Hi reddit, we are part of the team behind Batman: Arkham Origins, the next installment in Batman: Arkham videogame series. I’m Creative Director Eric Holmes and with me is Senior Producer Ben Mattes. We can talk about creating an all-new Batman adventure, and all the ins and outs of working with such a huge comic/videogame franchise.

The game has an original prequel storyline set several years before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City. It comes out in just a few days (October 25th) for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and Windows PC. Ask us anything (within reason)!

Proof: https://twitter.com/BatmanArkham/status/390232874135203841

EDITED: Ok guys, thanks for all the questions! AMA is now closed - sorry we couldn't answer them all! We'd love to follow up with another after the game's release so we can chat once you've played the game!

Comments: 706 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

Rawhoth57 karma

Who's your favorite assassin? And why is it Deathstroke?

WBGamesMontreal_Ben46 karma

Eric is wrong. ;) Deathstroke is cool but Bane is the best. He is welcome to his opinion, but it's wrong.

WBGamesMontreal_Eric27 karma

This attention to detail is why I love Ben.

WBGamesMontreal_Eric44 karma

You just.... wait... and why is your favourite colour black?

Deathstroke is a peer to Batman. It's something I always loved about him - he thinks the same way. He has similar strengths and weaknesses. He can use any weapon that comes to hand - go beyond the limits Batman places on himself. And he has that incredibly distinctive and cool 50/50 mask with the ties which show his motion.

FWIW first faceoff I ever read between the two was CITY OF ASSASSINS, which is also a name for an achievement in our game! Who doesn't love Mike Zeck!

laloquaint34 karma

Did you guys change the sounds of when you punch someone? It's sounds different, but better.

WBGamesMontreal_Eric215 karma

Well spotted! We invested a bunch of time into making criminals being punched sound like justice.

The_LuftWalrus32 karma

Where are they?


WBGamesMontreal_Eric43 karma

I never knew. I don't know. I swear to God...

WBGamesMontreal_Ben31 karma

This is Ben Mattes posting a question to Eric Holmes. On a scale of 1-10 just how awesome are you?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric48 karma

Hand farts.

Kmac13319 karma

His accent is pretty awesome

WBGamesMontreal_Eric22 karma

Thankyou sir or madam.

Abe_lincolin28 karma

  1. Will we be seeing an alternate batsuit from the Dark Knight trilogy (please say yes! Hopeing for a TDK and TDKR suit!)

  2. When will we hear about the final 2 assassins?

  3. How does it feel having an awesome game being released in just 9 days?

Also, I'd like to add that I'm the mod and creator of /r/BatmanArkham and you folks are welcome there anytime! I can also make you guys mods in it if you'd like!

WBGamesMontreal_Eric35 karma

  1. The Arkham series is not the movie universe. We love the movies too, but for now - sorry, nope.

  2. I think you might learn about one more in the next trailer. Maybe...

  3. Excitement. Terror. Anxiety. Adrenaline. Nervous. I like being in the act of doing things - making plans, fixing problems in the reality of the plan. The hardest part about right now is that while we are continuing work on our DLC, the main game - what you'll get and what is going to be reviewed is 100% done - and we can't do anything to change what you're going to play. I am significantly worse at doing nothing than something. I can't sit on a beach, I can't just lie back and relax. So it's tough :) Good question!

tsunami74314 karma

As much as I love all these trailers, I kinda want it to be a surprise. If you do release another assassin trailer I'll still watch it because I am a pleb who has no self control

WBGamesMontreal_Eric19 karma

I'm sorry. But I think you'll like the next one :)

Abe_lincolin6 karma

Thanks for the reply! Pre ordered the game and I'm extremely hyped for the game!

WBGamesMontreal_Eric11 karma

Tonight - you are my hero!

adamftwin24 karma

Hey! Can't wait for the game, just want to know, will Batgirl be playable in Batman: Arkham Origins, would love to play as her!

WBGamesMontreal_Eric36 karma

I got cornered on questions at SDCC and didn't want to lie. The short answer is that Barbara Gordon is in the game. We haven't announced anything beyond that.

campermortey22 karma

I love Arkham City! One of my favorite games of all time. Reminds me a lot of Bioshock.

Anyways! Will Arkham Origins have "world" npcs much like Assassin's Creed does? Gotham is such a huge city and would love to see it populated with people that aren't criminals. Thanks!

WBGamesMontreal_Eric41 karma

There are some civilians in the city, but our Gotham City isn't a cars-and-pedestrians-of-New-York city simulation you've seen in some other games. Tonight, Gotham is a city in chaos: it's being over-run with the criminals of Gotham out to claim the price on Batman's head while simultaneously under threat from a huge snowstorm. It's a city full of enemies for Batman to face down!

