The Game Awards are this Thursday, and all websites are trying to guess what major game reveals we can expect at the show. It was rumored that the Batman Arkham series creators Rocksteady were going to be there, and would be showing off a Superman game called Superman: World’s Finest. Rocksteady’s co-founder Sefton Hill shot down that rumor himself, and now the developer of Batman Arkham Origins are under the spotlight, as it seems to be teasing a game based on the Batman Court of Owls comic book story.
WB Montreal Creative Director Patrick Redding, who previously worked on the last two Splinter Cell titles Blacklist and Conviction, as well as Far Cry 2, has been teasing the studio’s next game for a while. He always refers to it as “REDACTED,” and other members of the studio have begun doing the same. WB Montreal’s assistant producer “Double V” posted a tweet praising the game’s development team, accompanied by a picture of a woman wearing a shirt with an owl logo.
[Redacted], best. DevTeam. EVAR. pic.twitter.com/fUV8WCkDnI
— valvez @ home (@valvez) November 16, 2018
This symbol represents the Court of Owls, the secret organization that was introduced by writer Scott Snyder in his run on the New 52 Batman comics in 2011, beginning with Batman issue 2. Its members are all names in Gotham City’s wealthy elite, and all wear owl masks to hide their identities in meetings. Their will is enforced by the Talons, a group of highly trained and basically undead assassins, who can be frozen in stasis and electrified into life when needed.
The Court of Owls are arguably the most significant addition to Batman’s rogues gallery in the past decade. They have made numerous important appearances in various comic book storylines since then, such as the recent DC Rebirth Nightwing series last year, and a spin-off series based on one of their assassins, simply called Talon. They were the antagonists of animated movie Batman vs. Robin, which was based on their first story, and appeared in live-action for the first time in Season 3 of Batman prequel series Gotham. They have only made one appearance in video games so far, as one of the Talons featured in October’s LEGO DC Super Villains.
After the confirmation that not only was Rocksteady not going to be at the Game Awards this year, speculation has naturally turned to the “other” Arkham series developer WB Montreal. After the above tweet went out and a potential Batman Court of Owls game was teased, it was naturally suggested that it may be WB Montreal, not Rocksteady, may be the ones revealing a game at the Game Awards. On Twitter, Patrick Redding admitted that “a few of us from Team [REDACTED]” would be at the event, but then confirmed that they would not be showing anything to public just yet.
… We’re not doing the glamorous part of the job just yet. We’re headed down to meet with our WB partners and showcase the team’s hard work and share our excitement. I know how anxious the fans are to hear something… Please be patient! (2/2)
— Patrick Redding – BlackLivesMatter (@Holesinteeth) December 2, 2018
WB Montreal seems to have a game ready for showing however, even if it’s just for Warner Bros. executives right now. It should also be noted, that if you think that the Court of Owls symbol is just a Batman fan showing off their cool shirt, Redding also tweeted a picture of an owl several days later, further adding fuel to the rumor fire.
At the same time as all this, we also have the connected rumor that the Batman Court of Owls game, or at least a game made by WB Montreal, may already have a release date, or at least a temporary one. If this rumor is to be believed, WB Montreal’s next game will release as soon as next year. This rumor comes from eagle-eyed (or owl-eyed) user est1992 on ResetEra, who spotted that 3D animator Ricardo Alex-Vincent at WB Montreal posted on his LinkedIn page something called “Project 2019.” The posting for this project has since been removed.
Ever since Batman: Arkham Origins shipped in 2013, the only game Warner Bros Montreal has made was the Batgirl: A Matter of Family expansion for Batman: Arkham Knight in 2015. The studio hasn’t released a new game this generation, and was rumored to have had at least two games in production, Suicide Squad and a Batman game starring his son Damien Wayne. These games were teased at the end of both Origins and Knight, but as of yet nothing has come of them.