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Warner acquires majority stake in Rocksteady Studios

By Matt Martin

Tue 23 Feb 2010 9:28am GMT / 4:28am EST / 1:28am PST

UPDATE: Developer will work on other Warner IP as well as Batman; Eidos still owns over 25% of company

Warner Bros. has acquired a majority stake in Batman: Arkham Asylum developer Rocksteady Studios.

Although Batman was published by Eidos, the sequel is now in the hands of Warner as it reclaimed the rights to the IP, which is part of its own DC Comics portfolio.

"Rocksteady demonstrated its professionalism and extraordinary development abilities with Batman: Arkham Asylum," said Kevin Tsujihara, president, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. "This arrangement is a great strategic fit and we are very pleased to solidify our relationship with this talented development team."

Batman: Arkham Asylum has shipped over 3 million units worldwide, and won numerous awards, most recently from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.

"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," said Jamie Walker, studio director of Rocksteady Studios.

According to game designer Sefton Hill, as well as Batman, the team will also work on games based on other Warner properties.

"The Rocksteady team is very much looking forward to creating more great games based on widely recognised Warner Bros. brands like Batman," he said.

Despite Warner acquiring a majority stake, previous partner Eidos, recently acquired by Square Enix, has said that it still owns over 25 per cent of Rocksteady Studios, and will continue to represent on the developers board of directors.

"We, as founder investors, have worked closely with Rocksteady since the studio was originally formed in 2004,” said a spokesperson for Eidos. “Our collaboration with Rocksteady and Warner Bros. has produced a hugely successful game in Batman: Arkham Asylum. We retain our 25.1% stake in Rocksteady and will continue to be represented on the board of directors of the company."

Warner's recent acquisitions in the games business include Midway Games assets such as Mortal Kombat, Snowblind Studios - which is currently working on the Lord of the Rings franchise for the publisher, and TT Games, which has been steadily pumping out hit LEGO games.

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Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,289 126 0.1
Expected this was going to happen soon. Good news for Rocksteady; I just hope WB are a good parent company to be under.

Posted:6 years ago


Alex Wright-Manning Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist, Datascope

172 2 0.0
Given their great success with a franchise that has been hugely successful for Warner in the last few years I wouldn't imagine that Warner will want to interfere too much with creative processes. Plus with the rumour that the new movie will be taking place in Arkham, it could work very well for both parties.

Posted:6 years ago

All the best wishes to Rocksteady. Another win for UK creativity!!

Posted:6 years ago


Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer

259 12 0.0
Well it is just a matter of time that Rocksteady will experience merger lay offs and capable people replaced by duds from Warner Brothers. I always feel for the smaller studios when this kind of thing happens. Nothing usually went down well

Posted:6 years ago


Michael Abraham game designer

37 0 0.0
Haven: that's quite a negative way to look at things.
i would imagine that rocksteady might actually grow and recruit on more people as a result of this. they've set themselves up well with Arkham as being on the ball, so i doubt WB will want to selloff/layoff the asset they've so recently acquired. it sounds like they may be involved in a lot of DC based games in the future.

congrats/g'luck to rocksteady!

Posted:6 years ago


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