JB11sos21 karma

While it's fun to see tons of Batman characters crammed into one setting, I felt that the Arkham City storyline suffered from having too much going on/a lack of focus, whereas the extra characters in Arkham Asylum added variety and depth to the game's world without detracting from the core narrative. The marketing for this game so far has me slightly concerned that the former might be true of Origins. How have you balanced the desire to showcase a long list of characters and enemies from the Batman canon with the need to craft a compelling main storyline?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric16 karma

Hmm, tough to answer.

I guess I would answer with - I think we have the characters we need to tell the story we wanted to tell. Some of the Most Wanted characters tie more directly into the main story than others do, but several of them are really optional tales that the player can choose to close when they want.

Deadshot, for example, is an assassin who joins the Most Wanted - his story ties into the Black Mask story. But Mad Hatter doesn't tie into that tale and is more of an optional Gotham Story for Batman to follow up should the player choose.

Blunck17 karma

I'm a big fan of Alfred's character, as I believe many are. Could you tell a little about his role in this story?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric70 karma

You asked - EXCLUSIVE REVEAL - Alfred is the 8th assassin!

SomeBigHero16 karma

Are there any "classic Batman" lines that you were able to include in the game? Any that you just couldn't make fit?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric28 karma

We did have an "I'm Batman." But we pulled it. Ask me on twitter in early November @ericholmeslive and I'll tell you where it was.

Jamalbeetsauce14 karma

Will the skins from AC be available for Origins? I really loved beating goons as middle-aged badass Dark Knight Returns bats

WBGamesMontreal_Eric20 karma

I believe some of the Arkham City skins are in MP, but I'm not 100% sure on that - Ben and I work with WB Games Montreal (WBGM henceforth), and WBGM dealt with the campaign for Arkham Origins. Our Batman face is totally different - with a completely different rig. This means the old faces just wouldn't work for cinematics. Hope you like the new ones!

old_gregg28014 karma

Are there any other DC heroes you would like to make a game for? Superman perhaps???

WBGamesMontreal_Eric36 karma


misyorpaperclip14 karma

Is there any DLC ideas you have in mind?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric21 karma


Jimbonian14 karma

If you guys could make Aquaman cool I would really appreciate it.

WBGamesMontreal_Eric27 karma

Geoff Johns is working on it!

TheSchnozzberry12 karma

For those that pre-ordered and got the death stroke character unlock- When you play as death stroke will the character kill NPC's instead of just incapacitating them? I mean his name has the word death in it.

WBGamesMontreal_Eric22 karma

Arkham Origins has really intense combat action. We're really pushing the edge of T for Teen with what we're doing. I don't think we could have pushed it further than we have without risking a rating bump.

Noriega733312 karma

Will there ever be a chance to have new villians for the multiplayer? Like heave a deathstroke team or Copperhead team? Or will it always be joker and bane?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric30 karma

Great question for the MP team! Who we are not. Sorry.

bwong9411 karma

Was it intimidating to be the follow up to Arkham City?

WBGamesMontreal_Ben25 karma

yes. Very much so.

9 days and then you can tell us how we did. ;)

WBGamesMontreal_Eric33 karma

Or you could yell at Ben now.

mike_isonfire11 karma

What is your favorite Batman storyline from the comics?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric24 karma

What's your favourite song of all time? Impossible to answer. :) I love early career stories though. And "The Dark Knight Returns" will occupy a special place forever, as reading that for me was the moment where I experienced Batman in an adult tale.

WBGamesMontreal_Eric30 karma

And by adult I don't mean what someone is going to imagelink on this.

Nineandnumb11 karma

What challenges did you face in creating a "beginning" for an already established and celebrated franchise?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric20 karma

Making something new while not violating something sacred. In a nutshell.

bgmsl11 karma

Could you explain "I Am The Night Mode" a little better? Can you quit and save the game at all, or will you have to play entire game through one sit through?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric31 karma

  • Buy Arkham Origins
  • Insert disk in console (or download on Steam)
  • Play game. Enjoy.
  • Finish the story on normal difficulty.
  • Play some challenge maps. You'll need the skills.
  • Now finish New Game Plus. MAN UP!
  • You now have access to I AM THE NIGHT MODE. In this mode you have one life to live! This means you must play through the entire story without dying or you'll get kicked back out to the start of the game.

