Warner Bros. Suspends PC Sales of Batman: Arkham Knight

Avatar image for austin_walker
austin_walker

567

Forum Posts

5245

Wiki Points

1031

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By austin_walker
"Oracle, I downloaded new drivers, edited the .ini file, and turned off Nvidia Gameworks, but my game's still chugging!"

What do Batman: Arkham Knight, SimCity, NBA Live, Battlefield 4, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and Assassin's Creed: Unity all have in common? Apologies. But unlike the others, Arkham Knight holds the singular 'honor' of being pulled off of virtual shelves.

In the wake of what could euphemistically be called a fucking terrible launch week, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has decided to temporarily suspend sales of the PC port of Batman: Arkham Knight. Over on the game's official forums, Community Admin Yorrick offered this message from the company:

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.

Warner also encouraged unhappy customers to seek refunds through their retailer's channels, and even went so far as to link directly to Steam's refund page.

While Warner's decision to suspend sales of the game took me by surprise, the game's launch on PC has been like a slow-motion car crash, so an apology of some sort seemed inevitable. First, there were the early reports that the PC version was capped at 30 frames per second, and offered minimal visual settings. Then players noticed that the game's performance wasn't simply lower than they wanted, it was also inconsistent: Frame rates jumped, stuttered, and skipped. For some, this only crept up during cutscenes and action-heavy sequences in the game, but for others, even slow pans across the Gotham skyline made the game sputter and halt. On top of that, players realized that some of the visual features promised in official promotional material were missing--even though those same features appeared in the PS4 version of the game.

As these problems snowballed, so did consumer frustration. As of the time of this writing, there are over 5,500 negative reviews for the game on Steam, giving it a "Mostly Negative" rating. Over on Amazon, the game's PC copy has only two stars. And forum users on sites like NeoGAF and the /r/Games subreddit have begun digging deeper, offering theories, rumors, and speculation on the port's development and the game's misleading promotional material. A lot of this stuff is interesting, but it is as of yet unconfirmed, so let's be careful before jumping to conclusions, yeah?

What doesn't need any confirmation is the fact that Warner really dropped the ball on this. It's good to see them own up to the problem, but it's disappointing to see the continuation of this trend of broken games. On the plus side, Rocksteady seems determined to fix the mess, and hey, we officially have our first test case for Steam's new refund policy. At this point, it's hard to know what exactly went wrong, but all I can hope for is that things improve for those PC customers who are choosing not to pursue a refund. Vinny, I'm looking at you.

Avatar image for finaldasa
FinalDasa

3545

Forum Posts

9792

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 9

User Lists: 14

#1 FinalDasa  Moderator

This launch has been absolutely terrible for Warner Bros. Throw in those delayed/cancelled limited editions and fans have really taken a beating with this one.

At least the game is pretty good otherwise this might be a total failure for Rocksteady and Warner Bros.

Avatar image for rufuscrim
Rufuscrim

65

Forum Posts

46

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

#2  Edited By Rufuscrim

Let's lay the blame where it belongs, people: with Dave Lang Johnny V.

Avatar image for mogarth
Mogarth

45

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 1

I blame John Vignocchi. If Dave Lang wouldn't have had to use precious time getting a new phone he could've single handily polished the pc port himself.

Avatar image for 93the_ace
93The_Ace

131

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

This is really unfortunate. I bought the game on PC, and luckily have not really been experiencing these performance issues. But it's good to see that WB is taking action on this unexpectedly botched launch

Avatar image for gizmo88
gizmo88

219

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#6  Edited By gizmo88

This launch has been absolutely terrible for Warner Bros. Throw in those delayed/cancelled limited editions and fans have really taken a beating with this one.

At least the game is pretty good otherwise this might be a total failure for Rocksteady and Warner Bros.

To be fair, Rocksteady's versions (XboxOne/PS4) are apparently fantastic. If anything, they deserve the least ire, WB and Iron Galaxy deserve the blame.

Avatar image for cornbredx
cornbredx

7460

Forum Posts

2689

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 15

I'm not seeking a refund, but that's for a few reasons. One I didn't pay for it (it came with a graphics card), and two (even if I did directly pay for it) I think the game itself is fine when it's not a horribly stuttery mess. I still want to play it. I'll just have to wait until they fix it, and I'm personally fine with that. No, I shouldn't have to, I'm not apologizing for Rocksteady releasing a broken mess of a game, but I don't think a refund is what's necessary in this case because I still want to play the game. I'm sure they'll fix it. Eventually (sigh).

The only thing, game play wise, I don't like is the batmobile, but while I have a lot to complain about that one aspect it doesn't make the game less worthwhile to play.

