Batman: The Case of The Disappearing Dini (A Silver Age Story)

So it came to my attention that Paul Dini, the writer behind both Arkham titles and Batman: TAS, is no longer a part of any future Batman projects with Rocksteady, according to his Twitter feed from July 27th (Paul_Dini). This comes a mere sixteen days after the rumour of a Silver Age prequel to the Arkham games, which suspiciously enough seems to tie into the release of a JLA movie at some point after 2015. It's well known that videogames don't exist in a vacuum, so does this all tie together in a very sinister fashion? Yes, I said sinister...now you want to read more, don't you?

Now I had my go at that rumour, I believed that it wasn't the decision of the developer, but of the publisher and the owners of the license, DC, to make a game using a company that is currently, excuse my language, hot as fresh shit right now. However, I thought that maybe, just maybe, this was another semi-believable rumour-as the games industry is that perverse and twisted, but I was willing to have my say and pray that it didn't come to pass...I mean, why would it? Rocksteady, and Paul Dini's ideas has created the two most successful superhero-related games this generation, as previous attempts had outright failed, or had been lackluster at best. Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't deny that it took a certain level of skill to create such a successful series.

Right now, we're seeing something that, from a certain perspective, could be seen as extremely negative, douchey and manipulative...after all, why make a prequel, in the campy silver-age of comics, potentially incorporate the Joker into it, and deny the fans of the series a continuation of the main series that has earned such acclaim? When you follow this up with Paul Dini not just being cut off from writing any more of the titles that he and Rocksteady lovingly crafted together, and add in the fact that he never knew the rumour, now seemingly a fact, even existed, there's a certain amount of apprehension that surrounds whatever comes next.

What I mean by that, to put it plainly, is that we're seeing a possible purging of what made the Arkham games so loved; the dark and grim atmosphere, which reached fever pitch when Arkham City came to a close. This was the defining moment in the Arkham series, allowing the game to spin off into its own continuity, something so brilliant that, married to the potential rouges gallery for the next title, got me excited as all-hell for the next Arkham game in this exciting, new and highly ballsy endeavour. Then Harley Quinne's Revenge came out...and it was lackluster, doing nothing for the story, raising feelings of disappointment over excitement at the potential that was lost in it...and now I know why.

You see, when you want to move away from an idea or a theme or even a style of storytelling, you release something that leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the person experiencing it. In videogames, that means releasing a lack-luster DLC on the same day you release a GOTY edition of the title. GOTY titles indicate that the game is done and dusted, and that the team has moved onto something new, and won't be supporting that title anymore. So what's done is done, AC was a great game, it's over, people want another game in the series, and that's just fine.

...but wait...Avengers was such a big success right? That movie was so damn big, it forever upped the ante for what people expect from super-team movies. So within weeks, DC announce their own shot at the gold, by announcing Wonder Woman, a movie to appear on screens at some point after 2015 (the year Silver Age game is to be released) finally getting Man of Steel trailers rolling out, and giving it their all to hype the ever-loving crap out of the JLA movie that will be released after all of these movies hit screens (there'll be an inevitable Batman reboot, just wait and see). The only issue is, other than the Lego Batman 2 game which brings other DC heroes to the forefront, there won't really be any awareness raised for the other characters like Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, The Flash and fuck Green Lantern...fuck that movie...hard...where was I? Oh yeah: So what could DC do to raise awareness of this new idea? Well all they had to do was look at WB, and their developer Rocksteady, to find the answer! Who needs new, exciting departures from the norm? Who needs a game series that can dig into it's own mythology and create something new for the players, the consumers to enjoy? Fuck that noise, Rocksteady are now working on a prequel game, set in the silver age, where other DC characters will come into the spotlight at the point where DC will begin their expedition into live-action film making...something they haven't done well nine times out of ten in the last thirty years.