Conclusion: People with the IATN achievement/trophy are BADASSES.

kioshi4311 karma

Where do you see the Arkham series going to in the future? Will we ever see additional DC characters?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric15 karma

Let's stick to the game coming out on October 25. Who knows what else might happen in the future :)

Doomsday_Device10 karma

I edit my archived comments. *tips fedora*

WBGamesMontreal_Eric49 karma

Picture yourself being creeped over by a contortionist dude in a snakesuit, then compare the lady version - question answered.

jimjimmy979 karma

Will we see Batmans detective skills play more of an integral part in the storyline?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric15 karma

Definitely. The casefile system has many opt-in cases, but some of our more important story moments tie in deeply into the crime scenes that each of you, as Batman, will solve. :)

tumor208 karma

what's the one thing you would tell people to get them to buy the game

WBGamesMontreal_Eric25 karma

You get to play as Batman.

Kalivos8 karma

Thanks a bunch of doing this AMA! My only real question is regarding the Deathstroke DLC. I was pretty excited to be able to play as Deathstroke until I saw this video on youtube showing that Deathstroke is essentially a reskinned Robin. Was this due to time constraints with the production of the game or can we expect a Deathstroke combat experience more unique and quite different from what was previewed in that video?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric14 karma

I think you'll have to play it and see! Deathstroke has his own gadgets and different abilities. Last I checked, Robin didn't regenerate...


Can you put me in as a reference? because I love you very much and I would love to be a reference.

WBGamesMontreal_Eric15 karma

We will add Sloth Potato Pirates.

Brash_Attack8 karma

Which one of you is Batman to the other's Robin?

WBGamesMontreal_Ben23 karma

I found this post first so obviously I'm Batman.

Brash_Attack3 karma

I will await Eric's retort.

WBGamesMontreal_Eric25 karma

I've choked Ben out. Robin is the one who quips - Batman acts!

EvenFlo8 karma

What's your favorite character, story arc, or game mechanic that you hoped to include in the finished product, but had to be cut along the way?

WBGamesMontreal_Ben22 karma

Cutting stuff is an inevitable and difficult part of game development and for sure there is stuff on Origins that we cut primarily because during development it became clear to us it wasn't going to be "arkham quality". A good example of this is a new NPC type we wanted to add to Predator rooms - The Drone. This was going to be an autonomous flying unit that would scan humans to detect whether or not they were on the 'red list' or not. If flagged, it would attack, otherwise it would continue scanning. We had hoped that this unit would add new strategy to the predator rooms as player's discovered ways to turn the drone against the regular thugs but unfortunately we saw through playtests that rather then opening up new ways of playing it was causing everyone to feel forced in how they managed the maps (always sitting on gargoyles, always waiting for the drone to pass, never taking risks, etc). We cut it because while it sounded good on paper the reality wasn't taking us in the direction we wanted it to go.

WBGamesMontreal_Eric23 karma

I was sad when we cut playable Ben Mattes.

TheSandmanECW7 karma

So for it to be Christmas Eve, the game cant last longer than a night correct? So how much will that effect the pacing and the length of the game?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric19 karma

Not any more than it did with Arkham City.

love_otter6 karma

What is Kevin Conroy's involvement with this game? We know he's not voicing Batman, but I'd heard he was involved in some way/ shape/ form.

WBGamesMontreal_Eric14 karma

Kevin isn't involved. But Ben is.

UnixRano6 karma

Will all of the assassins be incorporated into the main story, or will some of them only be in side missions?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric13 karma

Most of them are in the main story. Some of them create grandstanding scenarios to draw Batman out, and so join the Most Wanted. Open world options FTW!

SpiffierGoose66 karma

any secrets we haven't found yet?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric11 karma


ArkhamFan6 karma

Why does penguin hate batman in origins he dosnt know hes bruce

WBGamesMontreal_Eric16 karma

Penguin runs a gang. Batman doesn't like gangs. He expresses this in a way that costs Penguin money.

VoiceActor_MO6 karma

Hey Eric and Ben, who is the voice of Deathstroke the Terminator in your game? Thanks in advance.

WBGamesMontreal_Eric16 karma

Wow, there have been so many people chasing that one. Exclusive reveal, it's MARK ROLSTON who brings the Terminator to life. You may know him from YOUNG JUSTICE (Lex!) and ALIENS (Drake!)


PS: VoiceActor_MO - is that you, Mark? :)

spartn1186 karma

Which Batman is your favorite Batman, from all movies, games and/or comics?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric7 karma

TOO HARD. But Miller's 1980s Batman defined the character for me at the right time in my life. So it's something of a gold standard - Year One, Dark Knight Returns. But there are so many very important stories that they're just the start of a long list of different guys for different reasons.

