Since its launch in late June, Batman: Arkham Knight has had a rough go of things. Granted, console gamers have been mostly problem-free, save for a leaderboard issue on PS4, but PC players have struggled to even play the game, let alone experience all it has to offer.
To say that Batman: Arkham Knight launched in a broken state on PC would be putting it mildly. In fact, Steam went so far as to pull the game from its online store and even issued refunds to any who felt burned by the PC version’s poor quality.
So how did Batman: Arkham Knight launch with so many issues on PC? Well, as it turns out, publisher Warner Bros. may have turned a blind eye to the problems and simply launched the game assuming it would, at the very least, run. Yes, Warner Bros. was apparently well aware of the game’s issues on PC – some allege it had known about them for months – but decided to release the game anyway.
According to a new report on Kotaku, many of the QA testers for Batman: Arkham Knight PC noted “thousands” of problems with that version of the game. From frame rate hiccups to texture inconsistencies, the PC version of the game was hardly playable, let alone satisfactory.
“We reported literally thousands of bugs that were specific to the PC version relating to the frame rate. All sorts of fucked up texture issues.”
One anonymous QA tester tells Kotaku that the Batmobile was a huge problem for Batman: Arkham Knight, an interesting revelation considering how integral it is to the gameplay. Apparently, zipping through the streets of Gotham can be quite demanding on performance, and was the cause of numerous problems on PC.
Even though the PC version is the focus, the console versions of Batman: Arkham Knight were not without issue either, and were key contributors to the game’s handful of delays:
“Getting it to work on consoles was impossible for months. That’s part of why the game got delayed so many times, they were totally unprepared for how hard it was on next-gen consoles.”
The whole Kotaku piece is worth reading, as it paints an intriguing picture of the QA testing environment. While these testers may find bugs and make recommendations, it’s up to the developers to fix them and the publishers to allocate enough time before launch. However, with a game as highly anticipated as Batman: Arkham Knight it likely proved difficult to keep pushing the game back.
At some point, Warner must have found it more advantageous to launch the game in June then wait for the fall and get lost in the shuffle. Not that a game like this – the last chapter in Rocksteady Studios’ Batman: Arkham trilogy – would slip through the cracks, but fewer competitors is always better.
Something tells us that the Batman: Arkham Knight story is only just heating up, as Rocksteady jumps in to help the PC version get to a stable state. And expect that once the game does get there, Warner Bros will be there with a nice goodwill gesture.
Batman: Arkham Knight is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.