WB Games president David Haddad announced on Rocksteady’s website today that the video game developer’s co-founders, Sefton Hill and Jamie Walker, are leaving the studio at the end of 2022. Rocksteady, which created the Batman: Arkham series, is set to release its anticipated pseudo-spin-off, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, in 2023.
“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,” Haddad writes in the announcement. “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.”
Haddad did not share details of “what they do next,” but Hill and Walker—who founded Rocksteady in 2004—could well be looking to do it all over again. They were still an active part of the studio, with Hill most recently acted as Suicide Squad’s game director. Stepping up in their place are director of production Nathan Burlow, who Haddad calls an “original founding member,” promoted to studio director, and Darius Sadeghian, who will become studio product director.
“Nathan and Darius are extremely talented executives and they are passionate about continuing the high-quality game development of Rocksteady for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and all future games,” Haddad wrote.
About their sudden departure, Hill and Walker wrote in the announcement that, “From the day we founded the company in 2004 all the way to today, Rocksteady has been our life and soul. It has given us the opportunity to do what we love most: make great games with exceptionally talented people.”
Hill and Walker emphasized the community at Rocksteady, saying that “there is something extra special about Rocksteady that goes beyond the games we make, and everyone who works here feels it.”
“We want to thank the team for their hard work and everything they bring to make this such a great place to be,” the pair continued. “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.”
Earlier this fall, Suicide Squad writer Kim MacAskill passed on a lifetime achievement award from from nonprofit Women in Games, saying that event sponsors Rocksteady and Warner Bros. Interactive need to “take accountability.”
“You can throw your name on every diversity event going,” she said, “but unless you take accountability, it means nothing and I see you.”
In 2020, Rocksteady responded to a report by The Guardian detailing sexual harassment in its workplace, saying, “All formal complaints were thoroughly investigated, addressed appropriately and a number of serious measures were taken in response to the issues that were surfaced, including discipline or termination of staff.”