Kicking Paul Dini out was the crystallizing moment, you get rid of the one writer who has turned the Batman story in videogames into a dark, psychological exploit into the Dark Knight's mind, creating a wholly new creative avenue that people were actually excited about...and you scrap it. Why? Silver Age is safe, Silver Age is campy and light-hearted...and you can't make kids aware of up-and-coming movies if they don't know who the characters are...but kids know Batman, and kids in three years will know all of the main DC heroes thanks to a title that'll steer clear of dark and gritty undertones, of realistic violence and the word 'bitch' which people find offensive for some reason. It won't tread into all of the elements that made batman great, it'll be a starting point for pre-release advertisements for movies that need to sell, otherwise DC is straight fucked. I mean, let's face it, it makes sense, this is a huge cost, and if it fails, downsizing will come with it.

So at the end of the day, there really is only one question to ask: Is this all just coincidence, or have DC and WB decided to use videogames to promote movies in a manner that takes away any original ideas, forces the developers to work on games that their hearts won't be in, and cuts off those who made successes out of their franchises in the first place, as there will be far too big a loss if the movie ideas go bust? The answer seems to obvious, and I hope I'm wrong, but given how wrong-headed the industry is nowadays, where you have to sell five million copies of a game to make it viable as a series because of overblown budgets, where license holders try to capitalize on the current hot-button of entertainment, despite their strengths clearly being visible in other areas, like animation, where interesting TV shows are cancelled because they don't hold half the world's population's attention during their first airing and where bad twilight fan-fiction sells more copies than most classic literature and other genres, we really don't stand a chance. I want to be wrong, but the evidence is mounting up, and things are going from bad to worse. I love the Arkham games, I think the leap-of-faith they took with Arkham City was amazing, and well worth it, showing that you can make a game based on something done half to death and make it interesting-if you have the balls to go all out. To see such a great series pushed aside to accommodate for a, quite frankly, stupid and pointless investment is a crime against creativity at large, teaching us that our ideas and efforts are only as worthwhile as the interests of a company whose collective minds might shift focus onto something new that requires full compliance, prior positive or negative outcomes aside.

18 Comments
19 Comments
Posted by Dookysharpgun

So it came to my attention that Paul Dini, the writer behind both Arkham titles and Batman: TAS, is no longer a part of any future Batman projects with Rocksteady, according to his Twitter feed from July 27th (Paul_Dini). This comes a mere sixteen days after the rumour of a Silver Age prequel to the Arkham games, which suspiciously enough seems to tie into the release of a JLA movie at some point after 2015. It's well known that videogames don't exist in a vacuum, so does this all tie together in a very sinister fashion? Yes, I said sinister...now you want to read more, don't you?

Now I had my go at that rumour, I believed that it wasn't the decision of the developer, but of the publisher and the owners of the license, DC, to make a game using a company that is currently, excuse my language, hot as fresh shit right now. However, I thought that maybe, just maybe, this was another semi-believable rumour-as the games industry is that perverse and twisted, but I was willing to have my say and pray that it didn't come to pass...I mean, why would it? Rocksteady, and Paul Dini's ideas has created the two most successful superhero-related games this generation, as previous attempts had outright failed, or had been lackluster at best. Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't deny that it took a certain level of skill to create such a successful series.

Right now, we're seeing something that, from a certain perspective, could be seen as extremely negative, douchey and manipulative...after all, why make a prequel, in the campy silver-age of comics, potentially incorporate the Joker into it, and deny the fans of the series a continuation of the main series that has earned such acclaim? When you follow this up with Paul Dini not just being cut off from writing any more of the titles that he and Rocksteady lovingly crafted together, and add in the fact that he never knew the rumour, now seemingly a fact, even existed, there's a certain amount of apprehension that surrounds whatever comes next.

What I mean by that, to put it plainly, is that we're seeing a possible purging of what made the Arkham games so loved; the dark and grim atmosphere, which reached fever pitch when Arkham City came to a close. This was the defining moment in the Arkham series, allowing the game to spin off into its own continuity, something so brilliant that, married to the potential rouges gallery for the next title, got me excited as all-hell for the next Arkham game in this exciting, new and highly ballsy endeavour. Then Harley Quinne's Revenge came out...and it was lackluster, doing nothing for the story, raising feelings of disappointment over excitement at the potential that was lost in it...and now I know why.

