More Exclusive Batman Details and Suicide Squad Put On Ice

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We have recently dropped additional details about the upcoming Batman game – currently under development by WB Montreal – on our podcast, but for those that haven’t listened in, I figured it’d be a good time to put those details into writing.  But first, here’s links to the previous information that was brought to you exclusively by Byte-Size Impressions:

New Batman Game May Be On The Horizon – May, 2016

New Batman Game Still In Development, New Villain Expected – September, 2016

Who IS Batman In The Next Open World Game? – September, 2016

First Podcast Discussion

Second Podcast Discussion

In our last couple of podcasts, Gabriel Galliani – journalist with the Official Playstation Magazine in Italy – decided to drop some new bits of information and even field questions from a comic book savvy audience (a big thank to Slcmof of Youtube and Twitter for that).  Here’s what Gabe had to say:

He’s seen a vertical slice of the game and also has evidence to support that claim.  The visual aesthetic is bleaker than that of previous Batman games.  The city gives off a ‘something happened here’ vibe, and there’s even a bit of fog to help push the darker atmosphere that much further.  There’s still neon lighting in Gotham, but doesn’t seem as prevalent as it did in Arkham Knight (of course, things can always change during the course of development).  Featured landmarks we can expect to see are the Monarch Theater, Goth Corp., and even a rundown version of Wayne Enterprises.

To add to the roster of characters that have already been leaked, Gabe was also able to add:

-Katana

-Talon

-The Dee Dee Twins

-Mr. Freeze

He also confirmed a rumor – which originally circulated on Neogaf – about the Black Mask being female this time around.  The villain’s identity should make sense and not seem ‘out of left field’, her costume will be extremely sexy yet maintain a dose of class, and seems to enjoy treating her victims with both syringe and hammer.

Jason Schreier of Kotaku has spilled a few beans about the game recently as well, up-to-and including an appearance by the Penguin.  What’s interesting about this is that Gabe, who has an extensive list of the characters that should appear in-game, knows nothing about that character appearing in this game.  That doesn’t mean The Penguin won’t be in it, just that this information hasn’t also come his way.

Another interesting bit of news from Mr. Schreier is that the long rumored Suicide Squad game is being canned, as WB Montreal have been shifting things internally for various reasons.  While this may have put a temporary hold on the Batman project while the dust settles, they’ll probably get back to it with an even bigger push until the game is ready to be revealed and eventually released.

For future updates on this game – as we’re able to reveal more once bits of information are verified by multiple sources within WB Montreal – make sure to keep an eye pressed against the site’s news feed, Twitter account, and an ear glued to the podcast, because you never know when or where the info will drop!

CD Projekt Red May Be Preparing To Protect Against Hostile Takeover


Earlier this year, video game media made everyone aware that this industry isn’t just about selling games. No, there’s backroom deals, corruption, and of course major moves that may be construed as hostile. This information had come as a result of Vivendi’s continual attempt to take over Ubisoft, and that tug-of-war still wages today. 

A lot of people assumed Vivendi taking over Ubisoft would be a good thing. Gamers began to fantasize about a world where in-game protagonists would no longer have to climb towers in order to reveal more pieces of map, but the reality of the situation is that if the company taking things over isn’t competent, the game developer could eventually cease to exist. Vivendi has a track record of soaking up game industry assets, mismanaging their funds, and then allowing those assets to go belly up. That’s not a good thing for anyone. Even if you loathe a company like Ubisoft, we need more competition in this industry, not less.

And one such contender has been rising over the years: CD Projekt RED. They gained a bit of notoriety with The Witcher and especially its sequel, but The Witcher 3 has propelled them to the next level. They’ve proven they can make games just as large and intricately detailed as anybody in the business – including Rockstar – and that they can do so with a fraction of the budget and staff members on hand. This has not only made the company financially successful, but their consumer friendly practices have also generated a lot of good will… and the industry as a whole has taken notice, with multiple offers having been made to acquire the company. They’ve all been turned down, of course, but CDPR are no longer a private company. They’re public, meaning there’s ways for companies to wedge themselves in if they play their cards right.

Well, it seems that CDPR have called for an emergency meeting. The gist is that they’re exploring the possibility of buying back around 60 million dollars’ worth of their own shares. I’m not an expert, so maybe this is just a case of the studio wanting to go back to their independent status. However, the urgency of this meeting and what it entails more than likely means they’re preparing to protect themselves against threat of a hostile takeover.  

