Interviews

Batman Arkham City: 'The future is a big question mark for us'

Rocksteady's Dax Ginn looks beyond the walls...

Rocksteady is the talk of the town this week following the massive success of Batman: Arkham City in reviews all over the world.

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It's an exciting time for Batman fans but an exciting one for gamers of every bent, it seems as the Arkham Asylum follow-up is being applauded not only as the best superhero game ever but one of the best games ever.

Not bad for a studio that's only made two games prior to this one.

Just before the tidal wave of numerical positivity came crashing down on Rocksteady, we caught up with marketing game manager Dax Ginn to ask about his reaction to the growing hype, the future of Batman and the future of Rocksteady more generally.

We had Arkham Asylum, then you expanded into Arkham City...

Like lunatics. What were we thinking?!

Logically speaking is the next step to move further out into Gotham City?

Are you asking me about the future?! I honestly don't know. What happens next depends on how this game is received. We're really proud of the work we've done and I think taking Batman on to the streets of Gotham is where people wanted him to go after the Asylum.

Where we go from here is anyone's guess. There's a philosophy at the studio that as long as we keep making awesome things, awesome opportunities will open up to us. But we can't make any firm decisions because the games industry is a crazy thing. We're just focused on the here and now and getting to October 31. We'll see what people think of this first.

Has the studio had to change much considering the growth spurt in terms of stature and awareness?

We drink a lot more coffee. We've changed in the respect that we work a lot later and a lot harder and we need to be open on weekends and we've had to install a shower because no-one gets to go home anymore so...

But we're doing that because we want to be there. The passion and the energy of the team is off the scale. I think we finished Arkham Asylum with 70 people, we're now 105 so we've increased but this game is five times bigger than the previous one and we've only increased by 30 percent.

Like I said our focus is to maintain a tight organisation so that everyone knows what everyone else is doing. Great communication is the key to great games.

How long, as a series, can you keep this up for? Do you think you'll get to a point where you think 'We've created a nice rounded package, let's end it there' or are you going to keep going for as long as you can?

Man. That's really tough. I mean I think as long as we're still enjoying it and as long as we feel we can contribute to the Batman universe - and that's how it feels. There's some amazing stuff going on with Batman all around the world at the moment and we feel as though we're making our own little contribution in the form of the Arkham-verse and it feels like a real contribution.

So as long as we've got stories to tell - and you can see the way the story of Arkham Asylum links into Arkahm City - I think so long as we feel we can do that and do that really well then... There's no other character that's as awesome as Batman, who's got such an incredible rogues gallery, who's got such and amazing structure for gameplay. All it takes is to give a guy an assault rifle and it changes the entire nature of combat.

So you can put Batman up against 30 thugs in the street and just cane them and feel like a total don but as soon as one of them's got a shotgun you have to rethink what you do. That's really rare for a superhero and we really love using the facets of his personality to create gameplay out of that.

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