You see, when you want to move away from an idea or a theme or even a style of storytelling, you release something that leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the person experiencing it. In videogames, that means releasing a lack-luster DLC on the same day you release a GOTY edition of the title. GOTY titles indicate that the game is done and dusted, and that the team has moved onto something new, and won't be supporting that title anymore. So what's done is done, AC was a great game, it's over, people want another game in the series, and that's just fine.

...but wait...Avengers was such a big success right? That movie was so damn big, it forever upped the ante for what people expect from super-team movies. So within weeks, DC announce their own shot at the gold, by announcing Wonder Woman, a movie to appear on screens at some point after 2015 (the year Silver Age game is to be released) finally getting Man of Steel trailers rolling out, and giving it their all to hype the ever-loving crap out of the JLA movie that will be released after all of these movies hit screens (there'll be an inevitable Batman reboot, just wait and see). The only issue is, other than the Lego Batman 2 game which brings other DC heroes to the forefront, there won't really be any awareness raised for the other characters like Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, The Flash and fuck Green Lantern...fuck that movie...hard...where was I? Oh yeah: So what could DC do to raise awareness of this new idea? Well all they had to do was look at WB, and their developer Rocksteady, to find the answer! Who needs new, exciting departures from the norm? Who needs a game series that can dig into it's own mythology and create something new for the players, the consumers to enjoy? Fuck that noise, Rocksteady are now working on a prequel game, set in the silver age, where other DC characters will come into the spotlight at the point where DC will begin their expedition into live-action film making...something they haven't done well nine times out of ten in the last thirty years.

Kicking Paul Dini out was the crystallizing moment, you get rid of the one writer who has turned the Batman story in videogames into a dark, psychological exploit into the Dark Knight's mind, creating a wholly new creative avenue that people were actually excited about...and you scrap it. Why? Silver Age is safe, Silver Age is campy and light-hearted...and you can't make kids aware of up-and-coming movies if they don't know who the characters are...but kids know Batman, and kids in three years will know all of the main DC heroes thanks to a title that'll steer clear of dark and gritty undertones, of realistic violence and the word 'bitch' which people find offensive for some reason. It won't tread into all of the elements that made batman great, it'll be a starting point for pre-release advertisements for movies that need to sell, otherwise DC is straight fucked. I mean, let's face it, it makes sense, this is a huge cost, and if it fails, downsizing will come with it.

So at the end of the day, there really is only one question to ask: Is this all just coincidence, or have DC and WB decided to use videogames to promote movies in a manner that takes away any original ideas, forces the developers to work on games that their hearts won't be in, and cuts off those who made successes out of their franchises in the first place, as there will be far too big a loss if the movie ideas go bust? The answer seems to obvious, and I hope I'm wrong, but given how wrong-headed the industry is nowadays, where you have to sell five million copies of a game to make it viable as a series because of overblown budgets, where license holders try to capitalize on the current hot-button of entertainment, despite their strengths clearly being visible in other areas, like animation, where interesting TV shows are cancelled because they don't hold half the world's population's attention during their first airing and where bad twilight fan-fiction sells more copies than most classic literature and other genres, we really don't stand a chance. I want to be wrong, but the evidence is mounting up, and things are going from bad to worse. I love the Arkham games, I think the leap-of-faith they took with Arkham City was amazing, and well worth it, showing that you can make a game based on something done half to death and make it interesting-if you have the balls to go all out. To see such a great series pushed aside to accommodate for a, quite frankly, stupid and pointless investment is a crime against creativity at large, teaching us that our ideas and efforts are only as worthwhile as the interests of a company whose collective minds might shift focus onto something new that requires full compliance, prior positive or negative outcomes aside.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Dookysharpgun said:

after all, why make a prequel, in the campy silver-age of comics, potentially incorporate the Joker into it, and deny the fans of the series a continuation of the main series that has earned such acclaim?

Because the ending to Arkham City would make it kinda difficult to make more Arkham games? And where do you go from Arkham City? Arkham Country? Arkham Nation-State? Arkham World? I'm aware that this is a narrow view of the post, but I feel I had to point out that a sequel to Arkham City isn't terribly likely, at least from a story perspective.

Posted by Nephrahim

What a confusing post.

