UPDATE: Despite some speculation that Batman: Arkham Knight’s PC version’s retail recall was limited to North America, this is not the case. International retailers have also been instructed to remove hard PC copies of the game from their shelves until further notice, with PC gamers outside of North America also unable to buy Batman: Arkham Knight on digital PC storefronts such as Steam. The PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight has also now been removed from sale on online storefront, Green Man Gaming (though as with Steam, you can still access its information page) in all territories worldwide, with GMG pledging to offer refunds to customers of the game from their store who request them.
It gets worse as well, as comparison videos have started to show up online, showing how technically inferior the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight actually is in its current public build, even on max settings. When the optimized PC build of the game is compared to the marquee PlayStation 4 build of Batman: Arkham Knight, the PlayStation 4 version of the game was shown to be superior in performance and graphical power over the PC version, even when the PC build is cranked to max settings. As reported previously, the PlayStation 4 version also doesn’t contain the bugs, stability issues and self-deletion probability that the PC version currently suffers from. A second wave of videos then went on to prove that the Xbox One version of Batman: Arkham Knight is also technically superior to the current PC build in terms of graphical power and performance, even with the settings cranked to max.
So, if you’re anything less than an extremely devout PC gamer, you may just want to swallow your pride and buy one of the console versions. They’re both completely superior to the PC build as it stands, particularly the PlayStation 4 edition of the game, which contains several exclusive missions and story bits.
Original report follows:
The hype around one of this year’s biggest blockbuster game releases, Batman: Arkham Knight has been dulled significantly in the PC space since this past Tuesday’s launch. This is due to the PC version of the Batman: Arkham series finale being riddled with bugs, performance issues, stability issues, and even self-deletion issues that are all unique to the PC release, even on the highest settings. Worse still, on anything but the highest settings, many users are reporting that the game is nearly unplayable. Naturally, fans who bought Batman: Arkham Knight for PC have responded with justified vitriol and rage, leading to the game getting a massacre’s worth of negative reviews on Steam, and both publisher, Warner Bros. and developer, Rocksteady getting bombarded with scathing comments.
After the onslaught of controversy and anger, Warner Bros. has responded in a most unprecedented way. The publisher has yanked Batman: Arkham Knight from Steam (its information page can still be found, but the game is unable to be purchased), and is temporarily pulling retail PC boxes of the game from store shelves. If you already bought the game for PC, you can still play it in its current sorry state, but if you haven’t already, you’ll have to wait. Warner Bros. has also delivered a lengthy apology for the PC version’s poor quality and scads of issues, coaching angry customers on how to receive refunds, both at retail and via Steam, and pledging to devote all of their resources to fixing the PC build, and re-releasing it to be functional and reliable to play, as PC players should expect.
Fortunately, this temporary halting of sales only applies to the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are still readily being sold, both physically at retail, and digitally via the PlayStation Store and Xbox Games Store, respectively. Both console builds have also been reported to function perfectly at all community outlets.
This shoddy PC port of Batman: Arkham Knight unfortunately comes on the heels of Warner Bros. getting in hot water over another shoddy PC port from this past April, that being the PC build of Mortal Kombat X, with our otherwise positive review of that game also criticizing the lacklustre optimization and reliability of its PC build. Word also recently came out that, as with the PC build of Mortal Kombat X, Warner Bros. actually outsourced the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight (which they failed to communicate to customers), in this case to a small studio with only twelve employees, with the game’s actual developer, Rocksteady only putting together the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Batman: Arkham Knight in-house.
PC gaming hardware maker, Nvidia also came under fire for a failure to communicate Batman: Arkham Knight’s issues on PC, after a showcase video on YouTube from June 6th. This video showed the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight running at 60fps performance (this is impossible without doctoring the files, as the game is capped at 30fps on PC, as purchasers quickly discovered), and with several shaders and weather effects that aren’t at all available in the current PC build of the game. This led to Nvidia and Warner Bros. being accused of dishonest practices and misleading advertising, deliberately covering up Batman: Arkham Knight’s PC issues, and hoping to fool customers into buying the game in an unrefined state, rather than simply delaying it until it was ready.
We agree that Warner Bros. had no business selling the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight in its current state, and the publisher knowingly releasing a broken game, and Nvidia knowingly lying about that game’s graphics and performance, is absolutely inexcusable. Fortunately, the publisher is at least owning up to its mistake, and it’s good that it’s attempting to make reparations to the angry PC gaming fanbase. This does serve as a cautionary tale however, with Warner Bros. no doubt being better off in fessing up to the PC version’s issues before launch, and delaying it to some time after the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One builds. Better that PC gamers have to wait a bit longer than get conned into buying an unrefined, broken mess of a port.
Keep swooping to Eggplante for all news and updates on Batman: Arkham Knight.