WB’s Dismissal of Single-Player Games Disrespects Batman Arkham’s Legacy

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WB Fails To Understand Single-Player Games!

Story Highlights
  • WB has announced a shift in strategy; it will make more live-service and F2P games in the future.
  • This decision comes off as ignorant after the Batman Arkham series led superhero games for many years.
  • The publisher is unlikely to create similar games too often in the future.

In 2009, Rocksteady became one of the first developers to break the curse of poorly executed video game adaptations of comic book or movie characters. The Arkham franchise spanned 6 years before bidding farewell to the Dark Knight’s journey with 2015’s Batman: Arkham Knight.

As fans eagerly awaited Bats’ return in future installments, which seemed almost impossible, Rocksteady surprised everyone by announcing a Suicide Squad game set in the same continuity. However, the game ultimately fell short of expectations for both the fans and the publisher.

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League faced significant backlash from fans, particularly as it was considered Kevin Conroy’s last performance as Batman at the time. Even so, fans were hopeful for more games like the Batman Arkham franchise in the future.

It appears that Warner Bros has now shifted its focus from console games to live service and free-to-play games. This also means it will be holding back on producing story-based single-player games, as they generate less revenue compared to live service games.

Why it matters: Warner Bros’ decision could potentially harm many of its major franchises if these IPs are relegated to live-service money-makers in the future.

Warner Bros. Is Completely Ignoring The Fans’ Demand

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Falls Flat In Nearly Every Area

Being a Batman fan isn’t for the faint-hearted, as the character has often faced challenges beyond the comic medium. What Rocksteady accomplished with the Arkham franchise was truly exceptional, yet Warner Bros consistently mishandled it.

According to reports, Batman Arkham City sold 12 million units during its first year. Ten years later, gaming is much bigger, leading to a huge market for games that can deliver quality adaptations of these characters.

Warner Bros has already seen this success with Hogwarts Legacy, yet it continues to ignore this market. Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League is a glaring example of this mishandling, a live-service game that nobody asked for.

Warner Bros bid farewell to our beloved Justice League members in the most undesirable manner. Although that isn’t surprising considering the title itself implies the demise of the Justice League, making the game in the same continuity as the Arkham series was disrespectful to both the fans and the franchise itself.

Warner Bros. has announced a strategic shift, focusing heavily on its four flagship franchises: DC, Harry Potter, Mortal Kombat, and Game of Thrones. This indicates a significant emphasis on DC games in the future.

Therefore, single-player games from Warner Bros will become rarer with each passing year. Titles like Multiversus will be the norm moving forward, with the Hogwarts Legacy series possibly becoming a part of this push.

The Future of Warner Bros Games

Batman Arkham Knight
Batman Arkham Knight

Currently, Wonder Woman is Warner Bros’ biggest single-player offering for the future. However, if history is anything to go by, this title might not be safe from the publisher’s live-service push.

Warner Bros already implemented obscene monetization practices in Middle Earth: Shadow of War that sought to follow trends in 2017, leading to immense backlash. Therefore, the Nemesis system, a groundbreaking feature, was unfortunately not utilized to its full potential.

This could mean similar influences may be felt in Wonder Woman, but only time will tell. Moreover, while the Batman Arkham series is unlikely to return, I would not be shocked if Warner Bros used its nostalgic value to capitalize on a lucrative IP.

There is still plenty of demand for this series. With the failure of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Rocksteady Studios could return with another entry, but I speculate that future games will adopt a live-service model if the franchise ever returns.

Warner Bros Games’ track record indicates that its single-player games consistently outsell live-service ones. For instance, Hogwarts Legacy, a single-player game, achieved best-selling status in 2023, contradicting the new push for live-service titles.

This raises questions about whether publishers are out of touch with consumer demand or desperately attempting to replicate the success of other games in the market, an endeavor that may prove futile in the long run.

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