Bateson was born in South Africa to English parents. He entered the acting profession before returning to Britain in 1984. He later moved to Canada and now lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is also a full member of British Equity and Danish Actors Union.
He landed his first role in 1994 film Prince of Jutland as Hother. He also played the part of a young sailor in the 1996 film Breaking the Waves, along with the main role in the 2002 film Debutanten.
In the Hitman game series, Bateson provided the voice and physical appearance of Agent 47 and served as the character model in every entry in the series until the fifth game, Hitman: Absolution, when he stated to a member of a Hitman fan forum that "No one from IO Interactive is answering my calls, e-mails or sms." Bateson would later officially confirm on his personal website that he had been "unceremoniously dropped from the franchise", and added that he was unable to make further comments due to "legal reasons".
However, on August 28, 2012, the Hitman Facebook page confirmed that Bateson will once again be voicing 47 and Brand Director Jon Brooke said his absence made them realize they wanted him.
Bateson did eventually return as the voice of Agent 47 in Hitman: Absolution.
On June 16, 2015, just one day after the announcement of HITMAN™, David Bateson confirmed that he will once again be voicing Agent 47 in the new title via Twitter.