An officially licensed Dark Knight game does exist – according to both an insider at EA studio Pandemic and Batman movie actor Gary Oldman.
No evidence of the game tie-in has been offered by either Electronic Arts or franchise owner Warner Bros.
The movie release has smashed Box Office records to take over $400m – and actor Heath Ledger is widely tipped to win a posthumous Oscar for his portrayal of The Joker.
However, an EA insider told the Associated Press that the title was in development at Pandemic Studios – speaking under the condition of anonymity.
In addition, Gary Oldman – who plays Gotham City police officer James Gordon in the movie – said in a recent interview that he had seen a tiny little piece” of the official game.
He described a sequence with Batman ‘realistically gliding across rooftops’. Oldman also said the game is supposed to feel like it "doesn’t stop and start."
According to AP: ‘Speculation about the cause for the disappearing act has included missed deadlines, Heath Ledger’s death, questionable quality and poor sales projections.’
MCV has contacted Warner Bros and EA for more information.
It isn’t the first time that EA hasn’t matched a major superhero movie released with an official, simultaneous game adaptation of a licence it has rights to.
The publisher’s game based on 2006’s Superman Returns didn’t arrive until the DVD release — and then only sold 705,000 copies.
However, according to the EA source, a Dark Knight game isn’t on EA’s release slate through March 2009.
Wedbush Morgan video game industry analyst Michael Pachter has estimated that had the Dark Knight game been released at the same time as the blockbuster film last month, it could have sold four million units and generated $100 million — with $70 million going to the game’s publisher and $30 million going to Warner Bros.
"I think publishers have concluded the only games that work are the surefire $500 million box office kind of games like Spider-Man and Shrek,’" Pachter told AP.
"The Transformers game really surprised people how well it did, but the movie was big. I don’t think they expected The Dark Knight movie to be this big."
The closest movie fans are sure to get to an interactive battle between Batman and The Joker this year is Warner’s Lego Batman, due for a release around October.