Batman: Arkham Knight was one of the most anticipated games of the year and the rollout went flawlessly, unless you were an old school PC gamer like myself. It seems that while the Playstation version is fantastic, the company that handled the port to PC version didn’t take into account the different video cards PC gamers use and the Frame Rate Per Second transition stutters the video feed until the game is horribly unplayable. Well, you can play it, but you certainly won’t enjoy it. This problem is mainly during the Batmobile sections of the game, which was a big selling point for this latest in the Batman: Arkham franchise. After numerous complaints and backlash started to appear on the Steam gaming platform from PC users, Warner Bros. has suspended Batman: Arkham Knight PC sales until a patch fix can be applied.
Now watching that video you might think that doesn’t look that bad. The trouble comes in the reduced frame rate and trying to time the correct controls needed to use the grappling hook, fight an enemy etc… those tasks, which you have to do to simply function in the game, become very difficult. It’s like skipping every third page in a book and trying to keep up with the story.
Steam recently updated their returns and refunds policy and it certainly is getting the workout when it comes to Batman: Arkham Knight. The negative reviews and refund requests hit a high point basically forcing Warner Bros. hand.
Here’s the official statement:
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.
I can’t remember the last time something like this has happened. Virtual sales are a major factor in how well a game game sells. Mostly because that is where the majority of game reviews come from. I would imagine we’ll see reports of brick and mortar stores pulling any PC versions of Batman: Arkham Knight from the shelves soon.
What really makes this fascinating, and makes me tip my hat to Warner Bros., is that they included links on how to get a refund for the game. That is way beyond what any gaming company has done before when a launch goes bad. The usual tactic is to try to calm users with an apology, scatter the blame somehow, and throw virtual extras at users when the patch is ready.
Can the Batman: Arkham Knight PC version make a rebound? I imagine that when it goes back on sale after getting whatever it needs to fix the problem that sales will be slow to start, which might mean PC users get a discounted rate on purchase. Trying to combat those negative reviews will be an up hill battle for Warner Bros.