone tell me why is everyone using guns? What happened to their own unique arsenal? If you wish to make a live service game, at least put in enough creativity and dedication to make it stand out. Giving every unique character plain guns is not my definition of creativity. What’s next, Superman with guns? That’s just the tip of the iceberg, as Suicide Squad is not just a live-service, but a pretty weak live-service formula at that. 

Is This Why The Rocksteady Founders Left, Too?

This is another major reason why I’m not looking excited for a new Arkham series entry. The creative minds responsible for the legendary series are no longer around, and without them, I don’t think the new game is in safe hands, especially with WB at the top. Back in 2022, Rocksteady co-founders who founded the company in 2004: Jamie Walker and Sefton Hill left it for good, and this was before Suicide Squad could be released.

Since I don’t know any details about their reasoning, everything I might think is pure speculation. Even so, it’s highly likely that the changing WB policies and the live-service Suicide Squad could be the reasons for this. I say this because this timing of leave and the hint of sorrow in their statements gave off the impression that something was amiss. But one thing’s for sure, Rocksteady will never be the same now, and Kill the Justice League is proof of that.

Sefton Hill is leaving rocksteady
byu/Hispecroboshinobi inBatmanArkham

Jamie Walker and Sefton Hill were responsible for making the Batman Arkham series what it is, and it was their creative vision and guidance that sustained this series for so long. The present Rocksteady is not something I can trust the Arkham series with now. Considering that Suicide Squad was delayed once again after their leave suggests that the team is having problems keeping up with the change, that’s not a good thing. 

WB Needs To Realize Its Errors Before The Damage Is Irreversible

With all that, did I provide enough evidence as to why I think the Batman Arkham series returning is more concerning than exciting? Considering the present WB, I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be another live service. They did try to go that route with Gotham Knights before changing their minds, and now not only Suicide Squad is one, but WB will make more live services too. This does not bode well for any continuation we might get.

Gotham Knights had GaaS elements, but I'm glad it wasn't one. I wasn't so lucky with Suicide Squad, however.
Gotham Knights had GaaS elements, but I’m glad it wasn’t one. I wasn’t so lucky with Suicide Squad, however.

Worst of all, WB will ruin the legendary series we’ve grown to love and enjoy diving into multiple times. We don’t even know what developer will get to work on it. Rocksteady is a shell of its past self at this point, but there’s a chance someone even worse gets to work on it, and twists it up exactly as WB wants, a money-making, soul-less project designed to capitalize on the Dark Knight’s popularity. I shudder to even imagine that horrendous situation.

In a nutshell, I firmly believe the news of the Batman Arkham series continuing past Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is more concerning than exciting. I think WB needs to realize how it’s ruining these beloved series by pursuing the destructive “turn everything into live service” thought. The damage might exceed to a point beyond repair, and our beloved characters might get caught in the crossfire. I hope WB thinks twice before butchering something else, like the Arkham series.

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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming, and an avid consumer of a multitude of different genres for over a decade now. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces. Experience: 8+ months

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