WB Games Admits Defeat On ‘Batman: Arkham Knight,’ Offers Refunds Again

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c4s2k3

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(one of these days I'll figure out the correct 'Comment' button for an article here :)
"Epic" Fail seems inadequate. I just hope this doesn't discourage developers from publishing games on PC platform. I could see some concluding there is enough money to be made on consoles, so the hell with PC. I just can't stand console gaming. Not trying to stir up a console vs. PC flame war here, the console experience just isn't good for me. It's obviously great for many others.

Of course, developers could also choose to develop for PC and then optimize down for consoles instead of the other way around, which tends to limit PC version capabilities even if the game ultimately "works".
 

jazz84

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Call me crazy, but I'm actually glad to see this remain an abject failure of a PC launch. Yeah, I suppose there's a bit of schadenfreude towards WB Games, but mainly I think it's ultimately more beneficial for the PC gaming landscape that it turned out this way. If they had fixed it, that's the kind of story that tells a corporation, "Okay, we can put out a crappy port, patch it after release, and still make a buck and look decent to the shareholders." Now, they have undeniable proof that half-assing the port to PC will cost them a ton of sales, not to mention the apparently wasted time and money trying to fix their laziness and the resulting terrible PR. Indeed, let this be a lesson to every AAA publisher that rushing any sort of port is just not worth the risk to their bottom line. Sucks that a good franchise has to suffer, but hopefully it's worth it in the long run.
 

xenol

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Even if this means that they won't publish games on the PC anymore, at least they're doing what they can to rectify the situation. There have been a few other developers who just gave the PC platform a middle finger and walked off.
 

Pedasc

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It is actually running well enough for me so far, even with Gameworks on. I get nearly 60 FPS with occasional drops to no less than 30. I haven't hit any of the massive, unplayable slowdowns anymore. This hits the acceptable range for me and if it was released in this state I would have accepted it, but have been a bit disappointed. At this stage it looks like I will not ask for a refund.

I do not like pre-ordering but I figured with the other games being at least playable this one was a safe bet. This has taught me a lesson I needed I guess and I will wait from now on.
 

jimmysmitty

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I played the game on a HD7970GHz just fine. I think there are two sides to this. Yes the game had issues, that is a 100%. And they should be trying to fix it with everything they have, even if it means reworking the game engine.

But there is also the PC gaming mentality. I love PC gaming. I only have a 360 because of my wifes younger (19 years younger) brother. I haven't even touched it in a year myself. But there seems to be this mentality in PC gaming that if a game doesn't run perfect for everyone it is bugged and a failure and its 60FPS or GTFO on mid end hardware. While the game by no means should need a GTX 980Ti to run maxed out 60FPS it needs more than what some people think it should.

I think they have been doing the right thing, although not succeeding 100%. How many other games can people say offered a full refund after the refund policy was up and even for people who probably beat the game to 100%?

The first big patch did fix a lot for most people, what most on Steam were moaning about was the DLC not being out even though when this all began WB clearly stated the DLC would come out with the re-release of the game.

The way some of the PC gamers act makes me a bit ashamed. If PC gamers are supposed to be the higher beings of gaming, some of us sure do not act like it.
 

Larry Litmanen

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I played the game on a HD7970GHz just fine. I think there are two sides to this. Yes the game had issues, that is a 100%. And they should be trying to fix it with everything they have, even if it means reworking the game engine.

But there is also the PC gaming mentality. I love PC gaming. I only have a 360 because of my wifes younger (19 years younger) brother. I haven't even touched it in a year myself. But there seems to be this mentality in PC gaming that if a game doesn't run perfect for everyone it is bugged and a failure and its 60FPS or GTFO on mid end hardware. While the game by no means should need a GTX 980Ti to run maxed out 60FPS it needs more than what some people think it should.

I think they have been doing the right thing, although not succeeding 100%. How many other games can people say offered a full refund after the refund policy was up and even for people who probably beat the game to 100%?

The first big patch did fix a lot for most people, what most on Steam were moaning about was the DLC not being out even though when this all began WB clearly stated the DLC would come out with the re-release of the game.

The way some of the PC gamers act makes me a bit ashamed. If PC gamers are supposed to be the higher beings of gaming, some of us sure do not act like it.

You hit the nail on the head, i honestly would not be surprised if this was the last Batman on PC.

Right now millions still have PS3s and 360's so publishers have to develop games for PC, PS3, PS4, 360 and One. Once older consoles will be replaced (i assume after this holiday season) game developers will have enough of a base to just ignore PCs completely.

