Warner Montreal (Batman: Arkham Origins) explicitly hiring for Games as a Service (GaaS) experience

Nirolak

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,660
I think most people expected this after the last few revelations, but I think this is the first time it's ever been explicit.

For those not following along thus far, it seems to be an open world co-op Batman game that might not be Damian Wayne anymore.

Warner Montreal said:
WB Games Montréal seeks an exceptionally talented User Researcher who is ready for the challenge of producing a AAA title on the next generation platforms.

Skill Requirements
· Passion for videogames. Knowledge of GaaS a plus.
Source: https://careers.timewarner.com/tgwebhost/jobdetails.aspx?jobId=808750&PartnerId=391&SiteId=36&JobReqLang=1
 

Ryo

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,271
Gaas has so many negative connotations, it doesn't have to be a bad thing, seeing as it is WB though it probably will be.
 
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Nirolak

Nirolak

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,660
Good find.

Bad idea.

(I loved Origins. Can't I just have more of that...!!!)
So originally they were making a Suicide Squad game in the style of Borderlands and a Damian Wayne Batman game in the style of Origins (though more like Knight in that you had a Batcycle you drove around in).

Eventually they canceled both and now are making... a Borderlands or maybe Destiny/The Division style Batman game as far as I can tell. I guess it could be like Ghost Recon instead (in that it's more of a traditional game, but still full four player co-op, with a bunch of post launch stuff and maybe a separate PvP mode).
 

Zelus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
662
I wouldn’t mind as long as it’s something like the Division. I had no problem playing it by myself and felt like playing with somebody would have just added something extra. I do wish the story and presentation had been better and hope they implement it with future GaaS games.
 
Is it still possible that they could have rebooted their Suicide Squad project into this? It seems like the kind of IP that fits in nicely with a GaaS model, though I could see a Batman, Inc.-like take being something that they'd want to focus on given that Batman specifically hasn't tarnished as an IP.
 
Oct 27, 2017
135
Trying to piece together the timeline of development for the Damien Wayne game. So it was meant to be revealed, originally, in December 2016(?) but changes to upper management led to a re-evaluation of the project. There were suggestions of a reboot rather than a total cancellation. The above LinkedIn profile would maybe indicate that it took them a while to thrash out their next idea, starting full production in March 2017...which would leave it a long way off if they didn't use any of the assets from the Damien Wayne title.

Is that more or less the gist of it?
 

AndyVirus

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,118
"the next generation platforms"

I know they've had issues but they're going this entire gen without a game?
 
Apr 11, 2018
755
Sweden
Warner Montreal seems to be having all tons of problems and I wouldn't be surprised if it shows in the next game they make. It seems like everything has been a trouble for them, kind of like my life. Everything from Damian to Suicide Squad to seemingly a GaaS game. Damn. Hopefully their next title does well critically and in terms of revenue. They need it after this.

Honestly if this thing would also be cancelled and / or rebooted, this would be a bigger fiasco than Last Guardian or Versus Final Fantasy in my opinion. Something is wrong.
 

Ninjimbo

Banned
Dec 6, 2017
1,731
Man, this studio showed so much promise after Origins. I hope they can get this game off the ground because hearing about the studio’s turmoil is just messed up.
 

funky

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
7,612
You will need to be as rich as Bruce Wayne to get the loot boxes to be batman now
 
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Nirolak

Nirolak

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,660
Trying to piece together the timeline of development for the Damien Wayne game. So it was meant to be revealed, originally, in December 2016(?) but changes to upper management led to a re-evaluation of the project. There were suggestions of a reboot rather than a total cancellation. The above LinkedIn profile would maybe indicate that it took them a while to thrash out their next idea, starting full production in March 2017...which would leave it a long way off if they didn't use any of the assets from the Damien Wayne title.

Is that more or less the gist of it?
Yes, largely. For a longer form view, this is what I hastily wrote back in June 2017 when attempting to piece this all together:

