Rockstar’s Batman: Arkham Knight may be a triumphant concluding chapter to the Batman: Arkham series, but a black mark on it has been the state of the PC version– it was, in fact, so bad that Warner Bros. was forced to suspend all sales of the game from Steam, and initiate a full overhaul of the code from the ground up so that it would be in a salable condition.
A lot of people have speculated how exactly a port in such bad condition was allowed to release- was it that Warner Bros. did not pay much attention to its development, which was outsourced to external studio Iron Galaxy? Was it a case of corporate negligence, and Warner Bros. rushing the game to the market?
Well, it turns out that they had known about the issues with the PC version all along, apparently, but they still chose to go ahead and release it in this state anyway. Speaking to Kotaku under conditions of anonymity, sources familiar with the game’s development said that the publisher knew about the various bugs, glitches, framerate, and resolution issues for months in advance of its release, but they chose to ignore them, believing the code to be ‘good enough,’ and choosing to prioritize the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game instead. Troubles with working on that new hardware are believed to have been the reason why Rocksteady couldn’t focus on the PC port themselves.
“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 unnamed quality assurance tester. “It’s been like this for months and all the problems we see now were the exact same, unchanged, almost a year ago.”
If this is true, then this is another damning case of publishers taking their market for granted- thankfully in this case, it also appears as though the market has responded appropriately. Hopefully, this, along with other recent big name debacles, will serve to show these publishers that they cannot just take the gaming audience for granted like this.