I’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.

EDIT:

Other reports are now flooding online. Since the early details we broke on Byte-Size Impressions, Neogaf member ‘boskee’ has posted some additional details about the meeting, being held November 29th:

One – Vote on whether or not to allow the company to buy back part of its own shares for 250 million PLN ($64 million)

Two – Vote on whether to merge CD Projekt Brand (fully owned subsidiary that holds trademarks to the Witcher and Cyberpunk games) into the holding company

Three – Vote on the change of the company’s statute.

“Now, the 1st and the 3rd point seem to be the most interesting, particularly the last one. The proposed change will put restrictions on the voting ability of shareholders who exceed 20% of the ownership in the company. It will only be lifted if said shareholder makes a call to buy all the remaining shares for a set price and exceeds 50% of the total vote.

According to the company’s board, this is designed to protect the interest of all shareholders in case of a major investor who would try to acquire remaining shares without offering a ‘decent price’.”

Again, more details will be reported as they become available. 

 

Who IS Batman In The Next Open World Game?

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In the wake of our confirmation that one of the numerous villains you’d be facing in the next open world Batman game is The Judge, there’s still one VERY big question about this game which people have been dying to get confirmation of (you already know if you’ve been listening to the podcast, though).

Originally, I had reported the protagonist under the cowl this time would be ‘Batman’s son’.  As I, myself, am Batman illiterate, I wasn’t aware that this information would have been perceived as controversial.  The outlets which ran my story had decided to slap Damian Wayne’s name on this, but they were jumping the gun, and I spent a good amount of energy attempting to set the record straight.

Honestly, Batman’s son could have been anyone.  Depending on how many ‘universes’ you’re willing to take into consideration:  Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Clark Wayne, Terry McGinnis, Tallant Wayne, Ibn al Xu’ffasch (yeah, I’ve been doing a little research)… and I don’t even know if that exhausts all the possibilities.  You can argue alternate timelines, people he loved LIKE sons, or anyone that’s been ‘developed’ rather than naturally created isn’t a connection that shouldn’t be considered.  But, fact of the matter is, if the game’s development studio is willing to change the face of Batman in gaming from Bruce to… well, someone else… then theoretically, they could go in any direction they please.  As long as the player spends most, if not all of the game as a dude dressed as Batman, will game sales ultimately be affected?  Doubtful.

In light of the recent information that’s come along, however, I made sure to inquire about the true identity of Batman in the new game.

And Damian Wayne it is. 

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To my understanding, Damian is the only TRUE son of Batman in the main continuity, so I guess the devs ARE trying to stay within that particular universe.

With people guessing Damian would be in the new game, I’ve seen opinions split down the middle.  Some just don’t want to lose Kevin Conroy behind the mic, others are too used to seeing Bruce Wayne as the Bat, and some just flat out dislike Damian’s reckless behavior… or at least, reckless when compared to Bruce’s vigilante-in-hiding styling.  On the other hand, there are plenty of others who genuinely prefer the fresh take that Damian has provided to a character that had been established for decades without TOO much change.

For additional news on this game – and there WILL be more – make sure to add bytesizeimpressions.com to your favorites list in your browser, and check out the podcast, which is available to stream or download on this site, or through iTunes Podcasts if you live in North America.  After all, we did break the true identity of this Batman on the podcast first…

 

New Batman Game Still In Development, New Villain Expected

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A few months ago, I reported that a new Batman game may be on the horizon.  I’ve been receiving some messages on Twitter as of late, from people who were wondering if I had additional information about the project.  Specifically, if I was even sure this was going to happen, since my source had revealed this project to me almost a year ago, and E3 has since come and gone with absolutely zero mention of this title (I never did say it was ready for any sort of reveal, though).  Batman VR is still set for release in the not-too-distant future, but that’s not what gamers REALLY want, right?  Right.  They want a new Batman adventure that echo, if not improve upon, the Arkham formula they’ve enjoyed over the last 7 years.

Well, I can confirm this game is still very real, and still very much in development.  And if it’s been in development over the last year without any negative change in trajectory, that’s very, very good news for fans of the franchise.  Of course, knowing the game is in development, while exciting, doesn’t exactly give fans anything to be TRULY excited about… not yet.  But, I think I’ve got just the thing to make you salivate.

