Batman: Arkham City’s director talks about THAT ending. “DC understood”
Spoilers, okay. Spoilers, spoilers spoilers. If you click on that link and haven’t seen the ending of Batman: Arkham City, this will run your day. In the new issue of Official PlayStation Magazine UK there’s a four page interview with the game’s director, Sefton Hill. While it covers all aspects of the game, he does talk about the shock ending. Remember, spoilers. (And if you haven’t finished it then read our Batman: Arkham Asylum review, realise you need to play it, and then come back).
When OPM asked him about DC’s reaction to killing the Joker, Hill replied, “People from Warner and DC were here when we were initially coming up with the story, so they were involved from an early period.” The Joker’s demise was alway the plan, “With The Joker, we knew that was where we wanted to go and it felt like the story we should tell. I was happy that we managed to keep that a secret, so people got to experience that for the first time when they were playing the game. DC understood, because it was there at the inception of the story and it knew why we wanted to do it. It was actually very supportive.”
Crucially, killing such a major character wasn’t a decision to be taken lightly explains Hill. “In Batman’s universe, people don’t die for no reason. It has to have a purpose in the universe and have an important effect on Batman himself. That was something DC understood. It knew we didn’t just want to kill Joker for shock value. If we had, we’d have put it on the front of the box. We weren’t going for shocks; we just want to tell a legitimately strong Batman story. We felt that ending was a fitting climax to our story. Thankfully, DC trusted our judgement.”
That trust was initially built when Warner first played the original Arkham Asylum. “We were six to eight months into the development of Arkham Asylum, when Warner Bros finally got a chance to really play the game. When we first met them and DC and started talking about the initial story, they were very positive and supportive. But when they finally got their hands on it and got to properly understand what our vision for Asylum was, I think that’s when they got the feeling we were huge Batman fans who weren’t going to try to make the character do things he shouldn’t do.”
For Rocksteady that was the turning point in the creative relationship. “I think that’s the point they really got confidence in us. After Asylum came out and we were planning Arkham City, that’s when Warner Bros was even more excited. Because we’d already had this critically acclaimed game on our hands, it knew we could make something special. I feel like the relationship with DC has been really strong. We’ve worked with Paul Dini on the story, but also DC specifically has given us a lot of freedom. The things DC contributes are really positive, and as the licence holder, it’s always said it wants to be adding to rather than restricting from our games.”
You can read the full four page interview in this month’s Official PlayStation Magazine UK which is in the shops now, or you can subscribe. As well as the paper edition you can also head over to Apple Newsstand and you can now pick up a digital copy of Official PlayStation Magazine UK for £3.99. There’s also a range of offers for 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions. You can also get Official PlayStation Magazine UK on Zinio as well, so you are fully covered for all your electronic reading needs.