Rocksteady Studios

Rocksteady Studios Limited is a British video game developer based in London, England. Founded on 13 December 2004, the studio is best known for its work in the Batman: Arkham series. The company is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Rocksteady Studios Limited
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
Founded13 December 2004; 16 years ago (2004-12-13)
Founders
  • Jamie Walker
  • Sefton Hill
Headquarters,
England
Key people
Products
Number of employees
245[1] (2020)
ParentWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (2010–present)
Websiterocksteadyltd.com

HistoryEdit

Rocksteady Studios was founded on 13 December 2004, by Jamie Walker and Sefton Hill, formerly employed by the previously closed Argonaut Games as creative director and head of production, respectively.[2][3] Several other Argonaut employees were also hired.[2] SCi Entertainment (later renamed Eidos) was a founding investor in the studio, holding 25.1% of the company's shares.[2][4]

Rocksteady's first release was the 2006 first-person shooter Urban Chaos: Riot Response, developed using the Havok engine and published by Eidos Interactive for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. After Eidos obtained the rights to make a Batman game in spring 2007, they approached Rocksteady who presented their take on the Batman licence, and by May 2007, they had begun developing the concept of Batman: Arkham Asylum, with full production beginning in September 2007.[5][6] The game's commercial and critical success led publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) to acquire an undisclosed majority stake in Rocksteady.[7][8] Eidos retained its 25.1% stake.[4] Rocksteady later became wholly owned by WBIE.[9]

In August 2020, Rocksteady announced their next game titled Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, with plans to reveal details at the "DC FanDome" event later that month.[10] A Suicide Squad game had been teased at the end of Batman: Arkham Origins (developed by WB Games Montreal), and in the years since Batman: Arkham Knight was released, Rocksteady had been rumoured to be working on a Suicide Squad game.[11] There had also been rumours that Rocksteady had been working on a Superman game, but which they had denied.[12]

Allegations of misconductEdit

The Guardian reported in August 2020 that the studio had failed to address issues related to sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour that more than half of the female employees had written to the studios executives about in a November 2018 letter. Such actions had included "slurs regarding the transgendered community", "discussing a woman in a derogatory or sexual manner with other colleagues", and sexual harassment "in the form of unwanted advances, leering at parts of a woman’s body, and inappropriate comments in the office".[13] The only action the studio appear to had taken since was a training seminar, and the inaction from the management led to several of the signatories leaving the company. After events at Ubisoft in July and August 2020, The Guardian had learned of these issues at Rocksteady, and after contacted the company, the management acted quickly to arrange an all-hands meeting to address the issues brought up in the letter. Rocksteady said to The Guardian, "In 2018 we received a letter from some of our female employees expressing concerns they had at that time, and we immediately took firm measures to address the matters that were raised. Over the subsequent two years we have carefully listened to and learned from our employees, working to ensure every person on the team feels supported. In 2020 we are more passionate than ever to continue to develop our inclusive culture, and we are determined to stand up for all of our staff."[13]

Games developedEdit

Year Title Platform(s)
2006 Urban Chaos: Riot Response PlayStation 2, Xbox
2009 Batman: Arkham Asylum macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
2011 Batman: Arkham City macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
2015 Batman: Arkham Knight Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2016 Batman: Arkham VR Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
2022 Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Stats". Rocksteady Studios. Archived from the original on 24 July 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Fahey, Rob (17 January 2005). "Roll Call back on track as SCi funds new development studio". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on 3 September 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  3. ^ Prell, S. (22 November 2014). "Three years later, Calendar Man reveals Arkham City easter egg". Engadget. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b MCV Staff (23 February 2010). "Eidos retains 25% stake in Rocksteady". MCV.
  5. ^ Snider, Mike (25 August 2009). "The rest of the story: 'Batman: Arkham Asylum'". USA Today. Archived from the original on 5 April 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  6. ^ Graft, Kris (19 October 2009). "Rocksteady's Sefton Hill Unmasks Batman: Arkham Asylum". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  7. ^ Plunkett, Luke (23 February 2010). "Warner Buys Batman: Arkham Asylum Devs". Kotaku.
  8. ^ Martin, Matt (23 February 2010). "Warner acquires majority stake in Rocksteady Studios". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on 29 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Company". Warner Bros. Archived from the original on 30 June 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  10. ^ Good, Owen S. (7 August 2020). "Suicide Squad game in the works from Batman Arkham maker Rocksteady". Polygon.
  11. ^ Rocksteady Announces Suicide Squad Game - IGN, retrieved 7 August 2020
  12. ^ "Rocksteady and Their Canceled Superman Game That Was Rejected by WB Games". Comic Years. 27 April 2020. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  13. ^ a b Hern, Alex (18 August 2020). "Games firm Rocksteady accused of inaction over staff harassment". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2020.

External linksEdit