Avatar image for chickdigger802
chickdigger802

575

Forum Posts

38

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 5

User Lists: 2

This launch has been absolutely terrible for Warner Bros. Throw in those delayed/cancelled limited editions and fans have really taken a beating with this one.

At least the game is pretty good otherwise this might be a total failure for Rocksteady and Warner Bros.

its a bummer, because the game is actually pretty decent... heck i put 5hours into it yesterday on a work week night on broke ass pc... shame all this came up though.

Avatar image for bceagles128
bceagles128

788

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

#9  Edited By bceagles128

It sucks but at least it seems that they are handling it in the proper manner, unlike other companies which have continued selling broken items long after it was known that they were broken to an unplayable degree. Cough MCC Cough Cough.... Driveclub.... Cough Cough

Avatar image for ninnyjams
ninnyjams

198

Forum Posts

4

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

What's nuts is there are far more broken AAA games in the past 12 months (looking at you Far Cry 4) that totally ignored the issues for months. Like, I hesitate to pat WB Games on the back over this one but .. I mean ... shit.

Avatar image for finaldasa
FinalDasa

3545

Forum Posts

9792

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 9

User Lists: 14

#12 FinalDasa  Moderator

@gizmo88 said:
@finaldasa said:

This launch has been absolutely terrible for Warner Bros. Throw in those delayed/cancelled limited editions and fans have really taken a beating with this one.

At least the game is pretty good otherwise this might be a total failure for Rocksteady and Warner Bros.

To be fair, Rocksteady's versions (XboxOne/PS4) are apparently fantastic. If anything, they deserve the least ire, WB and Iron Galaxy deserve the blame.

Eh, I don't know if blame is the right word. Video game development isn't easy so we don't know where the problem stemmed from. Did WB give Iron Galaxy very little time to develop the port? Did Iron Galaxy underestimate the work it would require to port the game? Did RockSteady not develop a game that was easy to port from consoles to PC?

Development is complicated and messy and I for sure don't know the ins and outs, let alone know who to blame.

Avatar image for ninnyjams
ninnyjams

198

Forum Posts

4

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@gizmo88 said:
@finaldasa said:

This launch has been absolutely terrible for Warner Bros. Throw in those delayed/cancelled limited editions and fans have really taken a beating with this one.

At least the game is pretty good otherwise this might be a total failure for Rocksteady and Warner Bros.

To be fair, Rocksteady's versions (XboxOne/PS4) are apparently fantastic. If anything, they deserve the least ire, WB and Iron Galaxy deserve the blame.

It's difficult to put any blame on Iron Galaxy when we don't know how things went behind the scenes. At the end of the day, WB pushed that out. Not Iron Galaxy. They didn't say "Welp, we tried and it's broken, buy it now!" WB is ultimately responsible and they ultimately pulled the trigger in pushing the game live. If they can pull it post-release, they could have delayed it pre-release just as easily.

Avatar image for nightriff
nightriff

7246

Forum Posts

1467

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 7

Hey Austin, can we expect a story/thoughts on the freedom gained by People Can Fly? I'm surprised there was no news story on this.

Avatar image for hardtarget
Hardtarget

389

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 11

If you're curious to see how bad it can really get, check out these screenshots of my just AMAZING experience trying to play the game on pc.

just great all around

Avatar image for TechnoSyndrome
TechnoSyndrome

1633

Forum Posts

10544

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 30

The caption for that screenshot should use off, not of

Avatar image for gizmo88
gizmo88

219

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#17  Edited By gizmo88

@finaldasa said:
@gizmo88 said:
@finaldasa said:

This launch has been absolutely terrible for Warner Bros. Throw in those delayed/cancelled limited editions and fans have really taken a beating with this one.

At least the game is pretty good otherwise this might be a total failure for Rocksteady and Warner Bros.

To be fair, Rocksteady's versions (XboxOne/PS4) are apparently fantastic. If anything, they deserve the least ire, WB and Iron Galaxy deserve the blame.

Eh, I don't know if blame is the right word. Video game development isn't easy so we don't know where the problem stemmed from. Did WB give Iron Galaxy very little time to develop the port? Did Iron Galaxy underestimate the work it would require to port the game? Did RockSteady not develop a game that was easy to port from consoles to PC?

Development is complicated and messy and I for sure don't know the ins and outs, let alone know who to blame.

Games that are developed for the Next-Gen consoles use an x86 code base. Exactly like a PC. It's much easier than it used to be.

Avatar image for finaldasa
FinalDasa

3545

Forum Posts

9792

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 9

User Lists: 14

#18 FinalDasa  Moderator

@chickdigger802: I meant in a public relations failure. You only get one chance to launch a game and having a misstep like this can hurt sales, even of console versions.

Avatar image for bceagles128
bceagles128

788

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

30fps instead of 60fps = broken

good on them i guess?