What people do not get is large AAA multi platform titles make only 10-15 of it sales from PCs. The rest is console market.
 

stoned_ritual

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Thank goodness I had the self control. This game was released on my birthday, and I thought "I should wait and see if it's broken, because Origins was busted up really bad when it released too",
 

jimmysmitty

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Origins had two bugs, one that was actually by-passable and did not break the game (I ran into it and was able to still beat the game), and one that was game breaking, the on at My Alibi where everything was black.

Performance wise, Origin was better than Arkham City at launch (City had massive DX11 performance issues for most but were eventually fixed) and didn't have the stuttering that some reported in Knight.

Game wise, Knight is as good as City.
 

Larry Litmanen

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this is not OKAY I'm sick of this PORTING from console to PC when they are all programmed with a keyboard and mouse to work on consoles not game-pads to work on PC's. There should be all games programmed for PC then Ported to Console for the fact that consoles are just chopped down versions of PC's anymore they run AMD APU's for crying out loud that is based on x86 chip-set originated by INTEL but AMD's version so riddle me this, we use to do it this way PC first then console and most if not all those games were PORTED CORRECTLY TO CONSOLE, I wonder why?
According to Ubisoft last year 12% (5% mobile) of sales came from PCs, down 3% from previous year. With all due respect you can be sick all you want but any individual with business sense should be able to see why developing for consoles (83%) of the market takes precedent over development for PCs.

Right now is the worst time to develop for consoles because so many still have older weaker ones and too few have newer ones................and they still hold 83% of sales, once 360 and PS3 will die out PS4 and One will probably bring is close to 90% of sales.....................come on now, you can't honestly see why consoles dominate?
 


Considering that these games are actually developed on PCs, it makes no sense. We've seen very well shared PC-console versions of games, most recently being Star Wars Battlefront. Others are Project Cars, the Far Cry series, Crysis 3, and of course the Battlefronts. Keep in mind I'm talking pure playability and graphics performance, not server performance which is not the responsibility of the developers. Point being: it CAN be done if the developers/publishers care enough.



I think a good benchmark of proving, or disproving, your claim there is if we can somehow find the download stats of the free open Beta of the previously mentioned Star Wars Battlefront between PC/Steam and console users. My guess is that it is nowhere near 90% downloads from Xbox/PS4 users and only 10% being PC/Steam downloads. I haven't yet seen any official stats from EA on a breakdown of user download formats.

 


The problem is that Rocksteady lost control by outsourcing to a tiny company comprised of 5 or 6 employees to manage the porting over of the console-oriented code to the PC-oriented code. My guess is that small company won the bid for the port contract as the low-baller and had no idea what they got themselves into....biting off more than they can chew, so to speak.

If anything, like others have stated, I think this is a good thing long term for PC gaming: a serious lessons learned/root cause analysis boardroom example of what NOT to do. And like what JimmySmitty said, it is very respectable for WB to offer refunds of their game not once, but twice now. But as I posted in an earlier article about this, that does not in any way seal my cracked foundation of trust of a future WB/Rocksteady game port.
 

alidan

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this is not OKAY I'm sick of this PORTING from console to PC when they are all programmed with a keyboard and mouse to work on consoles not game-pads to work on PC's. There should be all games programmed for PC then Ported to Console for the fact that consoles are just chopped down versions of PC's anymore they run AMD APU's for crying out loud that is based on x86 chip-set originated by INTEL but AMD's version so riddle me this, we use to do it this way PC first then console and most if not all those games were PORTED CORRECTLY TO CONSOLE, I wonder why?
According to Ubisoft last year 12% (5% mobile) of sales came from PCs, down 3% from previous year. With all due respect you can be sick all you want but any individual with business sense should be able to see why developing for consoles (83%) of the market takes precedent over development for PCs.

Right now is the worst time to develop for consoles because so many still have older weaker ones and too few have newer ones................and they still hold 83% of sales, once 360 and PS3 will die out PS4 and One will probably bring is close to 90% of sales.....................come on now, you can't honestly see why consoles dominate?
wasn't it ubisoft that released a report saying that pc was second only yo ps4 in terms of total sales? it may not have been a year but it was a quarter, i remember this because it was fairly big news when it happened.
 

amk-aka-Phantom

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According to Ubisoft
dies laughing

Excuse me, but since when do we care about what Ubisoft says or believe their information? They also claimed that 30 fps was "cinematic". Even if they aren't lying to be lazy and justify why their titles run poorly on PC (everyone still remembers the Unity fiasco, I hope?), I'm not surprised. Few PC gamers want to put up with Ubi's nonsense anymore (lack of optimization, mandatory Uplay, re-releasing basically same games each year). They are treating their customers like garbage and their sales figures reflect that. Games from companies that actually care about PC, like CDPR, sell much better on it (Witcher 3 - 33%, over 1.2 million copies) and the figure will continue to rise if they keep it up.
 

dstarr3

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I don't even think that it's because no one knows how, but rather WB doesn't think the investment in fixing it is worth it. They're probably pleased with the console sales of the game and are just cutting their losses on the botched PC port. All of the cost it'd take to fix it properly is probably greater than the sales they're expecting from it. So, y'know, to hell with us, right?
 

polyformist

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I hate to sound old, but separation of console and pc platforms is a good thing in my Opinion.

