According to Rocksteady’s Sefton Hill, Batman: Arkam Asylum has moved more copies by including fewer features.
“It’s easy to see how people fall into the trap of having so many features. It’s natural to equate features with quality, because that’s all you’ve got to go on at the beginning of the project,” he said in an interview with Gamasutra. “Quality can be a little bit harder to quantify…I think it’s easier to say, ‘All these features are going to make it great,’ rather than, ‘We’re going to have less features, but those features are going to be really good.’ It’s harder to convince someone that that’s going to be the case.”
Instead of packing Arkham Asylum full of mediocre content, the team focused on polishing and perfecting a few key features, making sure not to include anything that would “compromise the quality of the other components.” It’s a move that paid off, both critically and commercially – Batman: Arkham Asylum has moved more than 2 million units and boasts a current Metacritic score of 91, a rating that denotes “universal acclaim.”
“You want to do less,” explained Hill, “but do amazingly well, rather than do more and have a load of average stuff at the end of the day. There are too many games out there that deliver lots of average content.”
“We wanted to make sure that what we deliver and what you play is of the highest possible quality.”