Rocksteady dissects Batman: Arkham City's controversial ending

Obviously this story about the end of Arkham City contains SPOILERS! You have been warned!

The final moments of Batman: Arkham City saw the (supposed) demise of the franchise's greatest villain, Joker. But more than just a cheesy “shock” moment to get fans talking, Rocksteady recently told CVG it had Joker's fate sealed from the beginning and, for them, there was really no better way to complete the story.

“There were no dissenting voices, as long as it was done in a proper way, as long as it was clear that Batman didn't go out to kill him - that's never what Batman would do,” Hill explained, recalling early conversations with DC Comics, Warner Bros. and Rocksteady developers. “Joker being responsible for his own downfall because he wasn't able to resist stabbing Batman in the back was something we thought would be a nice poetic end for him."

Hill said Joker's death was something the studio planned “fairly early on”, and that it was the natural conclusion to a story that saw the grinny villain poisoning Batman in order to find a cure for a disease he'd contracted from the previous game.

“We knew people would be thinking: 'obviously they're not going to kill Batman or Joker, right?' We felt killing Joker was a really striking end. It was almost taboo, like it was something we could never do. That would be interesting,” Hill said.

As for Catwoman's final decision – that is, to save Batman or get the hell out of dodge – Hill admitted that “will she, won't she” ending was more of a last-minute decision, but that it was too good to pass up.

Read the full interview, including Hill's musing's on missing multiplayer, the UK game industry and how Arkham City has a few more secrets left in it, over at CVG now.

Matt Bradford wrote news and features here at GamesRadar+ until 2016. Since then he's gone on to work with the Guinness World Records, acting as writer and researcher for the annual Gamer's Edition series of books, and has worked as an editor, technical writer, and voice actor. Matt is now a freelance journalist and editor, generating copy across a multitude of industries.