A survey recently leaked indicating that both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are in development for the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One. Not surprising Arkham Origins is being passed over since it was not well received and is undeniably a black eye on the franchise. While I understand wanting to capitalize on the hype surrounding the launch of Arkham Knight, this seems like a strange remaster. However, even though some have complained about the popularity of remastered games, I think there is huge potential here, especially for franchises looking to expand to next-gen.
A Day Late
This remaster would have been a brilliant piece of revenue generating marketing had they launched it a month or so before the next Batman title releases. I understand that development schedules can run long and rushing any game can lead to a rocky launch which would have in turn potentially hurt sales, but it still feels like a larger opportunity was missed. Even though the title will inevitably launch after Batman Arkham Knight, it could still garner some attention for a variety of reasons.
The Joker Tho
Obviously the Joker may make some appearances in the Arkham Knight, but he certainly isn’t the central figure. And there are already rumors of him showing up, but I doubt it will be in any major way. Both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City have one of the best examples of voice acting and good villain writing in any game. The Joker isn’t just the go-to bad guy in Batman, he is the quintessential villain. He is certainly a selling point for the old games, and a remaster could really amp up his gritty and disturbing appearance.
The launch of both titles together with all their DLC will feel like a massive piece of extra content for those who purchase the Arkham Knight. I’ve already defended the season pass for the game, as it looks to give players a substantial amount of content for what averages out to $7 per piece of the expansion. If they time the release of this remaster well, it can serve as a nice capstone to finishing all the extra content and story of the Arkham Knight. However, it may end up being a “too much of a good thing” scenario, as even I, a huge Far Cry fan, didn’t feel any desire to buy their extra content. Time will well, but I do think remasters can start to serve a better purpose.
For any franchise that is expanding and launching a new title on the next-gen systems, a remaster could be a great way to reinvigorate your fan base and create a more natural hype about the new title. Rather than spend a bunch of money on marketing and hype, spend it on remastering and bundling old titles to resaturate the market with your brand. YouTube channels and Twitch streams can be a great way to refoster brand awareness and excitement about your game. I think, from the way things are going, more remasters are on the way, and if done right, they can be a more rewarding piece of marketing than expensive live action trailers and TV spots.
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