Batman: Arkham Origins Creators Talk Use of Black Mask

We know only a few details about the upcoming video game Batman: Arkham Origins, but what we know about its plot is that Black Mask has hired eight assassins to take out Batman on Christmas Eve. Fans that are unfamiliar with the character might question why Black Mask is taking center stage in the upcoming prequel in favor of a more well known villain, and developer Warner Bros. Games Montreal is well aware that the character isn’t A-list material.

“We realize that Black Mask is not necessarily as prominent in people’s minds as some other classic Batman villains, so we realize we also need to do work to explain why he’s really cool and make him felt in the game,” creative director Eric Holmes said in an interview with Game Informer. “It’s not something people bring a lot of baggage to when you see the Black Mask, so we have to do the work to make him scary.”

“Black Mask is new money. He’s rich. He’s very, very powerful. He’s made it. He’s known for being brutal and sadistic. And particularly at this point in the Arkham franchise he has enormous resources. He is the number one gang leader in Gotham. And has easily the most power in the city.” 

Like many characters in Batman’s rogures gallery, there has been more than one Black Mask over the years, but Holmes confirmed the original Black Mask Roman Sionis is who you will take on in the game. While Batman might be new to the crimefighting business in the game, Black Mask is a well known underworld player.

“Roman Sionis is suspected for a lot of things, but nothing’s pinned on him,” says Holmes. “The Janus Cosmetics company is his background. He inherited a family business related to cosmetic chemicals and ran it into the ground, and then turned it around into a huge criminal enterprise selling drugs. You see Sionis branding even in Arkham City. The steel mills are Sionis facilities. His money primarily comes from the drug trade.”

“His thing is torture. That is what gets his rocks off, and he’s really good at it.”

Batman: Arkham Origins will be available for the Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC on October 25, 2013.