Why would they Fire Dini? He's written things like Justice League, so it's not like he has a problem writing a game with more then Batman in it. And why do you think they would go silver age to appeal to "Young kids"? If anything it's a love letter to comic fans who know what the silver age is.

Posted by CJduke

@Video_Game_King said:

@Dookysharpgun said:

after all, why make a prequel, in the campy silver-age of comics, potentially incorporate the Joker into it, and deny the fans of the series a continuation of the main series that has earned such acclaim?

Because the ending to Arkham City would make it kinda difficult to make more Arkham games? And where do you go from Arkham City? Arkham Country? Arkham Nation-State? Arkham World? I'm aware that this is a narrow view of the post, but I feel I had to point out that a sequel to Arkham City isn't terribly likely, at least from a story perspective.

Yeah, I originally thought they would make a third Arkham game, but besides making it fully within Gotham I can't see how the setting would work (and it wouldn't be an "Arkham" game anymore). Also with the Joker gone from that universe, and pretty much all the major/most reconizable villains used for story purposes already, I can't see where they would go with it.

Posted by ahgunsillyo

I love and respect Paul Dini's work in both the DC Animated Universe and DC Comics. That said, a lot about the story in Arkham City rang a bit hollow for me. Maybe that's more an issue of how it was presented, as a lot of the crucial backstory of how Arkham City came about was relegated to the tie-in comic book and audio journals that were acquired from the side missions, but I was actually a bit disappointed by how the story played out.

I also agree with @Video_Game_King that the ending of Arkham City doesn't really leave a lot of room for another game. Yes, there is some foreshadowing for something new with one-off meetings with characters at the end of some of the side missions, but between what happens with a few of the villains at the end of Arkham City and the fact that they already used nearly all of the major Batman villains already throughout the first two games, it seems like the number of options for an even bigger sequel is a bit low.

Regarding your post, I have to respectfully disagree with much of the sentiment expressed here. I'm rather excited at the prospect of a Rocksteady Batman game that takes place in the Silver Age. As far as I'm concerned, going to the Silver Age IS a break from the norm and IS an opportunity to mine the rich history of Batman. This was an era where Batman put a cape and cowl on his Great Dane and called him Ace the Bat-Hound, went to trippy planets with superpowered alien Batmen, and was subject to the weird trickery of a magical imp with a Batman costume named Bat-Mite. This is an era where literally ANYTHING could happen to Batman, and considering how all-out Rocksteady went with their grittier version of Batman and his world, I am genuinely excited to see what will happen when Rocksteady goes all-out with the Silver Age.

Posted by Dookysharpgun

@Video_Game_King:@CJduke: Then why did they foreshadow events throughout the City campaign alluding to what Batman would do 'tomorrow'? Like Hush, Scarecrows encrypted messages, KIller Croc, Azreal and the like? I mean, the Harley Quinn DLC alluded to Batman and Gordon talking about something, we never find out what though, so it's not hard to assume that they'd be the villains in the next game. People have put far too much stock in the title of the game, even Rocksteady made a joke about the whole 'Arkham World' idea, the end of city allowed for a world to open up without the Joker, so we could experience Batman without his arch-nemisis, maybe see his downfall? It would have been more interesting than an oddly-timed prequel, going backwards from such ballsy ideas. The Joker was over-exposed as it was, they needed to move on from that and make a series that was its own...even Dini was shocked and saddened that he wouldn't be working on future Arkham titles.

@SamDrugbringer said:

What a confusing post.

Why would they Fire Dini? He's written things like Justice League, so it's not like he has a problem writing a game with more then Batman in it. And why do you think they would go silver age to appeal to "Young kids"? If anything it's a love letter to comic fans who know what the silver age is.

To disassociate themselves from the gritty interpretation of Batman in order to drive out the Silver Age...and you misunderstood what I was saying; the silver age is safe, with fun, campy and kid-friendly stories, though kids might not know what it is, as in the 'silver age', it's more friendly to them, allowing the game's age rating to be lowered to a 12's or below, giving the game as much exposure as possible to make kids aware of characters like superman, wonder woman and the like, which they'll inevitably get hooked on and want to see in the upcoming movies. Gritty means that the audience is not as wide in terms of viewership, and with the advent of Avengers, DC will have to go all out to make the game sell. See you're right to ask why they would fire Dini, it doesn't make sense, but then again, like I've said, we're pretty much dealing with an industry where sense isn't in large supply. His confusion and disappointment should mirror that of fans, because they've all been fairly screwed by a series of events that aren't coincidental.

