Warner Bros. has announced a change of plans for the release of Gotham Knights. While it was previously announced with a last-gen release in mind, the game will now only be coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC on 25th October 2022. It will not be coming out for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One consoles.
This will be disappointing for those who expected to get the game on the last gen machines, but in a short aside from a new press release accompanying the new gameplay trailer, WB state that this is “to provide players with the best possible gameplay experience.”
It’s certainly a bit of a surprise, considering that the game has been in development for a rather long time and had planned to be a cross-gen title. Certainly there will have been efforts to keep the game’s scope in check and optimise for the now 8 year old systems.
It would seem that the game’s delays have changed matters in some ways – announced in 2020, it was expected in 2021 and is now in the final months of 2022. It could potentially be that WB Games Montreal were simply struggling to get the game to run acceptably on the last generation machines, or that the studio heads felt it was a better use of their time and resources to optimise for fewer hardware platforms. It could also be a simple business decision.
The main reason for cross-gen releases in the early years of this new generation is that, especially with the supply difficulties affecting sales, the vast majority of gamers would still be stuck on the older generation machines, and publishers want to reach as many gamers as possible. We’re now at the point where there are more than 30 million PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles out there, a figure that could feasibly be closer to 40 million by the game Gotham Knights releases, making it much less important to still support the last generation.
Regardless, the announcement came alongside the release of a new gameplay trailer, showcasing NIghtwing and Red Hood’s contrasting combat styles. It’s a good, long 13 minute video, with plenty of new details to take in about the game.
But what is Gotham Knights? It’s a new and original story set in the Batman universe after the death of everyone’s favourite billionaire that dresses up like a bat. His youthful protégés have to step up to fill the void, with players able to choose to play as Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl and Red Hood. They’ll be fighting all kinds of crimes, but the main thrust of the story follows the loss of Batman and unravelling the Court of Owls plot that killed him.
Source: press release