Not even Monolith Productions, the developer behind the newly-released Gotham City Impostors, would deny it's a bizarre concept. In an interview, lead game designer Craig Hubbard says he understands the skepticism surrounding it, and relates how the team pitched such an offbeat game.
Hubbard wrote on the PlayStation Blog that several pitches were met with laughter, based on the fact that it had "guns, killing, and a distinct lack of Batman." So the team set about explaining the concept in more detail, easing skepticism that Hubbard says is probably still shared by some players.
The decision to make a multiplayer-only downloadable game, he says, sprung from F.E.A.R. Combat, which he claims is "the most fun" he'd experienced in game development. "The team was small and enthusiastic. Our development process was extremely flexible and highly efficient. And the game played well from day one and only got better as we refined it." So when it came time to work on the next game, they opted to make use of the tech with the Batman franchise.
He says the Impostors idea came from people's own desire to be like Batman, but in a multiplayer space there could only logically be one. "[Batman is] just like the rest of us... except with way more money and a much nobler moral code," he said. "In other words, there's nothing stopping any of us from stepping up and becoming an 'Almost Batman' except having the will to do so."
As for using the Batman license without actually including Batman, Hubbard suggests that the opportunities of the world made it worth it. "Not only does the impostor concept stand out in a marketplace teeming with military and sci-fi shooters, but we believed that the combination of Batman-inspired gadgetry with the ability to completely customize your loadouts however you see fit would result in a furiously paced, gravity defying, tactically diverse game experience unlike anything else out there."
The pitch obviously worked, since the game released this week. If you want to read more about the game from the eyes of a former skeptic, check out our beta field report.