Following a relentless stream of complaints from dissatisfied PC players, the creators of Batman: Arkham Knight of Rocksteady have temporarily halted sales for the PC version of the game.
The PC version of the game launched June 23rd and happened to feature a slew of unintended bugs and performance issues. Even users with high-end Nvidia Titans and GTX 980s are experience a variety of issues, ranging from varying framerates that cap out at 30fps, stuttering, and texture quality variance to consistent crashing. This comes as a particularly unexpected surprise because of the Nvidia-specific features the game promised before launch, like dynamic fog and smoke.
With the halt in sales came an announcement on the official Arkham Knight forums from the lead admin, Yorick, stating,
We want to apologize to those of you who are experiencing performance issues with Batman: Arkham Knight on PC. We take these issues very seriously and have therefore decided to suspend future game sales of the PC version while we work to address these issues to satisfy our quality standards. We greatly value our customers and know that while there are a significant amount of players who are enjoying the game on PC, we want to do whatever we can to make the experience better for PC players overall.
The Batman: Arkham fans have continually supported the franchise to its current height of success, and we want to thank you for your patience as we work to deliver an updated version of Batman: Arkham Knight on PC so you can all enjoy the final chapter of the Batman: Arkham series as it was meant to be played.
Also mentioned were the available options for consumers looking to get a refund on the product. Check out the link preceding the quote for the full post and details, especially if you are one of these refund-seekers.
As for the reason this problem exists in the first place, a third party may be to blame. While Rocksteady and Warner Bros. are responsible for the quality of the game at the end of the day, it was revealed in a separate forum post by admin Coda that the job of porting the game to PC was outsourced to another development company. The statement reads as follows:
We’re aware that some users are reporting performance issues with the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. This is something that Rocksteady takes very seriously. We are working closely with our external PC development partner to make sure these issues get resolved as quickly as possible.
We’ll update this thread when we’ve got more info to share.
For the record, no update has yet been made on the thread. No dates have been promised for when consumers can see sales restarted, but we now know that IronGalaxy studios is the third party mentioned, thanks to a pair of tweets from the game’s director, Sefton Hill.
I’m aware that some users are reporting performance issues with the PC version. This is something that Rocksteady takes very seriously.1/2
— Sefton Hill (@Seftonhill) June 23, 2015
WBGames is working with the PC developer IronGalaxy to address the issues ASAP. Rocksteady will provide any support to get this resolved.2/2
— Sefton Hill (@Seftonhill) June 23, 2015
And just to ensure we’re all convinced, a third relevant tweet was posted by Hill:
Totally supported decision to suspend PC version. We have our best engineers at Rocksteady working like crazy to help fix the issues ASAP.
— Sefton Hill (@Seftonhill) June 25, 2015
While it may not be possible to go back in time and ensure the game is released as intended, Warner Bros. and Rocksteady are handling the issue with respectable haste and concern. It’s very clear that the issue is as serious to them as it is to the PC consumers, and it’s great to get such consistent feedback. It’s important, however, that consumers don’t see the great cleanup and forget the mess was ever made. Many theorists blame what many call “pre-order culture”, and while there are tin hat-clad theorists for every wide scale issue, it’s important to note that they may have a point (or at least something that resembles one).
Theorizing aside, even the publisher has suggested claiming a refund for the game. If they manage to fix the issues and sell the game again before you lose interest, go ahead and buy it again. Until then, however, you should very seriously consider getting your money back.