It's not just the frame rate. There are plenty of videos on youtube that show the issues.

Avatar image for dr_mantas
dr_mantas

2558

Forum Posts

92

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 9

#20  Edited By dr_mantas

There's a lesson in all this - don't you forget about PC...

Good thing I wasn't planning on buying or playing that game for a while.

EDIT: Oh man, Iron Galaxy did the PC port? Lang...

Avatar image for ratcabbage
Ratcabbage

269

Forum Posts

714

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

This is a great article that actually gives some insight into the problem and people's experience with the game. The other articles I've read about this simply copied and pasted WB's forum post.

This seems crazy to me. I feel like what WB is doing is pretty unprecedented. The Steam refund effect is beginning.

Avatar image for jacksmedulla
jacksmedulla

482

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 1

#22  Edited By jacksmedulla

@hardtarget: That's just the Scarecrow's fear toxin man!

Avatar image for hardtarget
Hardtarget

389

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 11

@jacksmedulla: lol, I wish, then at least there'd be a rational explanation!

Avatar image for cooljammer00
cooljammer00

3181

Forum Posts

17

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Oh boy, I hope @vinny got his copy via a press account or something, because if the game doesn't work, it doesn't work. 60 bucks isn't a small amount of money.

Avatar image for kojaq
Kojaq

4

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@ripelivejam: yep clear that whats broken with the game.. /sarcasm

Avatar image for wiredfolf
WiredFolf

105

Forum Posts

130

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 1

@ninnyjams: My theory is it's because Steam allows for refunds now. I wouldn't put it past the likes of Ubisoft to drag their feet when it comes to patches because before they already got their money and could just ignore people complaining.

I wouldn't be surprised if the next buggy Ubisoft release gets addressed a lot faster than in the past due to the new refund system.

Avatar image for deactivated-5f8907c9ada33
deactivated-5f8907c9ada33

486

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 1

I'm really curious about the process to port over the game.

I'm having doubts that the reason for this mess is a poor port job. I'd be more inclined to believe that the amount of time spent on porting over the game was a relatively short. Even when ports are outsourced, they rarely have as many issues as this did.

Avatar image for bonorbitz
BonOrbitz

2633

Forum Posts

1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

#28  Edited By BonOrbitz

Good on 'em! I hope WB and RS fix it soon. I ended up buying it for the PS4 instead of PC because I was afraid something like this would happen. Rocksteady really turned me off with their Arkham City PC port because it took them six months to finally release a patch to get AC's frame rate past single digits for me and a lot of other players. In all my years of PC gaming, I've never owned a game so unplayable during that time. No matter the settings also! It's disheartening presently because you'd think they would have learned from that. After it was patched, however, it ran silky smooth at the highest settings. It sucked for those six months because I wanted to play the game so badly! I feel terrible for those who are unhappy with the AK port and hope it's fixed very soon!

Avatar image for cwgadget
CWGadget

8

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

D-Leezy, noooo.....

Avatar image for deactivated-5f9398c1300c7
deactivated-5f9398c1300c7

3570

Forum Posts

105

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

That's nice of WB, but it still sucks that the PC port didn't release in a complete state. I understand that game development, as well as porting games therein, is hard as shit, but when you're making AAA titles with crap tons of marketing, fans, and an inevitably large consumer base, shit like this is absolutely unacceptable on a business standpoint. People pay their money, they get a functioning product that does exactly what its creators expect. That's business, and these publishers are breaking its rules.

Avatar image for deactivated-5a0917a2494ce
deactivated-5a0917a2494ce

1349

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 5

User Lists: 4

This is a great move for WB. I'm hoping they are able to fix this asap.

Avatar image for theht
TheHT

15975

Forum Posts

1562

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 9

#32  Edited By TheHT

Geez. What the hell happened with this thing.

Avatar image for beachthunder
BeachThunder

15244

Forum Posts

308173

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 23

Awkwaaaard...

Avatar image for conmulligan
conmulligan

2245

Forum Posts

11722

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 11

It's kind of a bummer to see so many people blame Iron Galaxy and, to a lesser extent, Rocksteady for the state of the game when Warner Bros are entirely culpable.

Avatar image for personandstuff
personandstuff

662

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Johnny V didn't go far enough.

Avatar image for shintsurugi
shintsurugi

86

Forum Posts

241

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 1

Have had zero problems with the game on PC. I wonder what the issues stem from.

Avatar image for cloudnineboya
cloudnineboya

990

Forum Posts

1

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Avatar image for deactivated-5d000a93730da
deactivated-5d000a93730da

916

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 21

User Lists: 0

They pulled the game because people are being idiots with the steam reviews and don't want to be bothered by that while trying to fix the issues.

