We have all heard the stories about how bad the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight was or is. Although, it was not a surprise to some people that quality controlled the game over a year ago. Many reviews, as well as ourselves, could not believe how stunning the game looked on consoles. However, PC versions of the game were expected to be stellar and holding at 60 fps. Although, some testers are voicing their grievance in regards to Warner Bros. surprise at the PC version’s performance.
“I will say that it’s pretty rich for WB to act like they had no idea the game was in such a horrible state,” said one quality assurance tester who worked on the game for years told Kotaku. “It’s been like this for months and all the problems we see now were the exact same, unchanged, almost a year ago.”
Two sources, speaking to the site, talk about how the PC version of the game was in trouble from the start. Not only that, the fact that they nearly could not get the console version to work for the game. The sources did cite that it was not WB intention to screw over their customers but they felt the game was “good enough.”
Last Wednesday, the studio suspended sales of the PC version and have opted to give customers refunds and promise to do right by them in a statement:
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.
It is not unusual for developers to hold back a PC version months after the console version of the game is released. That happened when Rockstar did that with Grand Theft Auto V, which was released in 2013 for consoles and just came to PC earlier this year.
This would prevent some glitches, as pointed in the articles, that the capped frame-rate was 30 fps, while Nvidia released a marketing video showing the game at 60 frames-per-second. A workaround for the capped frame-rate was found by editing the file within the game.
“Getting it to work on consoles was impossible for months,” said our tester source. “That’s part of why the game got delayed so many times, they were totally unprepared for how hard it was on next-gen consoles.”
“We reported literally thousands of bugs that were specific to the PC version relating to the frame rate,” said our QA source. “All sorts of fucked up texture issues. The Batmobile in particular has always fucked things up on PC.”
Overall, it seems that focus on the then next-gen consoles, keeping plots from leaking and various other issues kept the PC version from being decent. I say decent as that the game has to be pretty bad to have a company actually pull it from Steam. In the end, as much as PC gamers hate it, there should be a delay between console games and PC games for quality. Either that or simply have as many people focused on the PC as on the console.