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The Dark Knight (Cancelled 2008 Movie Tie-In Video Game)

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Batman Dark Knight CANCELLED!-005:14

Batman Dark Knight CANCELLED!-0

Video showing the various environments and objects that were to be featured in the game, along with a game sequence test.

The Dark Knight (also known as Batman: Dark Knight) is a cancelled action video game that was loosely based on the film of the same name. It was unofficially announced in the summer of 2007 to be developed by Pandemic Studios as an open-world game. The game's existence was unofficially confirmed by actor Gary Oldman on July 17th, 2008. Oldman, who played the character Lt. Jim Gordon in the film, was set to reprise his role as his respective character in the game. In an interview, he mentioned that the game was "in the works" and that the developers were working hard to create a seamless action game.[1] Oldman also said that a lot of effort went into getting Batman's gliding abilities to work fluidly and smooth. Old man didn't mention release dates or publishers, but anonymous sources stated that the game was a secret project between Electronic Arts and Pandemic Studios and was to be released for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Development was handed to Pandemic Brisbane, but soon ran into problems as many of the senior developers had never worked on such a game. The game engine for Saboteur was chosen, but was troublesome as it proved to not suit an open-world game. Regardless, development continued but engine updates only made the game worse. The addition of an HDR lighting solution that took seven months to implement, for instance caused the game's framerate to slow down to five frames per second and crash the development hardware within minutes of loading. Level design tools weren't made available until seven months in development and management was making decisions behind the lead developers' backs which were later reversed once the kits were ready to use.

Pandemic brought more people, mostly through private contractors, in to help finish the game, but it was clear that it wouldn't be completed in time to coincide with the film's release in July. The decision was made to push the release date back to December to be launched along with the DVD release of the film. By September, alpha testing was supposed to begin, but the game was in very bad shape and it was clear that the game wouldn't make the December deadline. In the end, the game was cancelled and roughly twenty employees were let go in the aftermath.[2]

Pandemic Studios Brisbane was shut down February 2009 and Pandemic Studios Los Angeles followed in November. The cancellation led to The Dark Knight being the only Batman film to never be given a video game adaptation. A Newsweek article mentioned that the lack of a tie-in game may have caused and estimated $101 million in missed revenue. Despite its troubled development, very little is known about the gameplay itself. Screenshots of in-game environments were leaked in January 2009, but no playable prototypes or gameplay videos have surfaced since then. Due to the closure of the studio, it's possible that the remains of the game are either left completely abandoned or destroyed. Eventually, in 2009, an open-world Batman title would be released, as Batman: Arkham Asylum, developed by Rocksteady Studios.

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