In response to the rise of the pandemic last summer, which ended up cancelling a ton of big in-person events, DC Comics announced it would present a one-of-a-kind, 24-hour fan festival called DC FanDome. Not knowing what to expect, fans were promised a full day’s worth of announcements, teasers, panels and more from all areas of the DC Universe. DC FanDome saw big name stars appear, exciting reveals through the main event, as well as some game announcements.
Even before the event itself, news started breaking that a new Batman video game might be announced, and might even be set in the Arkham games universe, started by Rocksteady Studios’ Arkham Asylum. Ultimately, the DC FanDome event revealed Gotham Knights, a new adventure from WB Games Montreal that will be set separate from the Arkham universe, in a world where Batman has died. This new open-world action RPG would let players protect Gotham City as Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood, or Tim Drake’s Robin. Now, in 2021, fans are wondering if there will be a similar DC FanDome event slated for this year.
The question on a lot of fans’ minds is whether DC Comics will orchestrate another massive DC FanDome for 2021. While nothing has been confirmed, the answer will most likely be yes. DC FanDome in 2020 pulled in 22 millions views globally, so it was obviously a popular event. It would be a no brainer for DC to look to capitalize on the potential that a second event could have.
Right now, DC Comics is as strong as ever. There are plenty of properties that could be shown off to fans at a 2021 DC FanDome, especially when it comes to DC’s film and television projects, which are a large part of its public image. When it comes to films, fans are going to get The Suicide Squad in August 2021, The Batman is planned for March 2022, and The Flash is scheduled for November 2022. Factor in all the TV shows between The CW and HBO Max, and there would definitely be enough content to warrant a whole event.
Plus, the first DC FanDome had plenty to show off for movies, comics, cosplays, games, and more. There was actually so much content planned for the event that DC FanDome had to be split in half over an August and September date. If DC FanDome were to make a return this year, the organizers could better manage the schedule, and could plan it over a whole weekend instead of just one 24-hour period.
Since many events are still being postponed or cancelled because of the pandemic, large events will still need to cater to a mostly online world. Avoiding huge in-person conventions seems like the right idea for now, another reason for DC to focus on a digital alternative. Warner Bros. has already even hinted at DC FanDome becoming a yearly occurrence by saying that 2020’s event would be “hopefully the first of many.”
At this point, it’s almost guaranteed that Gotham Knights won’t come out before the next possible DC FanDome. WB Games Montreal was planning to release the game in 2021, but no official time frame has been given yet. In all likelihood, Gotham Knights could very much be delayed into 2022. It’s no doubt that developing a game during a pandemic will have its setbacks, so it could be directly affecting the team behind Gotham Knights.
Especially if it doesn’t release in the first half of 2021, Gotham Knights would probably show up at a 2021 DC FanDome. New gameplay could be shown off, an official release date could be revealed, or the developers could even launch a playable demo if the game was finished.
However, if Gotham Knights does end up getting delayed, the event could still give an update on its development status. More information could even be revealed about some of the developer’s gameplay decisions, like how detective work is a multi-night process in Gotham Knights. Since a delayed game doesn’t always signify trouble, the extra time could give WB Games Montreal space to refine the core gameplay mechanics for co-op play, detective work, and the game’s multiple protagonists.
WB Games Montreal is also very aware of the debate over microtransactions in games, and as a response has promised a bunch of free in-game content to expand the game’s offerings. Already, Gotham Knights is planning to release with a big range of character skins. More details could be revealed about other free included content, or any planned DLC.
In any case, fans can expect to see a bit more information about Gotham Knights sometime this year. Since a second DC FanDome would probably take place after the release of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, it would also makes sense for fans to hear more about the Arkhamverse sequel, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Even though Rocksteady Studios’ Suicide Squad game is set to launch in 2022, timing a reveal to coincide with the film’s release could drum up extra hype for the project.
Additionally, while Ed Boon appeared during the 2020 DC FanDome to discuss the making of NetherRealm’s Injustice games, no news was given about a possible Injustice 3. NetherRealm has a lot of potential in developing an Injustice 3 on the heels of Mortal Kombat 11, especially with the possible improvements that the new generation of consoles could allow. DC fans and gamers could hear an announcement about this title, or possible other games at a new FanDome.
After the lukewarm reception to 2015’s Arkham Knight, many fans have been eager to dive back into the streets of Gotham, and WB Games Montreal’s take on the infamous city has driven up excitement for Gotham Knights. While the DC Comics films and games release dates are obviously separate, Matt Reeves’ The Batman was originally scheduled to release in October 2021, which could provide a clue to when Gotham Knights could release. If DC Comics originally hoped for the two Batman properties to coincide, there is still a possibility that fans could get Gotham Knights this fall.
Either way, 2020’s DC FanDome was definitely popular enough that DC might give it another go. Even though the company is scaling back production on comics, there is still plenty of opportunity for the event. Who knows? Fans could even get a game (or in-game content) about Wonder Woman for the heroine’s 80th anniversary. With nothing confirmed as of yet, fans will just have to sit tight for more information to come their way.
Gotham Knights is planned to release on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S in 2021.