What REALLY Happened To WB's Cancelled Batman: Arkham Games?

With cancellations rife and information scarce, just what exactly is the deal with WB's DC games?

Batman Arkham Damian Wayne Concept
Warner Bros.

Before its release in 2009, few would've predicted that Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Asylum would have such a massive impact on the gaming landscape.

The title - which was followed by two sequels, a prequel, and various other spin-offs spanning comic books and animation - challenged players to reconsider the way they saw superheroes in the gaming medium, with Rocksteady pioneering a brand new formula that combined hard-hitting combat with competent stealth and detective elements, to let players truly embody the Bat.

Much like Batman: The Animated Series before it (which doubled as a key inspiration behind Rocksteady's series), Batman: Arkham opted for its own take on the Dark Knight, one that's resonated across a broad spectrum of Bat-fans and has resulted in numerous accolades and commercial success.

And yet, for the last five years, fans haven't heard so much as a peep from publisher Warner Bros. about Batman: Arkham. So what's the deal? What exactly has happened to keep such a beloved franchise off consoles for nearly half a decade?

Batman Arkham Origins
Warner Bros.

Stories that have emerged in the years following Arkham Knight's release paint a tumultuous picture behind the scenes at Warner Bros., with cancellation after cancellation affecting the publisher's Montréal studio and - if rumour is to be believed - Rocksteady too.

Cancellations and rejected pitches are part and parcel of the industry cycle, but for them to have stymied progress on one of the last decade's most popular series' for this long is truly incredible. Numerous leaks and reports have also meant that we now have our best understanding yet of what these cancelled projects would've looked like, with concept art in particular captivating imaginations, even while WB Montréal gear up to formally announce their long awaited sequel/reboot to Batman: Arkham Origins.

So what really happened to these cancelled projects? And why has it taken so long for WB to progress the series since Arkham Knight? Using the evidence available - from concept art to reports, leaks and rumours - let's find out...

Content Producer/Presenter
Content Producer/Presenter

Resident movie guy at WhatCulture who used to be Comics Editor. Thinks John Carpenter is the best. Likes Hellboy a lot. Can usually be found talking about Dad Movies on his Twitter at @EwanRuinsThings.