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New Batman video game a major hit, G.I. Joe game disappoints

BatmanArkham Warner Bros. may not have a new Batman movie this year, but the Caped Crusader is turning out to be the biggest thing in Hollywood-licensed video games.

Batman: Arkham Asylum sold 593,000 units in August according to NPD Group, which tracks industry sales. It's the biggest first-month sales for any video game this year based on a Hollywood property and particularly impressive given that Arkham Asylum was released Aug. 25, meaning NPD only tracked its sales for five days.

Warner said last week that Arkham Asylum, which received stellar reviews, had sold nearly 2 million units worldwide through Sept. 8, a very strong launch for a video game.

Though Warner Bros. didn't publish the game, it will benefit financially from Arkham Asylum in two ways. As the licenser to publisher Eidos, it receives royalties on game sales. In addition, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the studio's video game publishing unit, handled sales and marketing in the United States on behalf of Eidos and gets a percentage of the game's domestic revenue for those services.

Some in the video game industry criticized Warner Bros. last year for failing to release a video game alongside the hugely successful "The Dark Knight." Electronic Arts had started development on a Dark Knight game but scrapped it because of production problems. However, Arkham Asylum, which features an original story in which Batman is trapped in the prison that houses many of his most dangerous foes, has been extremely well received by reviewers and seems to have benefited from a release in the historically barren month of August, when an annual sequel to Madden NFL usually scares off all potential competitors.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the only other major video game based on a Hollywood property to be released in August, was a flop. Electronic Arts' adaptation of the Paramount film sold just 136,000 units all month despite being released Aug. 3. Hasbro, maker of the G.I. Joe toys, was the primary licenser to EA, though Paramount had an interest in the video game and other related merchandise.

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: A scene from Batman: Arkham Asylum. Credit: Eidos.

Comments () | Archives (4)

Rule #1 for making video game tie-ins to movies is that the game should not share the same plot as the movie. Who wants to replay the same story they already watched?

Too bad 95% of video game tie-ins ignore Rule #1 and then wonder why the game does poorly. This game did everything right.

You know the reason the game did well was because it WASN'T a Hollywood rush job. It was made by a team that wanted to make a good Batman game and not by some suits who wanted a movie tie in. Every gamer knows that movie based games suck.

Well this is easy - Batman was a great game, GI was not.
Justice was served.

I don't understand how you catagorize this game as a hollywood tie in.

It has nothing to do with the Christopher Nolan Batman movies.

This game is a stand alone product that wraps up 70 years of Batman methos in one, and does an awesome job of it.

If you pay attention you will see design elements from the comics, cartoon, and even the tim burton series.

We even get treated to the voices of Mark Hamil and Kevin Conroy who have been doing Batman and Jokers voice since 1992.

If I had to sum it up I would say this game in style is a cross between the previous spiderman games in fighting mechanincs, and Metal Gear in stealth and tactics. Mix that with the best grafx on the system todate and an amazing story to boot and you have on hell of a game.


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