@ahgunsillyo: See, I have to disagree with you there too, because what I love about Arkham City is that it really was such a departure from the norm, the death of the Joker and the need for Batman to continue on fighting after that, taking on Hush, possibly one of the best, more recent villains from the rouges gallery, who, let's not forget, now has Bruce Wayne's face. The Silver Age has it's own stories, it's own history, you can go onto wikipedia and learn everything you need to know about it, or pick up some of the digital copies of the comics on an iPad...City's story may not have been as tight as Asylum was, but it did give Rocksteady the capability to create their own version of Batman, their own continuity, and who doesn't want to be that creative when it comes to such a cool and rich character? The silver age has been done to death, that cartoon Batman the Brave and the Bold was one of the least well-received tv shows from what I'm hearing, and that was pure silver age. Creativity means pushing the boundaries and making something new and exciting that people can't guess, charting new ideas that people might have been too afraid to continue on with...and look what we have now, the exact opposite. I'm sorry, I just find it hard to believe that Dini not even knowing about a Silver Age title in the works, being shunned off the project and DC announcing that there would be no new DC movies until after 2015, the year that this game is supposed to be out, are all just hilarious coincidences. I wouldn't mind if we'd see an Arkham sequel next gen that encompassed certain areas of Gotham and the other cities within the DC universe, maybe add in other DC heroes gradually, but to backtrack over the Joker's death so they don't ever have to address it again? Ignore the potential for character development, adding in more members of the Bat-family and working with some of the more recent, and pretty awesome, enemies (they could have even put in Red Hood), seems to be less of a developer decision and more of a publisher decision. And hey, are Rocksteady going to say no? They can't, because in this industry, you do what you're told, or you lose your job...unless you're Paul Dini and you lose your input anyway because gritty doesn't equal future moviegoers when you're aiming at such a make-or-break idea like a superhero team movie.

Posted by ahgunsillyo

@Dookysharpgun: Things like The Joker dying and Hush having Bruce Wayne's face aren't exactly breaks from the norm, either, if you think about it. The Joker died in a few different storylines already, like The Dark Knight Returns, Tim Burton's original "Batman" film, and "Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker" (the latter of which was written by Paul Dini). And Paul Dini is, in my opinion, at least, the only person who has used Hush very effectively since Loeb and Lee's original Hush storyline, but he was the one who originated the idea of Hush having Bruce Wayne's face in the Heart of Hush storyline and the Streets of Gotham title. Both very good comics, as they establish Hush as a legitimate threat to both Batman and Bruce Wayne, but at the same time, not exactly new.

To say that the Silver Age has been "done to death" is to say that there can't possibly be a new storyline written nowadays that takes place in that era of Batman's history, which is completely false. The "Batman: The Brave and The Bold" animated series managed to create both original tales and spins on existing stories, all the while throwing in a surprising amount of mature themes in there. And while the Silver Age is known as a relatively lighthearted time, especially compared to the modern era of comic books, that's not to say that one can't craft a mature take on that era. Just because Batman can smile and crack jokes, does not mean that he can't be involved in some pretty grim and mature goings-on. Grant Morrison was able to take a bunch of the craziness of the Silver Age Batman stories and incorporate them into a dark modern context. For all we know, this game will still exist in the same universe and canon as the two Arkham games, so if the game were to take place in the Silver Age, and it were to be about Batman's first encounter with The Joker, then it would still be in line with what takes place in those games. For all we know, this new game could end in some pretty dark stuff and show how a Silver Age-y Gotham and Batman turned into the Batman and Gotham City that we saw in the Arkham games. If that were to happen (and I can only guess, since we have pretty much next to nothing off which to go at this point), that would be doing something pretty creative and relatively unexpected.

