What Should We Expect from the Future of Batman Games?

When we do eventually get a new Batman game, what form will it end up taking?

Posted By | On 22nd, May. 2022

What Should We Expect from the Future of Batman Games?

2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum was, for all intents and purposes, the first legitimately incredible Batman game, but after that, there was no turning back. Since then, we have had three more excellent Batman titles in Arkham City, Arkham Origins, and Arkham Asylum, and one of those – Arkham City – is arguably one of the greatest games ever made. At this point, Batman is a force to be reckoned with in gaming, not just a license that gets occasionally milked to make an easy buck like it used to be until not too long ago.

But of course, it’s now been seven years since the release of the last proper Batman game. Given the size and popularity of the property, no one is under any illusions that the future doesn’t look bright for Batman games- but with WB Games Montreal’s Gotham Knights coming up later this year and Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League in 2023, clearly, there’s no new Batman title lined up for the near future. When we do eventually get one though, what will that look like?

Batman Arkham Knight 4K

Before we can answer that question, we also need to ask- how long will it even be before the next Batman game releases. Even if we were to assume that either WB Games Montreal or Rocksteady instantly move on to a Batman game as soon as they’re done with their current projects, it will at least be a few years, at the very least. But of course, that’s a very optimistic view of things. If Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad are successful, as they look well-positioned to be at this point, there’s every chance that their respective studios get tasked with prioritizing sequels or expansions, which means Batman gets put on the backburner even longer. Meanwhile, it’s also a well-documented fact that WB Games Montreal has tried to get Batman games off the ground over the last few years- like the relentlessly leaked Damian Wayne title, which infamously ended up getting cancelled, after which they ended up shifting focus to Gotham Knights instead.

And of course, if we take into account the recent reports that have claimed that Warner Bros. is looking to sell off its studios and property licenses piecemeal, things become even more complicated. On one hand, a quick and clean sale of the Batman license could result in a new mainline game coming out relatively quickly. On the other hand, if that sale proves to be a complicated and drawn-out process (which is often the case with deals of such magnitude), the Batman property might end up facing a brick wall for some time to come.

For now, however, let’s be naive fools and just assume that the stars will align perfectly, and everything will go exactly as it should for a new Batman game to be made and released within the next few years. Let’s assume that WB Games is still in business, and that one of its premier studios will take charge of the next mainline Batman game (which is an actual full-fledged Batman game, unlike Gotham Knights). What does that game look like?

batman arkham city

The easy thing for the developer, whoever it is, would be to stick to the script. Rocksteady struck gold with Arkham Asylum, and expanded that formula perfectly with Arkham City, and there’s little doubt in anyone’s mind that there’s still plenty of legs left in that formula. An open world Batman game that combines brawler combat and stealth the way the Arkham games did might not be the freshest or most unique thing in the world, but there’s no shortage of people out there who would be absolutely thrilled with something like that. This isn’t a formula that has been milked to death yet- in fact, some would say the exact opposite, that the Arkham gameplay loop still has more than enough life left in it. A new Batman game, even if it is a completely new take set in its own universe and continuity, could very easily follow in the footsteps of the Arkham series, and no one would bat an eye. The critics would love it, the audience would love it, and it would do gangbusters where sales are concerned.

But new things and ideas are always exciting, and I, for one, would love to see the next Batman game trying to do something different, something that hasn’t already been done to perfection by the Arkham games before. A more lively Gotham City, a new take on well-established characters, a new kind of story. Across all media, from comics to movies to even animated shows, Batman as a property has never been afraid to take risks, and it would be a shame to see it playing it safe in the gaming space.

But what risks could it take? Well, look at Gotham by Gaslight, one of the most beloved one-shot Batman graphic novels of all time, set in late 19th century Gotham, with all of its well-worn characters, locations, and plotlines viewed from an entirely different lens. Who wouldn’t want to play a game that tries something along those lines- or hell, a game that flat-out tries to do exactly that? Conversely, look at Batman: Year 100, another beloved graphic novel mini-series that is set in a futuristic Gotham that has turned into a police state, where the legendary Batman rises from the shadows to set things right in the city. A video game adaptation of that would also be a salivating prospect.

batman arkham origins

But there’s other things that whoever winds up in charge of the next Batman game could do. WB Games Montreal’s aforementioned Damian Wayne game was an exciting idea because it seemed like it was going to be a big departure from previous Batman games, which just goes to show that there’s several ways a new game in the series can give us something we haven’t seen before. It could be a new take on a familiar setting, a fresh cast of characters, or completely new gameplay mechanics, among several other things. Hell, I’m sure there’s a vast contingent of Batman fans out there that would give absolutely anything for a modern AAA Batman Beyond game. I sure would- Batman Beyond is a criminally underused concept, and could potentially make for an incredible game.

That there will be a new Batman game is not and never will be in doubt. Even if we move away from this dream scenario where everything goes exactly as it should, even if it takes years and years for someone to develop a new Batman title, there’s no scenario in which that doesn’t eventually happen. When it does happen, I really do hope that it’s something new and exciting. Of course, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be thrilled even if that new game just ended up being another iteration of the Arkham formula, because as I mentioned earlier, that’s a gameplay loop that still has plenty of life left in it- but just as Arkham Asylum lay down the foundations not just for the perfect Batman game, but the perfect superhero game in general, I would be far more thrilled if the next mainline Batman title ends up doing something that’s just as fresh and just as groundbreaking.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


Tagged With: ,

Amazing Articles You Might Want To Check Out!



Share Your Thoughts Below  (Always follow our comments policy!)



Keep On Reading!

Magical Battle Royale Spellbreak is Shuttering its Servers in Early 2023

Magical Battle Royale Spellbreak is Shuttering its Servers in Early 2023

Developer Proletariat confirms that its magic-based battle royale game, which launched back in 2018, won't be ...

Destiny 2 – Hotfix 4.1.0.4 is Now Available, Duality Dungeon Fixes Revealed

Destiny 2 – Hotfix 4.1.0.4 is Now Available, Duality Dungeon Fixes Revealed

The hotfix also re-enables the Piercing Sidearms artifact mod while increasing airborne effectiveness for cert...

Cygames’ Little Noah: Scion of Paradise is Out Now for PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC

Cygames’ Little Noah: Scion of Paradise is Out Now for PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC

The $15 rogue-lite action title sees Noah exploring ancient ruins to repair her airship. Along the way, she'll...

15 Games of 2022 So Far With Amazing Graphics

15 Games of 2022 So Far With Amazing Graphics

Expect gorgeous open worlds, photorealistic vehicles, dazzling effects and much more among the best-looking ga...

10 More Unreal Engine 5 Fan-Projects That Will Blow Your Mind

10 More Unreal Engine 5 Fan-Projects That Will Blow Your Mind

These amazing fan-projects created in Unreal Engine 5 will knock your socks off.

The Last of Us Part 1 Remake Graphics Analysis – Just How Big of An Upgrade Is There?

The Last of Us Part 1 Remake Graphics Analysis – Just How Big of An Upgrade Is There?

The Last of Us Part 1 brings a slew of graphical changes and updates over the original, and we take a deep div...