  • Please note that this is all based on statements, rumors, leaks, and job postings, so there may be some inaccuracies.
  • Warner Montreal was founded in late 2009-early 2010 to work on a Suicide Squad game, but was going to ramp up by making a Batman game first, allowing them to potentially take over that series as well if Rocksteady wanted to do something new.
  • In 2013, they launched Batman: Arkham Origins.
  • Their next project was working on Suicide Squad in earnest, which was sort of like Borderlands, but you played the various members of the Suicide Squad. This was built on top of the Arkham version of UE3.
  • Starting in Summer 2015 or Summer 2016 (it wasn't entirely clear), they also started working on a Damian Wayne Batman game that was meant as a successor to the Arkham series. This was also built on the Arkham version of UE3, and while it focused on new characters for both heroes and villains, and switched things like the Batmobile to the Batcycle among other such changes, it sounded pretty similar to how Arkham games had worked historically.
  • In late 2016, Kotaku revealed that Suicide Squad was canceled among both Warner Interactive and especially Warner Montreal getting new management. This was despite all previous games in the genre selling 10+ million copies (or sometimes significantly more, see Diablo, Borderlands, The Division, and Destiny) and basically all of them having major issues, so presumably the faith in it was very low. The studio was switched to entirely focus on Damian Wayne Batman at this time.
  • Kotaku tipped that Batman might be ready to be unveiled at the 2016 TGAs, but that this changed relatively last minute due to new management also being unhappy with Damian Wayne Batman, causing a lot of chaos at the studio despite it being their only focus.
  • In early 2017, Warner Bros put up a job posting for a new manager to work at Warner Bros' headquarters in Calirfornia and oversee Warner Montreal's new AAA online service game focus. This didn't seem to jive with the design of Damian Wayne Batman based upon what we knew, so it wasn't clear it was the same game.
  • Back in May, Kotaku's Jason Schreier mentioned that Damian Wayne Batman had been rebooted, though we didn't know to what extent.
  • Now, new job postings reveal that Warner Montreal's next game "open-world AAA title based on one of DC Universe's most popular IPs" is an Unreal Engine 4 game. This is notable as engine switches often result in throwing out almost everything about a game technology wise.
  • However, these same jobs also list a lot of things about being a multiplayer heavy (or centric) game and have job postings for things like microtransaction economies (they mention consumables).
  • It's worth noting that Rocksteady's next game is also on Unreal Engine 4, so Warner Montreal presumably sharing their technology base with them again.
  • Rocksteady's job postings have also given some hints at being a service game lately. They have lots of jobs surrounding online programming, metagame design, and perhaps most interestingly, they're building a large dedicated weapon artist team, which only really makes sense for first person shooters (it's nigh assuredly not this) or a third person game where you collect tons of weapons as loot (this would fit with making the types of games Rocksteady does into a service game). As such, it's possible that Warner Montreal and Rocksteady are also sharing some design goals going forward again.
  • The reason I bother mentioning the above is that Warner Bros just opened a new office in New York dedicated to making service game backends for titles like Injustice 2 and unspecified future service games. Two of those games are very likely Warner Montreal's next game and Rocksteady's next game.
  • Given the complete technology shift and general game reboot of Warner Montreal's next game, it's very possible we won't see them ship another project until 2019-2020 despite their last game coming out in October 2013. Part of the reason I mentioned Rocksteady is that it's possible WB Montreal would have a big head start technology wise due to the work Rocksteady has been doing with UE4 (assuming they're making a similar product), and thus the game could come out in 2018, but I would definitely not recommend expecting that to happen.
  • It's also very possible the game is no longer about Damian Wayne or plays like Arkham anymore. It's unclear what, if anything, actually remains at this point.
  • Again, this is based on a mix of official reports, rumors, leaks, and job postings, so things here could easily be wrong or change. That said, Warner Montreal is exceptionally leaky, so maybe we'll find out something more soon.
Since then, we've had a reports that Batman is now a co-op game (see the LinkedIn above), and is probably not Damian Wayne anymore, suggesting that they likely did throw out most of their work when they switched engines.

For example, from Jason:

Last I heard, the Damian Wayne game was changed to be a different Batman game. I can't say for sure what they're doing, tho
 

Kemono

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
2,247
That means nothing. Witcher 3 is technically GAAS too.

But after that Middle-earth: Shadow of War stunt i'm not holding my breath.
 

Dust

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,613
Just give me final Batman game based on Beyond and then you can do what the fuck you want.
 

Crossing Eden

Member
Oct 26, 2017
21,563
i don't see how this is bad if the game feel complete at release

if
Most games do. The idea that we're getting incomplete video games is to put it very bluntly, bullshit. Usually the only argument supporting that idea is aggressive stupidity and fear mongering. Rather than the reality. Kinda like how SP games are supposed to be dead despite 2017 being filled with critically and commercially successful SP games.
 

Gxgear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,082
Vancouver
GaaS is going to ruin so many mid-tier companies when they realize people only have time to be occupied by a couple of them. It's exactly what happened with MMOs yet they're still diving right on in.
 

Crossing Eden

Member
Oct 26, 2017
21,563
GaaS is going to ruin so many mid-tier companies when they realize people only have time to be occupied by a couple of them.
This is another example of fearmongering that doesn't represent the reality as this is not in anyway shape or form true. As many GaaS games exist at the same time during any given year, and many of those are successful due to having different audiences and mechanics. On top of this, the GaaS titles that weren't successful financially, wouldn't automatically be more successful if they were different.
 

Gxgear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,082
Vancouver
This is another example of fearmongering that doesn't represent the reality as this is not in anyway shape or form true. As many GaaS games exist at the same time during any given year, and many of those are successful due to having different audiences and mechanics. On top of this, the GaaS titles that weren't successful financially, wouldn't automatically be more successful if they were different.
How is it fearmongering when we're already seeing examples? The big publishers may get away with fumbling Destiny, Battlefront, SoT, or Shadow of Mordor, but a smaller one won't.
 