To another point, just because rumor has it that this new game "might" feature heroes from the wider DC Universe, that does not mean that it will immediately become a "Justice League" game. There are many ways in which characters like Superman and Wonder Woman could be featured while, at the same time, having it still be very much a Batman-focused story. At one point, the aforementioned Batman: Hush storyline features Superman, but that does not make Hush a Batman and Superman team-up story; Superman simply guest-starred in that Batman storyline, just like Killer Croc or Poison Ivy did. As far as we know, it's still very much a Batman game, so we really can't say at this point.

We don't really have much information off which to go at this point, so while it's very easy to jump to conclusions and assume the worst like you are right now, it's not necessary the best thing to do, nor is it really justified. All we know is that Rocksteady's making a game, and that game is probably going to take place in the Silver Age. Let's see how this plays out and wait for more information about the game before we deem it as the most heinous, creatively-bankrupt editorially-mandated pile of horse manure, shall we?

Finally, for all we know, Paul Dini's exclusion from the new game may or may not have to do in part with the fact that he's producing and writing things for Marvel Animation, like the "Ultimate Spider-Man" and "Hulk: Agents of S.M.A.S.H." animated series. So for all we know, his inclusion could be not necessarily because Rocksteady doesn't want him to write the game, but because they can't because of contractual limitations and business-y business and whatnot. But again, we don't have any solid evidence to back up theories in either direction, so all we can really do is conjecture at this point.

Posted by Kidavenger

The long standing relationship Dini had/has with DC/Batman make it really hard to believe there was any sort of sudden falling out and honestly I can't think of anyone better to write a silver age Batman story.

Really, the only reason I can see for this would be if they were going to base the game on an existing story; The Long Halloween for example, and they would have Jeph Loeb in to adapt it because it's his story.

Posted by Dookysharpgun

@ahgunsillyo: See, we're coming at this from two different angles, both are viable, but I'll try to tackle what you're saying the best I can, sorry if I miss anything:

In terms of the Joker dying...those aren't exaclty main DC stories. The Dark Knight Returns is an old-school re-imagining of an old Bruce Wayne in the same vein as the Watchmen comic was created, and in it, the Joker wasn't really the main villain, more a loose end that needed to be taken care of, honestly, the best thing about it is that he kills himself and still gets the last laugh on Batman...which is the psychological impact I'm talking about. Bruce keeps telling the dead Joker to stop laughing, because he knows he lost in the end, Joker is dead, Batman's methods failed, yet we see him move on from that point to keep doing what he's doing. Batman Beyond was a whole different kettle of fish, given the fact that by that stage, the Joker had to have been dead, one way or another, what Joker did to Tim was the lasting event that had left deeper scars of Batman's history. Tim Burton's film was, while good, a fairly wrong-headed take on Batman anyway, having Batman kill Joker, it's not the same idea at all, in City, Batman says he still would have saved Joker in the end...the fact that he didn't means that he's failed, and other than Jason Todd's death, and Harvey Dent's tranformation into Two-Face, we've rarely seen Batman fail, and see what happens afterwards and how it changes him. With Arkham City, all we've seen was him being a bit more gruff and withdrawn, but that's it, what that storyline deserves is a continuation with Batman struggling with the losses of that night. Hush is relatively new in terms of legitimate threats to Batman, that's why I think he'd be a much better villain to head a new game after the death of Joker, he's as smart as Bruce, is a threat to both identities and even in Hush, Batman never catches him. I haven't read Heart of Hush, I've heard some mixed things about it, but the whole face thing is a logical step given who Thomas Elliot was, it makes sense in relation to his character, and would be fun to see butting heads with Batman and Bruce.

I'm not saying that it can't be done, and in a few rare cases, yes, they could make it gritty, but in the context of how I'm approaching it, not from the case of a Batman game, but from the view of an awareness raising title, an advertisement for a whole new generation of potential fans, it's a safe era to base a game in that will reach as wide an audience as possible. By done to death, I mean that all of the campness has been drained due to the Adam West Tv show, and the association to the mostly silly and light-hearted storylines that ruled comics at that time. Yes, there some writers who used the elements along with dark and gritty themes, but that's not what people remember, that's not what people are made aware of when they hear Silver Age, google it, and see the rainbow batman suits and the like. I'm not trying to piss all over the age, what I'm saying is that it's being used to make things slightly less dark. Now, if they managed to make it like you've outlined, then that's fine, but that's putting a lot of faith in WB and DC in this current climate...remember that Rocksteady are still under WB's thumb, and if DC want something done, consequences be damned, it will be done...see any DC movie that wasn't animated or Batman in the last ten years.

