Batman: Arkham City dev tried adding multiplayer

The developers behind Batman: Arkham City tried adding multiplayer to the game, but backed out because "it always felt like it was just there as a requirement."


Batman: Arkham City is a great game, earning the 3rd spot on our Game of the Year list. But would it have been a better game had it featured a multiplayer component?

Game director Sefton Hill argued that it would have seriously diminished the game. "If we did multiplayer then we wouldn't have been able to deliver the quality of game that people wanted--that we wanted," he said. "We would end up delivering two watered down products."

Apparently, the team at Rocksteady did attempt building multiplayer in the game. However, Hill and co. weren't pleased with the results. "We did look at multiplayer early on and we looked at what it could actually bring to the table," he told CVG. "We tried some ideas out but it always felt like it was just there as a requirement."

Although the game ended up shipping with an online pass, the publisher didn't try to sway the team's decision on multiplayer. "We're really thankful to Warner on that. At a time when a lot of publishers said you have to have multiplayer, they backed our ideas for single player."

"You see games where you feel like they bolted the multiplayer on," Hill added. "But if they had taken that effort and put it into the single player, they would have had a better game instead of having a multiplayer that people don't play."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 9, 2012 12:45 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Batman: Arkham City dev tried adding multiplayer.

    The developers behind Batman: Arkham City tried adding multiplayer to the game, but backed out because "it always felt like it was just there as a requirement."

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      February 9, 2012 12:48 PM

      I'm kinda thankful for that as this is a game that definitely doesn't need or warrant multiplayer.

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        February 9, 2012 12:51 PM

        Co-op maybe, but not a versus.

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        February 9, 2012 12:57 PM

        Totally. I'm glad they focused on a great singleplayer.

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      February 9, 2012 12:50 PM

      good for them on backing off. A dev with balls. I like it.

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      February 9, 2012 1:27 PM

      Wait. What? A publisher backed a dev studio's game design decision that meant one less bullet point on the marketing slide? GASP! Has anyone checked to make sure gravity is still working everywhere? Hell, temp check? omg.. AND dnf shipped. yep. 2012 could very well be the end. . .we've just about seen it all at this point.

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      February 9, 2012 1:28 PM

      This is what has me worried about Mass Effect 3

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        February 9, 2012 1:57 PM

        In this case, there was only one studio working on Arkham City: Rocksteady. For Mass Effect 3, there are quite a few studios working on the game. I know that DICE had some input on weaponry. It's hard to tell how many studios make up "Bioware" now since EA bought them.

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        February 9, 2012 7:38 PM

        Funny thing is that people are just mad at the wording. Multiplayer, grrrr. When in fact it's Co-op. Say co-op and no one whines.

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      February 9, 2012 2:16 PM

      The TMNT game they are working on better have multiplayer though! Makes totally sense!

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      February 9, 2012 5:07 PM

      I seem to remember American McGee talking about trying to add MP to the original Alice, but dismissing it because it was silly. Not every game needs MP. If it's just there as a checkbox and nobody's going to play it a month after release anyway, then why waste the resources.

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      February 9, 2012 5:41 PM

      I love multiplayer and coop but this was the right call. The Batman games would not have benefited from MP. The property just doesn't quite lend itself to MP. I suppose you could make a case for coop with one person as Batman and another as Robin but a good story or narrative and treatment of Batman's cast of characters is what people expect first and foremost. Rocksteady has impeccable design instincts.

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      February 9, 2012 7:32 PM

      I think co-op would be pretty cool, if they did it right.

      Separate co-op mode. Batman & Robin, Batman & Catwoman... something to that effect could be a lot of fun.

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      February 9, 2012 10:45 PM

      Good on them for not just throwing in yet another pointless multiplayer mode unlike everyone else.

      One thing I really DO hope they include next time is a Batmobile you can drive (if gliding around town isn't your thing). Gotham City is big enough to make this work.

      You know they're gonna do it right... but that means Batman 3 is a LONG way away.

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