Batman: Gotham By Gaslight - The Masterpiece That Never Was

A new prototype video has been released of the cancelled Day 1 Studios adaptation of the classic one-shot graphic novel.

As the gaming world comes to terms with the (expected) revelation that Rocksteady would not be turning their hand to a tie-in for The Dark Knight Rises, another unrealised Batman title has resurfaced on the web that would have dropped the masked avenger into the Victorian era to battle Jack the Ripper. Gotham by Gaslight was originally pitched as a project for Day 1 and THQ for release to PS3 and Xbox 360 some time between 2009 and 2010, but the pitch failed and all we have left are foggy whispers and dreams of what might have been (provided it is as authentic as Siliconera and Kotaku seem to think). First visual artist Julie Farrell released some concept art she had been working on for Day1 Studios - the company which ultimately failed in their pitch to bring the game to life - which wonderfully captures the steam punk vibe of the story (and was asked to take it down), and now a prototype video has appeared from a source at Day 1 (via Siliconera) which offers a glimpse inside the game's Victorian world: The concept art was even more impressive than the video for me, and while Day 1 ultimately requested Farrell removed it from her own site, the original message relating to it remains along with the update informing visitors of Day 1's removal request...
This was a game I was really looking forward to working on. Unfortunately it was just a pitch. I had a blast creating the menus for this game, as steampunk is really quite unique, interesting and something I love to design. I created the bat logo from scratch and used a variety of different clockwork pieces and other metal pieces to construct it.
And here are her images, which are still all over the web: Very cool. Gotham By Gaslight would of course have been based on the alternative reality graphic novel from 1989, which was written by Brian Augustyn and drawn by Hellboy's Mike Mignola, and followed Bruce Wayne as he attempted to foil Jack the Ripper in Gotham City. Finally, we must ask one question: for the love of Bane, why did this game not come to release? It looks more than promising, and the Victorian setting would almost certainly have offered a fitting and atmospheric environment for the Dark Knight, and the Ripper a worthy adversary. We can only hope there can be some form of reprieve.

WhatCulture's former COO, veteran writer and editor.