Xbox One and PS4 users who were excited to get their hands on Batman: Arkham Knight, the final installment in the Batman series that includes the Batmobile as a usable gadget, are in for a longer wait than originally thought.
Today, Batman: Arkham Knight publisher Warner Brothers posted a new trailer for the video game, showing off new footage and wetting player’s appetite for the game’s launch. At the end of that trailer was a new expected delivery year for the game: 2015.
Originally, Warner Brothers and Batman: Arkham Knight developer Rocksteady Studios had said that gamers could expect the title to arrive for Microsoft and Sony’s consoles this year. In fact, shortly after launch gaming retailer GameStop leaked a possible release date for the game as October 14th. That release date would have put the title up against a wide assortment of other open-world games, but it would have matched the release window of past Batman: Arkham games.
That Batman: Arkham Knight is delayed is bad news for multiple reasons. First, Microsoft and Sony are counting on premium titles to sell their next generation consoles. Rocksteady Studios made it very clear that Batman: Arkham Knight was being developed with next generation consoles in mind. So advanced and demanding was the game, that only Xbox One, PS4 and PC users could expect a version. Without that incentive to upgrade its likely Batman game fans will simply wait until next year to pick up a next-generation console, putting a damper on fall Xbox One and PS4 sales.
Secondly, Batman Akrham Knight is just one of a growing number of titles to see their releases delayed into next year. As of right now, the Xbox One and PS4 game line-up this summer and fall is starting to look a little slim. Other titles that have been recently delayed include The Division, The Order: 1886 and Dying Light. That being said, Bungie’s online role-playing game turned first-person shooter, Destiny is still scheduled this year.
Historically, game developers aren’t very forthcoming about why they’ve delayed a game until they’ve finally caught up. As such, we have no idea what’s behind all of these delays. It could be that game developers underestimated the time it would take to get their code optimized for next-generation consoles. It’s also possible that the requirements for shipping games on the PS4 and Xbox One weren’t what game developers were expecting. To be successful, big AAA games need all sorts of extras like a second-screen app for user’s smartphone and sometimes a way for users to interact with their characters online. It’s not that games that don’t have these things don’t sell well, it’s just that in 2014 they’re almost the bare minimum a game needs to be taken seriously.
The trailer that contains this new release window also shares more information about the Batmobile. Whereas past videos showed the Batmobile as a usable gadget, this trailer highlights the features of the Batmobile itself. According to the video, there’s a rail gun, a machine gun, a canon, a riot suppressor and a rocket launcher. Whether users will be able to control any of these weapons while outside the vehicle remains unclear. We already know that users will be able to drive around Gotham City with the Batmobile and use it to take down enemies. Rocksteady showcased that feature a few months ago.
A profile by Polygon also reveals that the Batmobile will feature two modes: one mode that’s all about getting from one location to another as quickly as possible and an attack mode that can take down enemies. Rocksteady representatives also indicated that users should expect a more story driven game than past titles in the series saying, “There’s a lot more storytelling and narrative in this game than we have had in the previous two Arkham games from Rocksteady.“ He elaborated a bit more saying, users can at least expect Barbara Gordon and Commissioner Jim Gordon to make an appearance in the game. Previous trailers have also included Oracle, Batman’s technology-inclined side kick.