Consoles tend to have limited control options in many but not all cases.

PC's have huge hurdles with compatibility due to the vast variety of Hardware available.

Combining these two area's always seem to result in 1 of two problems.
Either PC crowd upset about limit control options, or Poor performance on random sets of hardware.

As a PC and Console Owner, I always become very cautious when looking to get a title that supports both.

I do however appreciate it when a developer takes the time to Develop The PC & Console versions simultaneously without doing PORTS that make compromises, (A very costly but effective solution to the problem)
 

amk-aka-Phantom

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PC's have huge hurdles with compatibility due to the vast variety of Hardware available.
Nonsense. This is what DirectX is for. Compatibility issues with specific hardware are quite rare. Taking Arkham Knight as an example, it's simply a badly made game: how did they manage to make Unreal Engine 3 run that bad? This isn't because of "vast variety of hardware available". They outsourced the port of a heavily anticipated AA title to a no-name company - is the result even surprising, really?

Either PC crowd upset about limit control options, or Poor performance on random sets of hardware.
Please explain how these two things are even remotely related. Limited control options, whether you are referring to dumbed-down controls or lack of graphics settings, are not related to poor performance.

A very costly but effective solution to the problem
Nonsense again. Most of the time making a quality port requires just a bit more effort than a crappy one - the most annoying issues usually boil down to bad controls (adding extra bindings is easy), limited in-game settings (they're still there anyhow, why not just move them from the .ini), console hardware-imposed limitations (e.g. in Mass Effect 2 you were forced to pick up squadmates in a certain order because that's the order they were stored in on the console discs) and poor performance. Performance is the only issue that requires investing some money and considerable effort, but if the game was developed smartly since the beginning, the impact is minimized. For example, have we heard of PC performance issues with Battlefield 3? I don't think so, the very first version of the game I've got ran like a charm maxed out on my 560 Ti. It's only when the developers are lazy and take disgusting shortcuts that this sort of problems pop up and then apologists like you try to defend their failures. Won't work here though, most people on Tom's know better.
 

canbbb

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I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. BAK runs smoothly for me. But 'lucky' is not the right word: I'm a fanatic that invests a lot on my PC. 16 GB RAM, crazy video card, OC'd Skylake CPU, SSDs... Still, I am disappointed that this still causes problems for many... because if it was stable for all, it would receive a much better score on its own gaming merit I believe.

Now that I'm 70% through the story, my take on the game:

- gorgeous visuals, gorgeous representation of Batman and his world. All secondary characters - the extended Batman family - are well integrated in the story, which is a very nice thing for DC Comics fans.

- Indeed, too many batmobile moments. I'm a bit tired of them. Even though I will say this: I for one like the looks of the tank-like batmobile. I think it's a nice take and re-invention of the famous car. It's just annoying and repetitive in this particular game.

- the writing is quite good. The dialogues I have with my 'sidekick' in the second part of the game made me laugh out loud a number of times.

- the scope of the story is such that it feels like a game with 2-3 DLC extensions already (I'm not counting actual DLCs). All the various villains, each with their own side story arc, make for a generous game.

If you're lucky to have a good enough machine, this is an 8.5/10 game at least.


 

Brad K

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Arkham Knight is also running just fine on my computer.

I have an HD 7950 (925 MHz, 3GB version), 3770K CPU, 16GB RAM. It runs pretty smooth (I don't remember FPS). I can only turn on a few of the graphics options, so it'd be nice to have a more powerful system, but everything looks good and nothing jars you out of the experience.

It seems like they've achieved a pretty stable product now, from my experience.
 

spellbinder2050

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If developers built games from the PC, then to the consoles, I'm pretty sure the PC market would pick up steam because we'd get better graphics, but also better performance. For now, we get console ports that take 4-5x the cpu/gpu power that we should need to run a game at max.

Anyway, I was extremely amped for Arkham Knight PC when the insane looking trailers were swirling around, but I'll wait until it's in the bargin bin on Steam now.

Golden rules for PC gamers:

Lesson 1: Don't buy a game on release day without having played a very smooth beta or demo
Lesson 2: Don't reward bad behavior. In other words, don't buy this trash.

People should be getting free DLC's for this non sense. We're talking wasted time/money here.
 
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