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Warner Snags Majority Stake In  Arkham  Dev Rocksteady
Warner Snags Majority Stake In Arkham Dev Rocksteady
February 23, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander

February 23, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

Warner Bros. liked Rocksteady Studios' success with Batman: Arkham Asylum so much they decided to buy into the privately-held developer, picking up a majority stake.

It co-published the title alongside Eidos last year in North America. Arkham Asylum earned notable critical acclaim and several awards and nominations. Today, Warner Bros. says the game has shipped over 3 million units worldwide.

"Rocksteady demonstrated its professionalism and extraordinary development abilities with Batman: Arkham Asylum," says Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group president Kevin Tsujihara. "This arrangement is a great strategic fit and we are very pleased to solidify our relationship with this talented development team."

UK-based Rocksteady was founded in 2004, and Batman: Arkham Asylum is its main yield (prior to that, it released only Urban Chaos: Riot Response). It's currently developing a sequel to Arkham Asylum, announced at the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards.

"We are proud to strengthen our association with WBIE, a world class publisher that we have enjoyed working with since we began developing Batman: Arkham Asylum," says studio director Jamie Walker.

Studio investments and acquisitions have been part of Warner's incremental gaming expansion strategy for some time. It acquired LEGO tie-in developer TT Games in 2007 and, more recently, defunct Midway's Mortal Kombat franchise and the two studios that develop it, for example; it also was a major investor in Eidos prior to Square Enix's acquisition of the Tomb Raider publisher.

"With the successful release of Batman: Arkham Asylum, a franchise that is a key focus for Warner Bros., Rocksteady has proven that they have the expertise to create hit games with mass appeal," says president Martin Tremblay.

"We are currently working with Rocksteady on the sequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum and look forward to bringing the continuation of the franchise to fans worldwide," he adds.

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Alan Rimkeit
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Congrats to Rocksteady. I see this as a good match for everyone in the deal. I hope that they do move to other DC IP's. Superman has always gotten the mega screwed in every video game ever made. More so than even Batman. A great Superman game would be appreciated.

I also see Wonder Woman as being as under used character. The newest animated DC Wonder Woman movie was totally awesome. Wonder Woman would make a great video game. The whole mythos/setting of the comic would make for great stories and action.

Martian Man Hunter is another that would make for an awesome game.

Also, can anyone say "JLA"? I thought you could! ;) A JLA game on the quality level of Batman: Arkham Asylum would be epic.

Daryoush Nekooi
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I am in 2 minds about this news. First impression is; Great, a brilliant development studio, making brilliant games and now supported by more money which in turn should equal even better games. On the other hand, this could be a problem in the long term. Maybe not in the next year or 2, but certainly after that if Warner want more batman.

What I'm saying is this, if Warner own a major stake then they have a say on games in development. If after the new batman game (released this year or next year) Rocksteady feel that they want to try a different IP, they may have a problem. Much in the same way EA did in the past = regurgitate game upon game until it is totally dried up just for the sake of a buck (or pound in my case). I think Rocksteady are one of a few companies that have the ability to, not only make a great game, but also communicate their passion to the player. It is a rare feeling, but when felt by a gamer it is unparalleled.

My only worry is that Warner try to pull an EA (and with respect I am talking about the EA of last gen, not current) and Rocksteady lose the energy that makes their games so enjoyable.

I only hope my first thought is correct, and not the, lengthy, second lol

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