On the topic of heroes: I'm aware that Hush featured Superman, and this game might be marketed as a Batman game, but as with all things in the gaming industry, a name is a brand, and it's used to sell games. I mean Mario was a 2D side-scroller and now the name is associated with party and racing games that are becoming more and more lackluster every iteration, DmC, to some, doesn't look like Devil May Cry, but the name is there to make sales, Fallout 3 is an RPG with FPS elements, not a strategy-esque game...I'm just saying, titles give a game power, just look at X-Com. What I'm pointing out is that this game is supposed to be released in 2015, the year that DC have stated they won't be bringing out movies until after that point, as they're setting up for their JLA movie and tie-ins...when I see all of this together, I don't see a JLA game, but a game where Batman is teaming up with other heroes, maybe one at a time, but I would still classify it as the same thing: a tie-in title, an introduction to the heroes to raise awareness of their existence to those who don't read comics or watch the animated shows on TV, using the Batman title as a jumping-on point.

To you're second last paragraph...I'm sorry, but no. As far as I'm concerned, until I'm proven wrong, if I'm proven wrong, and I hope I am, I'll take my knowledge of the games industry, my knowledge of DC and WB, and the facts that have come to light in the last month, and build my beliefs from that. I'm not asking you to agree, I'm all up for healthy debate, but I'm not buying that excuse. I'm not calling bloody-murder, I'm just speaking my mind from what I can see, and given how much is riding on DC making this movie license work, and how games do not exist in a vacuum to the rest of the world, I'll remain a skeptic until proven otherwise. I've learned not to trust a developer or publisher in this industry, because devs don't call the shots, the suits up top do.

His tweets seem to indicate that he wanted to work on it, that he was disappointed and said it was 'out of his hands'. The last time I've heard this phrase used, it related to a TV show getting the axe because the company funding it didn't want the money anymore. There's no word on whatever project he's doing next, but from his newest tweet and his livejournal update, it seemed that WB had filled out their writer staff without informing him, he has other projects booked in advance, as all logical thought would dictate, a person has to eat, but they weren't the reason he wasn't brought back on. He literally had no idea about the newest game until he read about it, meaning nobody contacted him at all. He has said time and again that he would have loved to write a third game, he hopes that he can work with them again, but to not even be informed of this change in direction, given the success of the two previous games whose stories he wrote, there's really no other way to interpret it as a pretty shitty move to step away from Dini...I mean, could you imagine sitting at home one day, only to find out from a newspaper that the place you've been working at has been closed down or moved locations without letting you know? Even a general email would suffice, but Dini got nothing, and that doesn't bode well at all.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

Honestly, as a HUGE fan of goofy Batman stuff (primarily the 60s TV show), I'd love to see the RockSteady take on that time period.

And yes, the change of writer is unfortunate, but if the tonal shift is going to be as great as people think, maybe it needs a new writer. Someone who is good at writing serious stuff isn't necessarily the best guy to get for writing something goofy. Of course, I'm not familiar with everything Mr. Dini has written, so maybe he's great at goofy stuff too, I don't know. I'm just saying that while this may seem bad on the surface, the final game could still be great, and maybe better off for what they are trying to do (ie, make something goofy).

I hope it's goofy. It probably won't be. Most serious Silver Age story ever!

Moderator
Posted by Dookysharpgun

@Kidavenger: Seemingly, he was told that they might not need as many freelance writers, to take potential jobs if they were offered, but that any talks would take place a long while after the game's release. He said that Harley Quinn's Revenge and the Silver Age prequels were news to him, and that they must have filled their writers cap for the projects.

So there you have it, he had nothing to do with Harley Quinn's DLC...so that explains a lot about how things were going with Rocksteady, and why that DLC fell flat in the end.

