Warner Bros. Montreal have revealed that they have faced “resistance and reluctance” at “every level” when it began work on Batman: Arkham Origins, with some within in the team even feeling they had “bitten off more than [they] could chew”.
The revelation was made in an interview with Eurogamer and reveals the struggles WB Montreal faced, with fans of the franchise sceptical that the developers could continue the fine work started up by British creators of the series, Rocksteady.
Ben Mattes, who is the game’s senior producer, was quoted as saying:
“Obviously resistance and reluctance exists at every level… 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.”
It appears the naysayers were evident from day one, as Mattes claims that at the game’s unveiling there was “a 60-40 split of positivity to hesitation or maybe outright dismay” from Arkham fans.
Despite the initial hesitation of fans to warm to the idea of a WB Montreal title it seems that Mattes is happy with the way the project has turned out in the long run.
“This game we’ve created is the game we set out to create. It is exactly the story we wanted to tell with exactly the areas of focus we aimed to do,” he said.
To be fair to the title’s producer it seems like he has approached the whole situation with an understanding manner, after all fan backlash is common when a new studio takes the reigns of a title that has heralded much success, Mattes explained that he saw the hesitation from some fans as fans “hedging bets” and described scepticism as “a healthy amount of hesitation”.
The comments regarding the studio biting off more than they can chew is understandable considering the massive amount of the Arkham series, which is still very much in its infancy, with the first title released back in 2009.
On the back of such success any change to the way games are being made is sure to get gamers into a bit of a frenzy, but it seems that Batman: Arkham Origins will be a welcome addition to the line-up and if the various trailers and screenshots are anything to go by then fans of the series will be able to slip into the latest offering with ease, as the Arkham feel established by Rocksteady seems to have continued into WB Montreal’s input to the series.
Batman: Arkham Origins will be released for most platforms on October 25 2013.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Can you think of any examples when a new developer has taken over a gaming franchise and not lived up to the expectation of the previous team? Let us know in the comments below.