Co-founders Sefton Hill and Jamie Walker are leaving Rocksteady, the studio behind the Batman Arkham games and the upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.
In a statement announcing their departure on the Rocksteady website, Warner Bros. Games’ David Haddad praised the duo’s work, complimenting their commitment to “the highest quality and excellence across all facets of game development”.
He continued: “With Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League nearly finished, they have both decided to leave Rocksteady at the end of 2022 and will begin a new adventure in gaming. We have the utmost respect and gratitude for Jamie and Sefton and wish them all the best in their new endeavour, and like many fans, we look forward to what they do next.”
Meanwhile, Walker and Hill called their decision to leave the company an “emotional” one.
“From the day we founded the company in 2004 all the way to today, Rocksteady has been our life and soul. It has given us the opportunity to do what we love most: make great games with exceptionally talented people. We are so proud of the team here for the games we have all made together, from our first game Urban Chaos, to the much-loved Arkham series, and now the epic Suicide Squad,” they wrote in a joint statement.
“But there is something extra special about Rocksteady that goes beyond the games we make, and everyone who works here feels it. It’s the incredible moments that we’ve shared over the years, the friendships made, and the care this team has for each other that have made this unforgettable journey so special. We believe people wear their Rocksteady T-shirts with pride because of how we treat each other and how it feels to be here. We want to thank the team for their hard work and everything they bring to make this such a great place to be.
“Some of our proudest moments happened because of this team’s energy and talent: getting the chance to work with Warner Bros. and DC on Batman, the wonderful Arkham Games being way more than we could possibly have imagined, the chance to work with our some of our childhood heroes, giving back to the industry we love so much by helping budding games makers, and finally, building a culture here where people can just be themselves and together make great games.
“One very special ingredient in all of this is the Rocksteady fans. Their excitement and support for what we do is the fuel that motivates us to be our best. They are the extended Rocksteady team and we wish them a huge thank you for energising us over the last 18 years! Now with Suicide Squad in safe hands, and the team here stronger than ever, it’s time to hand over the reins.”
Rocksteady’s director of production and founding member Nathan Burlow will be taking on the position of studio director following this news. Meanwhile, Darius Sadeghian will be stepping into the role of studio product director.
“I am very passionate and honoured for the opportunity to continue the leadership of Rocksteady with Darius,” said Burlow, while thanking Hill and Walker for the work they have done for the company since its conception all those years ago.
“My goal is to support our talented, hardworking team, retaining the heart and amazing culture of the studio,” he continued. “We are looking forward to building upon our successes with the upcoming release of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and our future games.”
As for Kill the Justice League, the game was originally due to release this year, but back in March the developer annoucned its launch had been pushed back into 2023.
At this time, Hill stated he understood delays are “frustrating” for fans, but assured everyone the extra time would allow the studio to make “the best game [it] can”.