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Eidos expects Batman to score in the 90s

Plus: next TR to "reinvigorate" franchise.

Eidos president Ian Livingstone is expecting Batman: Arkham Asylum to get "review scores in the 90s", and reckons the recent delay was due to "the right reasons".

"Everyone is so excited about Arkham Asylum," Livingstone told Gaming Indians whilst detailing the road ahead. "We're expecting review scores in the 90s and clearly when you have an amazing game like Arkham Asylum, you want to maximise its potential, so we think it's worthwhile going that slightly extra distance to make it the game it has to be.

"We're delaying it for the right reasons and no one is going to be disappointed because we've put in an enormous effort into it.

"For example," he added, "there was one person working on nothing but the cape for two years, so there are over 700 animations and sound clips attached to the cape alone. That's why it looks so beautifully realistic."

Batman: Arkham Asylum will launch later this year on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. Our hands-on impressions of the game can tell you more.

Championship Manager 2009 was also delayed so that Eidos can bring quality up to scratch. The game will launch on 1st July and Livingstone believes it has a "good chance" of finally beating rival management sim Football Manager.

"When we started working on Championship Manager without Sports Interactive, we started, not from scratch, but from a new position, and it has taken a couple of years to get the game up to the quality that we want. But I think most people will agree that the Championship Manager that you'll see this year will be at least comparable and perhaps better than Football Manager," said Livingstone.

"I can't guarantee that it's going to be better, but personally, I firmly believe that it's going to be a better experience because if you look at the forums, there has been some disappointment with Football Manager, and there's also been a lot of anticipation for the new Championship Manager. So we're back in the game, and we have a good chance of getting the win this year."

Livingstone confirmed there is a new Hitman game in development, although no details have been released. The Danish developer is also working on another Kane & Lynch title as well a Mini Ninjas game.

Livingstone said Deus Ex 3 will not be out this year, nor will any of the new IP Eidos is currently working on. One of those IPs may be Thief IV, but Livingstone was reluctant to confirm anything.

"Well, we did some research on all our franchises and the one that was most wanted was Thief," he revealed. "So you might want to draw your own conclusions, but I cannot confirm that."

Livingstone explained that the Kane & Lynch film is "getting close" to production, and he "understands" that Bruce Willis will be in it. There's also the possibility of another Tomb Raider movie and an animated television series based on Mini Ninjas.

As for the adventures of Lara Croft, Livingstone said recent instalment Tomb Raider: Underworld "met" expectations, and that the next game will "surprise a lot of people and reinvigorate the franchise".

"Underworld has met our target expectations, but it's a tough market at the moment. There aren't as many PlayStation 3s or Xbox 360s in the world as there were PlayStation 2s or PlayStation Ones. The hardware is quite expensive and production costs are rising," he offered.

"So there are certain challenges, but as a franchise, I don't think Lara Croft is going down at all. In fact, her popularity continues to increase.

"Not every game has been brilliant," he added. "Angel of Darkness is probably the dark point in her career. If you look at movies, James Bond has survived 40 years. Not all those films have been great, but the character remains strong. The next Tomb Raider, I think, will surprise a lot of people and reinvigorate the franchise. There are some remarkable things we're doing in the next Tomb Raider to make you say, 'Oh Lara, I love you so much!'"