Iambatman955 karma

What game had the biggest impact on you and the game that effected the way you wanted to make Batman Arkham origins?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric5 karma

My first computer was a C64. I played everything on that game. Two games blew my mind, both shared by a neighbour.

Remember these things came along in a world of arcade-type experiences where games often lasted a couple of minute and looped around.

ELITE: Spacefaring, open-universe game, could be played in a completely freeform way, the game took months of playtime to "complete". I only got to "DANGEROUS" rating, dammit. :) I think I got "DEADLY" once by hammering on endless Vipers outside a space station, but died before I could save it. Brinksmanship! There is a modern remake of this going on... by one of the original creators - David Braben. Google it! There was a novella and a lengthy manual in the game that made the world seem absolutely VAST.

2> CHOLO - also pushed onto me by my neighbour. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholo_(video_game) Open world city based game where you play a hacker robot. You take over other robots, build something of an army and problem solve your way to unlock your people from a hidden bunker. Map inside the box, novella too. That's the way, people.

The freeform gameplay in these things compared to games of the time was just mindblowing. It's near impossible to describe in the modern world. Best I can do: Imagine people had only ever written single sentences - that was the only form of writing - single sentences. On their own. Then someone passed you a NOVEL. Brain goes boom.

ghanemhalabi5 karma

How long have you guys been working on this game for?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric13 karma

Since late 2011.

Iambatman955 karma

How much do you love Batman?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric14 karma

[---------------this much-----------------]

heinekim5 karma

What made you select the assassins that are in the game?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric10 karma

Gameplay. Story. Diversity. New blood. Familiar faces. Some favouritism. Mulch all that and that's how we got here.

RSignal5 karma

Hi guys and thank you for this AMA !

From what I understand, the challenge maps are integrated in the game as a training in the batcave, is it to make more people play them?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric10 karma


Challenge Maps make people better at the game - they're really condensed, concentrated gameplay. I feel like they are where you really learn how deep the mechanics are. Players who dig in on challenge maps will really understand how deep the rabbit hole goes, mastering all the core combat abilities - free flow, gadget quick use, beatdowns, takedowns etc. I think it's really satisfying to access all those great features and we wanted to encourage more people to dig a little deeper - it's amazingly rewarding if you do!

Just like AC, the game is still completely playable and balanced if you don't. It just gives more back if you do :)

heinekim5 karma

If this is the early years of Batman, does he have disadvantages in the game?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric10 karma

Not mechanically.

cyberine5 karma

What, in your opinion, is the main reason why people NEED this game?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric10 karma

The answer to that can't be shared. You tell me on Oct 25.

pombex4 karma

Why Batman have the Grapnel Boost in Arkham Origins? because in Arkham City was in prototype(I like the grapnel boost but did not understand this) (sorry for my english i'm from Brazil).

WBGamesMontreal_Eric14 karma

Grapnel Boost? No way, that's an untested prototype! At this point Batman uses something called the Grapnel Accelerator.

(Nothing wrong with your English!)

dsug984 karma

Why isn't such an important character as Catwoman in the main console game? She's his number one love interest and surely she'd take advantage of the chaos during Origins?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric6 karma

We're focussing on the story with the Black Mask and his assassins. I think you could justify trying to add just about any villain using your logic, but we needed to focus on our story. :)

rokthemonkey4 karma

Any plans beyond Origins? Do you have any ideas for the future of the Arkham franchise?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric8 karma

We talk about everything.

Turnstylez3 karma

Thank you for changing the design on Bane. I personally am not a fan of the way he was designed in the previous titles. Other than The Dark Knight Rises, what made you guys want to show that side of Bane?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric4 karma

Our inspiration came from Vengeance of Bane. Taking 'em back to where they started!

TheSaiyanKnight3 karma

Hey WB thanks for taking the time out for doing this Q&A

How did you guys determine what stories to gain inspiration from when making the game, considering there are over 75 years of lore to choose from.

WBGamesMontreal_Eric7 karma

Early career stories that make Batman who he is - there's only so many! Each feels rich and important. The Legends of the Dark Knight series meant so much to me as a kid. Imagining what that series represented through an "Arkham" lens felt like something exciting and new. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legends_of_The_Dark_Knight

V1NY3 karma

When do the reviews for Arkham Origins start coming in?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric9 karma

No idea, but I guess soon! (I get an adrenaline shot when answered questions about HOW CLOSE THE GAME IS TO RELEASE < typing in caps because I got another one.)

bloodlust72 karma

What is Killer Croc's role in the story?

WBGamesMontreal_Eric8 karma