Seems like a pretty dickish move to step away from the writer that made your series so good in terms of story telling, but it does seem to allude to a level of alternative planning...so far, no other writers have been announced for it, it's just sad to see how he was treated, and I still find it off that WB would do this without some sort of mandate from above, and without some planning for the future that would need to be kept under wraps for so long.

Posted by Dookysharpgun

@MooseyMcMan: I'm hoping it all turns out for the best, but it feels wrong. I mean, Dini wasn't even made aware of this situation by WB, they said that they might not really need freelance writers and to take jobs where you can get them, which is the norm, but to find out now that he had nothing to do with the Harley Quinn DLC, and that he figured that he wouldn't be needed for future games from a rumour announcement?

Whenever there's something wrong in the background of a game's creation, the game does tend to reflect that, if the shift in tone is the reason they didn't bring him back, then fine, maybe the game won't be for me, but throwing everything DC is doing to hop on the Avengers bandwagon, and needing the audience...I'm skeptical about how this will all play out. I've said before that if this was handled by the extra staff Rocksteady was given, I'd be cool with that, but all of this news coming together, and no interaction from WB or Rocksteady on the matter, seems to be off...you tend to announce when a great writer leaves, or at least make them aware of the fact themselves, not forget about it and move on. I tend not to believe in coincidence nowadays, especially when it comes to the games industry.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

@Dookysharpgun: I definitely agree that this whole situation is pretty shady, and that Dini is getting a raw deal. I just think it's too early to be making a big deal about this. I mean, it hasn't really even been confirmed that it's going to be Silver Age, has it? Not that I'm saying it won't be, because it seems pretty likely it will, I just think we should wait until we know more about the end product.

Moderator
Posted by SlightConfuse

Or like a lot of writers he wants to move on to other things. He is involved in the ultimate spiderman tv and is probably returning to comics soon.

Posted by EuanDewar

I don't think the Joker's really dead at the end of that game, I think it's a little too convenient that Batman literally just carried the Joker right out the front gates of the most inescapable prison on earth.

Posted by Dookysharpgun

@MooseyMcMan: I'd love to do that, but I've yet to see a situation like this come out with something that was worth it. I mean, the Harley Quinn DLC seemed to be a rush-job to round out a story that nobody wanted to continue, given it's poor quality and lack of anything remotely interesting going on during it. I want to believe that it'll be good, and that maybe it'll be an Arkham prequel...but I'd also like to see City's sequel...but we've already seen what an hour and a half of Batman is without Dini's input, if that's the team working on the new game, then I have serious doubts about quality, you know?

Posted by Dookysharpgun

@SlightConfuse: Find him on Twitter: Paul_Dini. He has stated in his most recent livejournal update that he was never even aware of the Harely Quinn DLC, let alone the new title. He was told that they may need fewer freelance writers, to take jobs if they were offered, as one does, it's good sense, and that he wouldn't be available until 2013...however, by this point, Harley Quinn's Revenge was already in development and he had heard about it from the announcement, he assumed they had fulfilled their quota on writers, but would have loved to do another Arkham game. He was even told that talks wouldn't be taking place for a very long time, to which he was never contacted, and was pretty much pushed aside, disassociated with by WB, and is saddened by the events. Basically, he was shunned to make way for something new, and it doesn't bode well.

Posted by Brodehouse

Personally, I think the best part of the Arkham games is the gameplay. It could be about throwing punches at sentient milk cartons for all I care, as long as the gameplay is as tight as it is.

Posted by Dookysharpgun

@Brodehouse: I felt that the gameplay did get much, much faster and tighter in City as compared to Asylum, but it still had some of the major issues I had with the gameplay. Like in combat, how you can perform perfect combos nine out of ten times, but then Batman decides to lash out at thin air, or he feels like he doesn't need to block three attacks at the same time anymore. It does seem to get worse the more enemies that are around, and the variety does tend to throw things off even worse. I enjoyed it, but there were some very clear issues, given the setting and how it was set up.

The story, and how it ended, wasn't as tight, but then a large, free-roam city setting does that. I still thought it was top-notch, bar a few confusing mistakes with timelines, but the ending was amazingly well handled, the Harley DLC pretty much crippled it though, and since Dini wasn't on that, it wasn't a surprise.