Batman: Arkham Origins developer WB Montreal is working on a new IP, according to job vacancies posted on the company’s website.
A little information – though not much – can be gleaned from some of the job descriptions, which include posts animators, level designers and artists. According to the job description for a new Game Designer role, it looks as though the studio’s new game will be an “open world action” game, while the speicifcation for Technical Director states the successful candidate would be “working on a new IP project for next generation platforms”, which presumably means Xbox One and PS4. The same vacancy lists scripting and design tools using Unreal Engine among its core responsibilities.
WB Montreal was originally set up by publisher Warner Bros. Interactive to work on a Batman game to fill the gap between Rocksteady’s Arkham City and Arkham Knight. The result, Arkham Origins, was a prequel that explored the early days of the Dark Knight’s career and the origins of his antagonistic relationship with arch-nemesis The Joker.
Arkham Origins was decent enough, though it felt more of a retread of Arkham City, re-using many of the same assets and playable areas. Unfortunately, it was also a game crippled by a litany of technical problems and game-breaking bugs, such as scripts which failed to trigger during key scenes, crashes and freezes, and issues with audio.
Despite these problems, the publisher ceased ongoing technical support for the game just a few short months after release, leaving many flaws unaddressed and many gamers angry – particularly since DLC continued to be released, such as the Cold, Cold Heart expansion.
Despite the technical problems and mediocre reviews, Rocksteady went on record to say that they thought WB Montreal did “a really solid job” with Arkham Origins.
“Origins is a game that frequently feels like a by-the-numbers rehash with little in the way of new ideas and a clutch of technical problems that can be genuinely game-breaking,” I wrote in my Arkham Origins review. “It leaves the impression of being a last-chance opportunity for the publisher to bleed some more profit out of the current generation of consoles and the franchise.”
Whatever WB Montreal is working on now, let’s hope that the end result receives a bit more polish than Arkham Origins did.