Avatar image for accolade
Accolade

562

Forum Posts

1865

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 7

Bat's is trippin hard.

If you're curious to see how bad it can really get, check out these screenshots of my just AMAZING experience trying to play the game on pc.

just great all around

Avatar image for thevgamer
thevgamer

142

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I think it was really shitty that Giant Bomb didn't publish an article on the brokenness of the launch. Meanwhile, Unity's shitty launch was milked for so many articles.

Avatar image for rabidlamb
Rabidlamb

90

Forum Posts

5

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Never heard of a big company suspending Steam sales. I wonder if the recent refund feature is the cause for this action.

Avatar image for zoggy1
zoggy1

17

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Only Dave Lang could kill the Batman.

Avatar image for otre
Otre

6

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 22

@shintsurugi: Do you have a monster rig or something? On any AMD or an NVidia thats less than a 970 theres drops to single digit framerate. The streaming of assets makes the game hitch or stutter when flying or in the batmobile. It also looks worse than the console version.

Avatar image for gruff182
Gruff182

1065

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Early access joke. I'm lazy.

Also the fully working code was on Dave Lang's phone. This is actually all Johnny V's fault, the bugger.

Well I got to play the Harley Quinn prequel, at a solid 60. Pity I can't play any of the other bits, without it looking like a powerpoint..

Avatar image for oldirtybearon
Oldirtybearon

5626

Forum Posts

86

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

Wow, Iron Galaxy shit the bed so hard on this port that the publisher had to pull the fucking game from online retailers. Heads are going to roll over this. Whether you blame them or not, think they're at fault or not, this is just embarrassing to everyone who laid hands on this game save for Rocksteady. The PS4 version runs and looks great. It's a load of fun and I think I got a frame dip once during my ten hours or so with the game so far.

It must suck to be at Rocksteady right now, knowing that your game is going to take a fucking beating because of someone else's cock up. Hopefully this issue is resolved quickly because this is truly a great game that people should be spending time enjoying.

Avatar image for igniz12
Igniz12

147

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

I was wondering how the next big release would be like once Steam refunds came into effect but I never imagined AK would literally justify the policy all on its own. At most I suspected the: "Oh boo, I cant max this out at 4k Ultra on my single 970" type of belly aching refunds but this......this is a whole new level of shit serving on a wafer thin plate.

Just to be clear how bad it has gotten; GMG: A popular PC digital retailer, has issued a statement that they will offer refunds to people if after the first patch they still encounter problems with the game. Their wording is a bit suspect but still for a company that is very miserly about refunds to be forced to take such an action tells you enough about the whole sad situation.

And lets not forget that the PC version of MKX is still plagued with issues while the console version have been near perfect for the most part. Looks like they are changing porting companies to fix the mess but its clear from their products they are willing to put out that the message is WB does not consider the PC a priority in any way whatsoever.

Avatar image for franticrain
FranticRain

155

Forum Posts

92

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 0

Holy proofreading, Batman. The caption on that image has more grammar mistakes than the average Youtube comments section argument.

@conmulligan: I'd bet most of the blame on Iron Galaxy stems from Giant Bomb's familiarity with that particular company. Outside of that, people don't understand how hard it can be to make a platform layer for a poorly architected game!

Avatar image for rangers517
rangers517

368

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Even if you're not having frame rate problems the game is still missing a bunch of stuff for everyone on pc. From DF:

Just as baffling is the fact PC lacks key visual effects seen on PS4 even at its top settings. Ambient occlusion is cut from the game, bokeh depth of field is noticeably dialed back, and the transparency layer used for raindrops is cut from all surfaces as well. Gotham City is stripped of a great deal of atmosphere as a result, with areas appearing lighter without SSAO in place - despite this setting clearly being enabled in the .ini file.

Likewise, rain doesn't appear on Batman or the Batmobile as it does on PS4. The reflective, dewy sheen is missing across the city, though specular and normal maps remain identical to the console release. The PC's highest settings show very little difference otherwise to Sony's console, barring a tweak to motion blur velocity settings.

Avatar image for soundlug
soundlug

402

Forum Posts

15

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 2

@thevgamer: The game was released yesterday, the console versions are fine (something Unity could not claim) and most outlets didn't recieve a PC version to review.

Avatar image for wacomole
Wacomole

1182

Forum Posts

681

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

So Warner have gone from "Its a Rocksteady Game. It's gonna be great. So Pre-order it to get this sweet, sweet exclusive content!" to "Yeah, it's busted. Here's the link to the Steam Refund Page."

So now the choices are, hold onto the game in the hope that they get it all fixed or refund the game before the 2 week time limit runs out and forfeit any pre-order content until the "Game of the Year" version.

How is the PS4 version in comparison?

Decisions, decisions.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.