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Crossing Eden

Member
Oct 26, 2017
21,563
How is it fearmongering when we're already seeing examples? The big publishers may get away with fumbling Destiny, Battlefront, or Shadow of Mordor, but a smaller one won't.
It's a case by case basis, as I said, there's no guarantee that if a dev making a GaaS title instead made a traditional title that the traditional one would've been more successful financially.
 

SageShinigami

Member
Oct 27, 2017
16,431
I'm surprised WB hasn't shut down the studio after having two projects now go into dev hell.
Speculative reasons why they might not have done that:

1.) Location: Montreal is still a fairly cheap place to develop games. If it were somewhere more expensive, then they could move. But there aren't that many places they can go when you're already in a "cheap" location.
2.) Effectiveness: They're still somewhat effective, as they turned around the DLC content in Arkham Knight in fairly short order, contributing to the profitability of that game.
3.) There's also a good chance they're helping Rocksteady with their game.

And ultimately, I'm not sure if this project is that bad off. There are other people who can speculate better, but if this game was already a Batman game, and it's just being reworked into another Batman game? How much did you have to scrap? I bet you can keep the city and the villains and the combat. If its a Bat family game, you're creating new characters and altering the combat slightly for each one, and that takes time...but nowhere near how much work it'd be to start from scratch.
 

Gxgear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,082
Vancouver
It's a case by case basis, as I said, there's no guarantee that if a dev making a GaaS title instead made a traditional title that the traditional one would've been more successful financially.
We've seen more stumbles than success stories. Personally I see a running parallel with how MMOs imploded, but if you don't that's fine. Time will tell.
 

SageShinigami

Member
Oct 27, 2017
16,431
GaaS is going to ruin so many mid-tier companies when they realize people only have time to be occupied by a couple of them. It's exactly what happened with MMOs yet they're still diving right on in.
GaaS has a more wide ranging definition than what you're thinking. The Witcher 3 was GaaS. Assassin's Creed Origins was GaaS. While those are long games, they can be completed without forcing you to come back to them endlessly.
 
Oct 27, 2017
135
Yes, largely. For a longer form view, this is what I hastily wrote back in June 2017 when attempting to piece this all together:


Since then, we've had a reports that Batman is now a co-op game (see the LinkedIn above), and is probably not Damian Wayne anymore, suggesting that they likely did throw out most of their work when they switched engines.

For example, from Jason:
Thanks for this. I'd certainly be up for an open world, co-op Batman game involving the wider Batfamily, if that's what it ends up being. I'm curious as to whether or not the Squad team has joined development of the Batman title. After two misfires from separate teams, you wonder if the higher ups at Warner want to put some serious resources behind a single title and try to get one game out the door.
 

PR_rambo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,754
I wish they'd make that Gotham by Gaslight game.

I won't bury the idea of a GaaS Batman but I'm not excited about it either.
 

Jasper

Member
Mar 21, 2018
551
Netherlands
"the next generation platforms"

I know they've had issues but they're going this entire gen without a game?
Well if they last 'rebooted' their project in 2017, then 2020 is not an unrealistic expectation of when they'll be ready to release this game. And next-gen consoles could very well be here by then.

That gen will be so GaaSed up I'm sure gamers will get sick of it at some point:
Ubisoft - Division 2
Activision - Destiny 3
EA - Anthem
Take Two - Red Dead Online?/Hangar 13's next game?
Square Enix - Avengers
WB - WB Montreal's game, maybe even Rocksteady's game as well
Bethesda - ??? (will Rage 2 fit this bill? perhaps Arkane Austin's next game?)
 

Stygr

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
7,289
Well if they last 'rebooted' their project in 2017, then 2020 is not an unrealistic expectation of when they'll be ready to release this game. And next-gen consoles could very well be here by then.

That gen will be so GaaSed up I'm sure gamers will get sick of it at some point:
Ubisoft - Division 2
Activision - Destiny 3
EA - Anthem
Take Two - Red Dead Online?/Hangar 13's next game?
Square Enix - Avengers
WB - WB Montreal's game, maybe even Rocksteady's game as well
Bethesda - ??? (will Rage 2 fit this bill? perhaps Arkane Austin's next game?)
Ubisoft has Siege, Wildlands and For Honor.
 

Jasper

Member
Mar 21, 2018
551
Netherlands
Ubisoft has Siege, Wildlands and For Honor.
For Honor and Siege are full-blown multiplayer games, not sure they're the kind of game we're talking about here. Those games have always been about player engagement etc. etc. Ghost Recon Wildlands definitely seems to have taken the step from singleplayer franchise to more GaaS model.

I was trying to list the games that'll likely be next-gen, but then I guess Division 2 would have to be cross-gen or something.