Batman looks out at the Batcave in search of his copy of Arkham World.

Picture: Warner Bros. Video games

The greatest video video games are imaginary. Typically they exist fully in our heads, or within the dreamy area between their preliminary announcement and what we end up taking part in. That is the place “Arkham World” exists. Born from a 2011 Video Game Awards gag, the fully fictitious entry within the massively well-liked Batman Arkham sequence is now all some followers can discuss.

Earlier this month, posts a couple of supposed Arkham World started taking on the Batman Arkham subreddit. Regardless of being devoted to an ageing single-player sequence, this explicit web watering gap stays surprisingly energetic. It has over 150,000 members, with tons of or extra energetic at any given time. “This subreddit is devoted to the dialogue of all Batman Arkham Lore,” reads the subscription. “Together with the Rocksteady Trilogy, Arkham Origins and all tie-in video games and comics, together with the Latest Version Arkham World.”

Arkham World isn’t actual, however that didn’t cease the subreddit from celebrating the one-year anniversary of its launch on August 2. “I liked the open world on this recreation probably the most as a result of it was a literal world,” Reddit person FrozeninIce248 wrote. “A world filled with criminals and insane folks and the up to date gameplay from Arkham Knight makes this recreation the perfect superhero recreation of all time.”

Dozens of different commenters responded with their very own essential takes, sharing their favourite moments and largest surprises. “Dude I’m at the moment excessive at a Rob zombie live performance and I’m 90% certain that this recreation isn’t actual and I’m scared to know whether it is,” learn one remark buried deep among the many essential reward.

The one-year anniversary was simply the beginning of Arkham World’s weeks-long tribute. The lore round it has since expanded to incorporate a particular mission the place you play as Alfred, a crossover with Spider-Man, and even a Darth Vader boss battle. Gamers from the Spider-Man neighborhood have even joined in, treating the crossover as canon. Reddit is filled with shitposting, nevertheless it’s nonetheless uncommon to see followers rally so aggressively round a bit and preserve it for weeks. So why go to all the difficulty to manifest a recreation that by no means existed?

FrozeninIce248 advised Kotaku in a Reddit chat that they stole the concept from the Titanfall neighborhood, the place pretending that Titanfall 3 already exists is an ongoing a part of the subculture. The identify Arkham World, in the meantime, was an apparent selection because it was a codename teased by The Joker in a cutscene created by Rocksteady for him to declare the perfect character award on the 2011 VGAs. The eventual recreation that was launched was Arkham Knight, leaving “Arkham World” free to fill the void in gamers’ creativeness once they had no precise Batman recreation to sit up for within the close to future.

Within the forthcoming recreation Gotham Knights, made by Warner Bros. Montreal, the studio behind Arkham Origins, Batman is already lifeless. It’s additionally not technically a part of the Arkham-verse. Rocksteady’s subsequent challenge, Suicide Squad, is ready in the identical world because the Arkham video games, however Batman hasn’t been revealed to be a part of it, and it’s a shooter somewhat than a stealth brawler.

Suicide Squad is ready in the identical universe however shouldn’t be centered round Batman in any respect, we don’t even know if he’s going to look in any respect,” Reddit person BigSexy17 advised Kotaku. “r/ArkhamGames and Arkham Followers in Common gravitated in direction of the sequence due to Batman, Batman followers all around the globe reward and worship these video games because the true Batman Expertise.”

Now unleashed, Arkham World has taken on a lifetime of its personal. “You may have this whole group of individuals claiming that we’re all speaking a couple of recreation that ‘doesn’t exist,’” Unhappyworker77 stated.

Reddit person LukeDBZ2 in contrast it to the fascination with the Morbius meme “it’s Morbin’ time” from earlier this summer time. It was dumb, fantastic, and have become so well-liked it could or might not have satisfied Sony to set tens of millions of {dollars} on hearth bringing Morbius again to theaters so it may bomb a second time. “Morbius by no means stated ‘it’s Morbin’ time’ and there’s not a sequel to Arkham Knight…or is there?” they stated. “One factor is confirmed tho, after years of no new content material, the sub has turned the Arkham Asylum itself.”

A Reddit post shows fans celebrating an Arkham Spider-Man crossover DLC that never happened.

There’s additionally precedent for Arkham World in different fandoms. When Elden Ring went years throughout improvement with no new particulars, some followers feared the worst. As with Titanfall, The Elden Ring subreddit at one level began pretending the sport had already been launched, making up well-known boss battles and extra. “It exists as a result of the followers starve [for] content material and loved the time once they anticipated the discharge of the following Arkham title,” TheXpender advised Kotaku.

The shitposting remains to be going, and even resulted in some Reddit customers attempting to spin Arkham World off into its personal subreddit. Some followers wish to offload the memes there. “If we’re going to flood the sub with extra Arkham World and fewer precise posts about the true video games, then it ought to all be moved to its personal sub r/Arkhamworld,” wrote Fanboyxxx. “We do must take a step again and take into consideration what we’re doing, and truthfully, if it’s intelligent and amusing it’s good with me, simply go away it by itself sub now.”

However that doesn’t appear probably. Arkham World was birthed on r/BatmanArkham and that’s the place it’ll probably keep. At the least till Gotham Knights, Suicide Squad, or an precise Batman Arkham sequel launches. “Arkham World means the world to me,” Redditor Nadongus advised Kotaku. “Nothing brings a neighborhood collectively fairly like a collective fever dream fueled by incoherent shitposts. I’m out right here having the time of my life.”

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