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Yesterday Was Not A Good Day For Rocksteady And Warner Bros.

Batman: Arkham Knight might just be one of the most anticipated games of the summer, with a vast open world that features a driveable Batmobile for the first time ever in the Arkham series. The game was released on June 22 for PS4, Xbox One and PC, but the PC version became the subject of extreme backlash.

The game was met with many performance-related issues. Mere hours before the release of the game, the company adjusted the minimum system requirements, and added that AMD cards were known to be experiencing performance troubles. This turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg.

One of the first things users discovered is that the game has been capped at 30 fps. This is easily adjustable in an ini file, but why put people through that? It's hard to believe that there's any justifiable reason to limit people with top tier hardware to such a low frame rate. Most PC gamers don't even consider that playable. In addition to the frame rate limits, Arkham Knight suffers from frame stuttering and extremely low performance on even some of the highest end GPUs, with some people claiming single digit frame rates.

Warner Brothers tried to appease users quickly with a statement explaining what the minimum and recommended specs are and what performance they're intended to deliver. Minimum spec hardware, which is listed as a Core i5-750 or AMD Phenom II X4, with an Nvidia GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7950, is very high compared to other games, and yet with this setup you should only expect to get 30 fps at 720p with all settings on low.

It gets worse though. Recommended specs include an Intel Core i7-3770 or an AMD FX-8350 paired with at least a GTX 760 (with at least 3 GB of memory -- that GPU only comes in 2 GB or 4 GB versions, so that effectively means you need the 4 GB version). There is no AMD option in the recommended specs at all.

Many gamers don't have anything close to the above, and a system with this kind of hardware would cost multiple times what a current console is priced at, yet Rocksteady and Warner Bros. have targeted this hardware spec to match what the current consoles can do: 30 fps at 1080p, with normal settings. What's worse is that the PS4 version of the game supports ambient occlusion, but the PC version does not.

This explanation didn't go over well with the community. As of right now there are 9,590 customer reviews on Steam, and only 33 percent of them are positive. The extreme backlash the company has experienced has been a PR nightmare. All of the news about the game has been in regards to the PC port, and the company has reacted in a surprising, yet likely wise way.

Warner Bros. posted a public apology and discontinued sales for the PC version of Arkham Knight for the time being while the issues are worked out, suggesting that the game needs more than a single patch. The company went on to ask for patience as it addresses the issues, but pointed out options for refunds if desired.

Dear Batman: Arkham Knight PC owners,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.Thank you to those players who have already given valuable feedback. We are continuously monitoring all threads posted in the Official Batman: Arkham Knight Community and Steam forums, as well as any issues logged with our Customer Support (support.wbgames.com). If you purchased your copy of the game and are not satisfied with your experience, then we ask for your patience while these issues are resolved. If desired, you can request a refund at help.steampowered.com (Steam refund policies can be found here: http://store.steampowered.com/steam_refunds) or the retail location where you purchased the game. 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.

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  • Alec Mowat
    Can't wait for the Linux release!
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    This is similar to Batman Arkham City, which people now praise as being the best one, but it had a lot of performance issues at launch.

    That said, this shouldn't have had them. They are using the same engine so it should have been pretty easy to get optimized. I really think game devs need to start developing the game for PC then port the game with medium-high settings to the consoles. That way they can avoid a lot more issues.

    I have been playing the game so far trouble free on a HD7970GHz. I did have to tweak the .ini files a bit and also forced some settings in CCC (I actually was also able to add in 2xEQ MSAA in it) and according to the Gaming Evolved application I had an average FPS of 51 after playing for 3-4 hours last night which is fine fore me, although I think it should be better.

    I am glad they are trying to do the right thing but people also tend to vastly over react. When the Witcher 3 was launched, it had some performance issues and people yelled "PORT!!!!". Now that the dust has settled and there has been patches/driver updates people wont stop praising the Witcher 3 (not that they shouldn't). I am sure the same thing will happen for Batman AK. I wont spoil it but the story so far is pretty damn good and they are referencing sooo many good Batman story lines. As well they got one of my all time favorite voice actors to reprise his role which alone saves the game for me.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    I'm hoping this is the beginning of a new era of AAA PC games that actually work on release.
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    Have you seen the promotional video for the game on Nvidia's own Youtube channel? Uploaded 3 days ago... its near the videos where nvidia wants to put their hardware and software in real automobiles.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7dAXDVrHzw

    There's just no way they can hold their heads high when developers are talking about how closely they worked with nvidia to bring such great performance and features to PC.
    Reply
  • red77star
    Another proof that consoles are cancer for gaming industry as some companies opt for porting those games to PC. However, as consoles are less and less relevant and pretty much struggle as far as game sales goes compared to PC...the things will get much better.
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    I'm hoping this is the beginning of a new era of AAA PC games that actually work on release.

    Not until every developer / publisher does it at least twice because they don't learn from each other's mistakes, nor their own the first time or two.
    Reply
  • Vlad Rose
    I personally think it's a good thing they pulled it off of Steam for now until all the problems have been fixed. Mortal Kombat X is another example that should have been done this way as there have been over 50 gigs of patches and the game still doesn't work right.

    People are getting sick of being companies beta testers. It is leading to people having to pirate games just so they can pre-test a game to see if it runs on their hardware or not. Steam's refund policy is at least helping to correct that.
    Reply
  • dextermat
    Bad game by a bad company who's only in it for the bucks
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    I personally think it's a good thing they pulled it off of Steam for now until all the problems have been fixed. Mortal Kombat X is another example that should have been done this way as there have been over 50 gigs of patches and the game still doesn't work right.

    People are getting sick of being companies beta testers. It is leading to people having to pirate games just so they can pre-test a game to see if it runs on their hardware or not. Steam's refund policy is at least helping to correct that.

    I agree with you, but be wary of Steam's refund policy. At this rate, we could need for it every release. At some point, we'd just be labeled as abusers of the system.

    Why hasn't some politician latched onto the gaming community? We make up part of a multi-billion dollar industry. That's a lot of voters and supporters abroad. Oh yeah, they'd be a laughing stock amongst their peers, so nah, nevermind.
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    People are getting sick of being companies beta testers. It is leading to people having to pirate games just so they can pre-test a game to see if it runs on their hardware or not.
    --------------------LOL, yeah that's why people pirate.
    Reply