Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Batman: Arkham Asylum developer Rocksteady Studios, “continuing Warner Bros.’ pattern as one of the industry’s fastest growing games publishers.”
According to Warner, Batman: Arkham Asylum has shipped over three million units worldwide and received numerous industry awards, and as a reward for Rocksteady’s fantastic work on the title, the developer is being shared up, with Square Enix (owners of Eidos, who published Arkham Asylum) hanging on to 25 percent of the studio.
President, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, Kevin Tsujihara said of the deal:
“Rocksteady demonstrated its professionalism and extraordinary development abilities with Batman: Arkham Asylum. This arrangement is a great strategic fit and we are very pleased to solidify our relationship with this talented development team.”
Rocksteady Studios director, Jamie Walker reciprocated by commenting: “We are proud to strengthen our association with WBIE, a world class publisher that we have enjoyed working with since we began developing Batman: Arkham Asylum,” while Rocksteady games director Sefton Hill added: “The Rocksteady team is very much looking forward to creating more great games based on widely recognized Warner Bros. brands like Batman.”
This majority stake purchase definitely continues “Warner Bros.’ pattern” of growth via studio acquisition, after having acquired Monolith, TT Games (Traveller’s Tales), Snowblind, Surreal Software, Midway Games Chicago (now WB Games Chicago) and a chunk of Midway’s assets and intellectual property (including Mortal Kombat, Joust and Spy Hunter) in the space of five years.
From 2006 to 2008, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment also held major shares in Sci Entertainment/Eidos, until that company’s acquisition by Square Enix.
All the best to Rocksteady. Hopefully the developer won’t get stuck making Batman games ‘til the end of time.