Warner Montreal's next game seemingly goes UE3->UE4, sounds very online service gamey

#1
So, since most people probably haven't been following along, here's a quick recap of everything, including the new stuff.

Recap + New Stuff:
  • 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) despite 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 and 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.
  • 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) service 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 completely 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. The other reason I mentioned Rocksteady though is that it's possible they have a big head start technology wise due to the work Rocksteady has been doing with UE4 and 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.
Some references for job postings:
https://careers.timewarner.com/tgwe...d=787003&PartnerId=391&SiteId=36&JobReqLang=1
https://careers.timewarner.com/tgwe...d=786740&PartnerId=391&SiteId=36&JobReqLang=1
https://careers.timewarner.com/tgwe...d=786738&PartnerId=391&SiteId=36&JobReqLang=1
https://careers.timewarner.com/tgwe...d=786737&PartnerId=391&SiteId=36&JobReqLang=1
https://careers.timewarner.com/tgwe...d=786725&PartnerId=391&SiteId=36&JobReqLang=1
 
#4
Hasn't there been speculation that they revived Suicide Squad?
It's certainly not impossible this is about a new game, yes, though there's seemingly not much about the old game in terms of job postings, so I think at this point it's most plausible that they just merged the concepts from the two projects.

Like, maybe you play as Batman characters in a more online focused Borderlands-style game (so more Destiny/The Division-ish instead) and can be either heroes or villains.
 
#15
It's incredible that this studio has only put out Origins in the span of 7 years.
The biggest issue is that the market changes faster than the average AAA game development cycle these days, so you have to be very good at thinking ahead to stay relevant.

If your project hits delays on top of the standard 3-4 year development cycle, it's all the worse.

A lot of publishers just launch a game that comes out and does below expectations (or below the expectations of when they greenlit the game), but Warner seemingly would rather just kill projects early. Maybe Mad Max had a big influence on that when it tanked.
 
Feb 7, 2005
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#29
I meant what was specifically bad about the game.
Strangely, we never found out much about it. There was a concept art leak or two, and as Nirolak mentioned, it was supposed to be a co-op-based game with a lot of loot for weapons and equipment, but what form the game itself was taking has remained mysterious.
 

ezekial45

I have assigned to you one day for each year its punishment will last.
Aug 4, 2006
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#31
Man, what the hell is the matter with WBMon? Cancelling two games back to back is not a good look at all. They really need to get their act in order and find proper guidance and direction for this next project. This is ridiculous.

And I say this as someone that believes Arkham Origins is secretly the best game in the series.
 
Feb 19, 2013
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Egypt
#36
They were originally two projects, but when Suicide Squad was canceled, they seemed to decide to work on one very large game at a time. Not sure what's currently going on though.
Isn't the studio like +500 developer or something ?. That's a bit too many to be put on one game, I always thought for the most part that after the cancellation of Suicide Squad, that they would be doing 2 batman games at the same time to cut on the development time of sequels.
 
#40
Isn't the studio like +500 developer or something ?. That's a bit too many to be put on one game, I always thought for the most part that after the cancellation of Suicide Squad, that they would be doing 2 batman games at the same time to cut on the development time of sequels.
A lot of that staff is Warner's global QA team IIRC, so the number of developers is closer to 300 or so.

But for service loot games, Destiny 2 has over double the 500 total on one title.
 
Feb 19, 2013
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#43
A lot of that staff is Warner's global QA team IIRC, so the number of developers is closer to 300 or so.

But for service loot games, Destiny 2 has over double the 500 total on one title.
That makes sense, though I am still unsure if they should really be doing something like Destiny/TheDivision etc. I mean yeah coming from revenue side of things, it will be something quite big and successful, but it is not what I wanted to see from them, or anyone expected from them.
 
#44
Sep 2, 2014
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#47
Yeah... I'll say this isn't coming out for quite a few years.
Wow. The entire backbone needs to be (re)built on top of the engine transition, may as well just come out with the statement that you scrapped everything and started all over. That's going to be years, two at minimum but far more most likely.
 
#48
I went to take another look, and the studio now has 17 job openings, 15 of which have the word "Senior", "Lead", or "Director" in the title: http://wbgamesmontreal.com/en/jobs

One of the two that didn't is the above "build this entire system from the ground up" job.

I wonder if they had a huge exodus of talent, or if people were just mass fired.