But for those of you who aren’t up to speed, here’s what I had previously learned about this project:

The story will take place in the not too distant future, and the primary protagonist is actually Batman’s son.  The city is alleged to be bigger and more populated than ever, which should satisfy the primary complaints that even fans had against Arkham City and Arkham Knight.  The story won’t unfold in the span of a single night, which indicates there MAY be a day-to-night cycle.  It’s unknown if the Batmobile will be playable, but the Batcycle is supposed to be making an appearance as a mode of transportation.  Last but not least, you’ll have opportunities to upgrade the Batcave.

And now, I’ve received confirmation about one of the villains you’ll see in this game.  And it’s a big one, because we haven’t actually seen him appear in any of the prior Batman games.

Well, we TECHNICALLY saw him in Arkham City.

But, enough riddles.  Who’s one of the notable villains you’ll see this time around?

The Judge.

If you’re Batman illiterate, The Judge is the eventual third identity that Harvey Dent (otherwise known as Two-Face) develops.  It’s unknown how this character will be integrated into the game, but if it echoes the source material, he’ll be a vigilante who begins eliminating Gotham’s master criminals with a vengeance.

Keep an eye on this site.  I may have more information to report, as I’ve learned there are villains.  Numerous villains.  Interesting villains.  And you may learn more about them here…

New Batman Game May Be On The Horizon

It’s been an interesting 12 or 13 months for Batman, hasn’t it? Arkham Knight was praised for looking and performing well on consoles, but was nothing short of a disaster on PC. The Batman vs. Superman film was finally released and… well, let’s just leave it at that. The long rumored Batman: Return to Arkham has been confirmed for both Xbox One and PS4, but with buzz of both Superman and Spider-Man games underway, some feared the final nails were being hammered in the Arkham-verse’s coffin. But those anxious to see their favorite crusader with pointy rubber ‘ears’ may be happy to hear their patience could be rewarded with not one, but TWO new games.

Before I continue, I’d like to let everyone know that the following information should be treated strictly as rumor. I know and trust my source, and while this information was reported to him/her in August, things are always subject to change. That said, here’s what they found out:

There is, indeed, a new Batman game in development, and there’s a twist: The story takes place in the not-too-distant future, and the primary protagonist is actually the original Batman’s son. The city will not only be bigger, but will actually show more signs of Gotham’s population than ever before, meaning the ‘city has been evacuated’ plot thread is being left by the wayside (which is smart, because my primary concern with the latter Arkham games is just how empty and lifeless the world feels). The story will also not unfold in the span of a single night (day and night cycles, perhaps?). It’s unknown if the Batmobile will be playable, but it’s said we’ll have access to the Batcycle. As you progress throughout the game, players will have the opportunity to upgrade the Batcave. The biggest question of all is, “Who’s developing this game?” This, unfortunately, was not mentioned. Personally, I don’t believe Rocksteady will be behind it. With enough money being offered it’s certainly possible, but Rocksteady have already expressed a desire to move on.

The second game reportedly follows the Suicide Squad. No surprise considering a feature film is due for release in 2016, but there’s no further information about what this game will feature, or even what stage of development it’s in.

I, and my source, know how the internet reacts to rumors, so they’re willing to vet themselves to well-established media outlets upon request. Contact information is available in the ‘About Byte-Size Impressions’ tab at the top of the site.

So, are you guys ready for more Batman (or Batman’s son, or whoever), or is enough, enough already?

UPDATE 6/7/16:

This may be nothing, but once this story blew up a bit, there were a couple of threads about it on the WB community forums:


You can see clicks I have received from two unique threads. However, when I visit those links now, I get redirected here:


The link itself has ‘moderated content’ in the address, so it seems that WB doesn’t appreciate discussion of this title at this particular point in time.

Which is funny, since other speculative threads for other projects or ideas related to Batman remain, such as Arkham Origins allegedly being remastered for future release.

This isn’t a smoking gun but it’s certainly curious and worth mentioning.

Byte-Size Rumor: Phantom Pain In February?

