Fans of the Batman: Arkham series will have to continue waiting for the reveal of studio Rocksteady Games’ new title, but fear not: it would seem another Batman game has swooped in to take its place. The news comes from a tweet by Sefton Hill, Game Director and Co-Founder of Rocksteady Games, confirming that Rocksteady will be “watching as fans but remaining in London” during E3 this year.
The often rumored and occasionally leaked follow up to Batman: Arkham Knight has been a topic of much discussion since the game released back in June 2015. In the preceding four years Rocksteady Games has been silent on whether their next project would return us to Gotham or be something else entirely. The rumor mill is an insatiable machine however, and it now seems possible we might be seeing the Dark Knight at E3 this year after all, and from a different studio entirely: WB Montreal.
WB Montreal, one of a half dozen subsidiaries of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment (along with Rocksteady Games) is the developer of the 2013 prequel to the Arkham series Batman: Arkham Origins. Rumors began back in July 2015 that the studio was working on another open-world game and many believed it was a Superman game based on a leaked screenshot. From there the rumor shifted and now it is almost certain that the game WB Montreal is developing is either a Batman game based on the Court of Owls storyline by Scott Snyder, OR a live-service Suicide Squad game similar to Destiny or Anthem. Let’s break down these two distinct possibilities:
Court of Owls by Scott Snyder was the first Batman arc in the 2011 DC Comics reboot known as The New 52. The story debuted the titular Court of Owls who have gone on to be major players in the DC Universe. The first rumors of a Court of Owls game by WB Montreal came last December when Valeria Vezina, an Associate Producer at the studio, tweeted a picture of herself wearing a shirt with an owl on it. A leak this February from a supposed play tester substantiated the rumor and provided some details, including the title Arkham Crisis.
The Suicide Squad rumor, on the other hand, comes from more reliable sources. Games Radar first reported that WB Montreal was developing a live service Suicide Squad game and that a trailer featuring Batman villain Ra’s Al Ghul would be released on June 4th. Though, with this date come and gone it is starting to seems less likely.
WB Montreal has stated in the past that there are multiple projects in the works, so the possibility of BOTH games being real is a rather exciting proposition. Whether we will see either one at E3 this year is a mystery; many expected a reveal at the Game Awards last year based on the timing of Vezina’s tweet, but at the time the studio tweeted asking fans to have patience. With the absence of Rocksteady Games from E3 a reveal from WB Montreal would certainly make sense.
E3 2019 takes place from June 11-13 with press conferences over the weekend. While Warner Bros does not have their own show, keep an eye on the Microsoft conference for big announcements. With Sony taking a break from E3 this year, its up to Microsoft to blow our minds. A new Batman title would certainly do the trick, don’t you think?