How EA’s The Dark Knight Failed to Save Gotham
While Batman has been living the high life in recent years thanks to Rocksteady Studios, there was a time when a Batman game wasn't always a sure bet. In fact, before the Arkham series took off, the only way to enjoy a Batman game was to hope a movie led to a tie-in video game.
EA had some success with Batman Begins, and hoped to gain even more traction with a video game based on the film sequel, The Dark Knight. For that, EA turned to Pandemic Studios' Brisbane, who'd previously developed Destroy All Humans 2. Though it was never officially announced, Pandemic began work on The Dark Knight game with the intention of delivering it in time for the movie's release in the summer of 2008.
Early in development, EA wanted a shift in the game, and Pandemic was forced to start almost from scratch on a title that more closely resembled the movie. Even with a shortened timeline, the developers were making progress, thanks in large part to adapting the engine recently used in The Saboteur. Unfortunately, the game was still a ways from being finished in time for the cinematic release, so EA pushed hard for Pandemic to get the game done by the holiday season.
You see, EA's license for Batman was going to expire at the end of 2008, whether it released a game or not. Even with a tiny bit more time to develop The Dark Knight, the game just wasn't coming along quickly enough, and Pandemic was pushed too far too fast. The Dark Knight never saw release, and Pandemic Brisbane went out of business not long after.
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