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A couple of months ago, TheGuardian.com mistakenly ‘revealed’ a release date for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – March 17th, 2015. In a matter of moments, the date had mysteriously vanished, replaced with a far more vague ‘early 2015’. Couple that with Hideo Kojima promising a release in 2015, and what do you get? Well… nothing. Rumors are just rumors and should be treated as such, ESPECIALLY when Kojima is involved. Believing a release date from that man is like expecting Guns ‘N Roses to hit the stage at their slotted time, despite knowing Axl’s penchant for going on ‘whenever he feels like it’.

That said, I’ve received information from a reliable source- who is currently employed by Sony and has recently spoken with a Konami rep – that could lend some credence to the once dismissed rumor: Not only is Q1 of 2015 possible, but The Phantom Pain could appear on retailer shelves as early as this coming February.

While I’m pleased to report rumors as they come in, I’d like to reiterate that this is the sort of thing that everyone should take with a huge grain of salt. The ‘February’ time frame was more of a ‘slip of the tongue’ by the Konami rep, and shouldn’t be treated as conclusive ‘evidence’ that February is, indeed, the actual target date. My work on this site is about maintaining transparency between consumers and the industry, and it would be a disservice to you, my readers, if I didn’t disclose the ‘less than concrete’ nature of what the rep stated.

If this turns out to be true, it’s going to be a busy month for sure, as February already has Bloodborne and The Order pegged for release.

@bytesizeimp

I’m Back – Full Circle

This blog has been in cryostasis since the first quarter of 2014, but that’s about to change. Byte-Size Impressions didn’t have a sizable following by any stretch of the imagination, but so what? While it’s preferable to write for an outlet that provides exposure – more on that in a bit – that’s never been my primary motivation.

My entire life has been devoted to film, video games and writing. Since about 2006, I’ve been writing DVD and Blu-ray reviews for DVDTalk.com. I still am, as a matter of fact, although the amount of time I’m able to devote – as a father and husband with a full time job – has been reduced to a ‘when I have the time’ basis. That’s not the only reason, though: My creative juices were fizzling out. That’s not to say I didn’t give every review my all, because I did. If anything, DVDTalk was the outlet which allowed me the time, patience and understanding to better my writing. As it stands today, I’m pleased with the content I produce, and have even used my skills to help aspiring writers ‘find their voice’ and/or improve their craft. But that’s enough background information: Why did I put this blog on freeze in the first place?

Well, I was directed to the Indiegogo campaign for Pete Dodd, also known as famousmortimer. Basically, he’s the guy that blew the lid off Microsoft’s plan to make the Xbox One a DRM machine. Anyway, he was seeking funds to build his own website. The mission statement was, more or less, to build a website and community where there would be no conflict of interest. This meant no ‘wink wink, nod nod’ relationships with publishers or devs, no paid advertisements from the software makers or hardware pushers, etc. Because there would be nobody to appease, every piece of writing, be it reviews, editorials or otherwise, would be completely transparent. No hidden agenda.

I knew I had to be a part of that. Even in my DVD and Blu-ray reviews, I made it a point to discuss the lack of transparency in Hollywood, or all the bad decisions that were made due to financial motivators, so to do the same in regards to gaming? It was a no brainer. I e-mailed Pete, and it wasn’t long before I was added to the staff. This was about the time I stopped adding content to my blog. Any and all ideas were placed in a mental vault, as to unleash them on Dodd’s website when it was ready. But, as with anything, complications arose and the site kept getting pushed further and further back. Some ideas were timely and had to be ditched, whereas others survived and made the site’s launch in August.

So, why am I back on Byte-Size Impressions?

I’m not going to get into any of the nitty-gritty details, because that wouldn’t be fair to anyone. All I’ll say is that the potential for the site hasn’t been met, and with the way things are going, I doubt that potential will EVER be realized. I did my best to steer things in the right direction, but my thoughts and ideas would seemingly vanish in the ether.

And with that, I’m back on Byte-Size Impressions, ready to continue writing for any and all who are willing to read it. Even if nobody cares enough to do so… it’s not a big deal. This is a passion project of mine, after all, and it doesn’t matter where my writings are posted. Again, while exposure is nice, it isn’t my primary motivation.

The articles I posted at the other site will appear on this blog in the very near future. They won’t be disappearing from where they were originally published, because my intent is not to hurt that place by removing content. They’ll be here, though, because the writing is mine, and nobody ‘owns’ that besides me.

I can’t wait to discuss video games and the gaming industry with you all. Despite not having written here in some time, I love this page, as minimal as it may be.