Rocksteady co-founders Sefton Hill & Jamie Walker are leaving the studio, it’s been announced.
In a letter posted to the Rocksteady website, David Haddad, president of WB Games made the announcement.
“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,” the letter reads.
“We have the utmost respect and gratitude for Jamie and Sefton and wish them all the best in their new endeavor, and like many fans, we look forward to what they do next.”
Nathan Burlow, long-time Rocksteady director of production and original founding member of the studio will now become the studio director, and Darius Sadeghian will become the studio product director.
Hill and Walker released a joint statement as part of the announcement and confirmed that their next move in the games space will be “together.”
“Our decision to leave Rocksteady was emotional to say the least! From the day we founded the company in 2004 all the way to today, Rocksteady has been our life and soul.
“Now with Suicide Squad in safe hands, and the team here stronger than ever, it’s time to hand over the reins, and for us to start a new adventure together in games.”
Rocksteady Studios was founded in 2004 by the pair, who were formerly both employed at Argonaut Games. The first release from the studio was Urban Chaos: Riot Response, a first-person shooter that was published by Eidos Interactive for PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
However, the studio would truly rise to prominence with the Batman Arkham series, which began with Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009. Widely called the greatest comic book game of all time by critics, it was a huge success that spawned two direct sequels, Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Knight.
A VR spinoff, Batman: Arkham VR was released in 2017.
In 2020 it was reported by The Guardian that the studio failed to resolve issues related to sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. It was reported that more than half of the female employees of the studio had contacted executives about the issue.
Rocksteady replied to this and told The Guardian, “In 2018 we received a letter from some of our female employees expressing concerns they had at that time, and we immediately took firm measures to address the matters that were raised.
“Over the subsequent two years, we have carefully listened to and learned from our employees, working to ensure every person on the team feels supported. In 2020 we are more passionate than ever to continue to develop our inclusive culture, and we are determined to stand up for all of our staff.”
Later, a letter signed by all female employees of the studio at that time was released stating that they disagreed with The Guardian’s reporting.