In somewhat breaking news, a member of management over at Time Warner has confirmed that, yes, a new instalment in the Arkham series of games will rear its potentially glorious head this year. There's a transcript of his statement over at Yahoo! Finance, but we'll save you the trouble and cut straight to the pertinent bit:
"And we also have a strong games release this year, which will include the next release in the Batman Arkham franchise. So all in all, we expect Warners to post another very strong year in 2013. And with a little luck, the year should be as good or maybe even a little bit better than 2012."
Huzzah! However, gaming blog VG247 have claimed they have sources who in turn claim that this third instalment won't be developed by Rocksteady.
RUMOURS. They have the potential to utterly ruin whatever scant gestating joy we were going to suck from the desiccated husk of this news. Let's look at the facts: there's a new Arkham game coming out this year. That's it. That's all we actually know, and we've only known it for, at most, ten hours.
If you find out you're having a kid ... then you don't care when it's coming out, although to be fair, you MIGHT care who the father is.
If you find out you're having a kid, provided you've been dying to have a kid, then you don't care when it's coming out (of a human female, not a game studio), although to be fair, you MIGHT care who the father is. And at this stage, if you care to buy into the rumour mill, it might not be Rocksteady.
The Arkham series is undeniably fantastic, and Arkham City did a superb job of embiggening everything that needed embiggening from Arkham Asylum: a bigger world, bigger and better combat, bigger and (arguably) better plot. But where Arkham City really shined was its ability to capture the scope and weight of the Batman experience. Apart from the (in this critic's opinion) narrative misstep of cramming in every villain possible, it really did feel like you were Batman. A feeling I carry with me everywhere I go, which might explain why public transport officers hate me so much.
So yes, perhaps Rocksteady won't be making Arkham 3, and instead will be working on their rumoured silver age Batman prequel (which would be incredible, incidentally). Perhaps they'll make both. Either way, it is officially too soon to get whatever manner of undergarment you wear in anything resembling a twist. We'll report on any further updates as they occur. Go and run a nice hot bath.
By Paul Verhoeven