Warner Bros. Montreal, who are just about to launch Batman: Arkham Origins, have admitted that they experienced “hesitation” from within the company, as well as a healthy dose of scepticism from fans, due to this being the first entry in the Arkham series not designed by Rocksteady.
Senior Producer Ben Mattes spoke to Eurogamer about some of the problems faced by his team:
“There were fans who said: ‘They’re not Rocksteady, they can’t make an Arkham game.’ And there were concerns within the organisation that we weren’t going to be able to deliver the special sauce of a Rocksteady game.
“And there were concerns within our team, like – ‘Maybe we’ve bitten off more than we can chew? Are we sure we’re able to dance with these guys? Do we deserve to be in this same hallowed ground?’ – but we wouldn’t have continued through the years if we didn’t feel we had a shot.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve done.”
In the weeks and months leading up to release, as fans were able to see more of Arkham Origins, Mattes felt that scepticism diminish. Ultimately, he feels that the pressure of having Rocksteady’s long shadow over them may have helped Warner Bros. Montreal to deliver a better game.
“You don’t want to be the guys who messed up and ran into the ground one of the absolute, top-rated franchises of all time. You don’t want that at the top of your CV. ‘Yeah, I’m the guy who turned a 96 into a 60, that’s my claim to fame.’ So I think there was an extra desire to create something really great as we were fully aware of the opportunity that we had.”
Batman: Arkham Origins is out tomorrow. Reviews drop shortly before.