Warner buys majority stake in Rocksteady

Warner buys majority stake in Rocksteady

By Rob Crossley

February 23rd 2010 at 9:53AM

Batman: Arkham Asylum developer bought by the DC Comics owner

One of the UK’s most exciting and promising game development studios is now owned by the American entertainment empire Warner Bros.

The California-headquartered Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has bought a majority share in the Batman Arkham Asylum developer Rocksteady Studios.

Publisher Eidos had previously acquired a twentyfive per cent stake in the developer, though Warner Bros.' majority share buyout is seperate from this. It means that Warner Bros.' new stake will be of at least 37 per cent equity.

Studio director Jamie Walker said the group is “proud to strengthen our association with WBIE, a world class publisher that we have enjoyed working with since we began developing Batman: Arkham Asylum.”

Last week Walker told Develop that the studio was “proud to be British”.

The move could position Rocksteady as a studio dedicated to developing games based on the Batman franchise, which Warner ultimately owns.

Rocksteady’s games director Sefton Hill said his studio was looking forward to creating more games based on Warner Bros. brands.

Warner Bros. UK’s managing director Josh Berger spoke of his joy at buying out the developer.

“We are delighted to be deepening our relationship with London-based Rocksteady Studios, one of the UK's most respected games developers and 2009 recipient of the VGA’s coveted ‘studio of the year’ award,” he said.

“Rocksteady clearly has the talent, expertise and technology to make great games and we are fortunate to continue working closely with them as we further expand our games portfolio.”

Warner Bros continues to ramp up its videogame operations. Last year it acquired a majority in troubled publisher Midway, two years after acquiring Berkshire-based developer TT Games.