Warner Bros Says They're Suspending Arkham Knight PC Sales

Warner Bros Says They're Suspending Arkham Knight PC Sales

Publisher Warner Bros says they're taking the drastic step of suspending all sales of Arkham Knight on PC until the game's technical woes can be addressed.

A statement just posted on the company's forums reads:

Dear Batman: Arkham Knight PC owners,

We want to apologise 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.

Wow. Drastic and almost unprecedented, but given the state the game was in, welcome. Note just how severe a move this is: not only are they taking one of the biggest games of the year off the (virtual) shelf, but they're giving you clear instructions on how to get a refund.

Despite Warner's statement, at time of posting we were still able to purchase the game from Steam. The game had disappeared from all promotional places and new release charts, but a search would still bring you to the game's store page.

Warner Bros Says They're Suspending Arkham Knight PC Sales

See? The Season Pass is still there, but the game isn't showing on the New Releases section.

Warner Bros Says They're Suspending Arkham Knight PC Sales

A specific search for the game, though, will still take you to its store page, where it's still available for purchase.


Comments

    Funny they didn't just decide to delay it a couple of weeks instead - would have looked a little better than releasing a crappy version and then trying to fix it.

      Thinking the same thing, how did this game get past* testing?

      Last edited 25/06/15 11:38 am

        *past.

        I'm thinking they underestimated the backlash from PC gamers. By all accounts the console versions were solid, and they probably figured they could release the PC version and patch it up in a few days.

        I wonder what proportion of sales were on PC? If it was relatively low, maybe they just didn't care.

          How, in this age, could they underestimate the pure nerd rage of the upset gamer? Even if PC was considered a minor platform, they should never underestimate the backlash from a gamer scorned.

      Runs fine on my beast. I have a massive e-peen.

        same, GTX 970 here. After editing the ini file I haven't dropped below 40fps, averaging 48-50

        I'm guessing the devs only had GTX 970's to test the game on.

          What resolution and settings are you playing on? I have a GTX970, too ... you shouldn't be dropping below 60fps @ 1080p with reasonably high settings. That is very poor optimization, no matter how anyone wants to spin it. Recalling the game is exactly what they should have done.

            oh its definitely poorly optimized. It doesn't matter what settings I'm on I still get around the same result, in fact turning them down hurts my in-game benchmark score.

            Go figure.

            It's playable for me though. and I know I'm one of the lucky few.

          I still haven't finished downloading it. it re-started the download when it reached 19gb downloaded. Heh.

          As if I have the extra quota for this shit. I'm just gonna wait for it to be fixed (And have the missing objects/ effects that are in the console versions!?!) before trying again.

          Also: I can't refund it, it came with the Witcher and my 970.

      I agree, though it seems the console version is ok. Though wasn't Arkham Knight already delayed?

    I haven't played the copy I bought yet, but if other users' reports are anything to go by, I've gotta know... how the fuck did this get through QA?

      QA has no power. They were probably reporting all these errors incessantly.
      Developers kind of have a history of ignoring QA if it means they have to do hard work that might make them miss launch date.

      Launch date is sacrosanct, thanks to how much Marketing has spent on it. Marketing is more important to Publishers than Dev, see.

        So many companies have the Microsoft mentality, of get it out the door and fix it later with patches.
        Glad to see this happen, the 'patch it later and it will be fine' mindset was getting out of hand. Kudos to WB to actually pulling it.
        (I know they shouldn't have released it this way in the first place, but pulling it is ballsy and the right thing to do)

          As much as I like trashing Microsoft, I'm pretty sure that the mentality of releasing games knowing they're not working with plans to patch them didn't originate, or have any particularly spectacular moment, with them.

            No, it has pretty much been a hallmark of them going back many, many years. I worked for them for 5 years, and it was pretty much a tenet of the company. When I worked at DEC and before that at Digital Research, the mentality was the opposite, keep it in house and test it till it works, then get it out the door.

            The Halo MCC was a particularly spectacular moment, their most beloved franchise let out the door, knowing it was broken, even with a *massive* day one patch, and the multiplayer still has problems. I was gobsmacked that they let that happen to pretty much their #1 gaming IP.

            Last edited 25/06/15 1:40 pm

          Fuck the "kudos" WB was simply forced to do something due to steam refunds. Lost profit is the only reason they are acting on it.

        Developers most likely had no say in this. Usually its the product managers/owners that make a call like this.

        source: software developer.

        Totally agree, QA has no power and are usually the lowest rung in the company. I used to work in QA and worked on a couple of Battlefield titles. Bugs were rated A, B, C etc. Anything rated A would get fixed ASAP, as it either made the game crash or would get them in trouble with the legal department. Anything rated B or below might get fixed, maybe not. The term "legacy bug" was thrown around a lot which basically meant it was bug from a previous game that had carried over and they weren't going to fix it.

    If the game doesn't come back for sale in the next 2 weeks I fully expect to see a "relaunch" when they put out the Linux version some time in September or October.

    Can't help but feel like this wouldn't have happened if there wasn't the steam refund thing. Seems more like a response to the amount of refunds that they would be receiving and a measure to somehow try and counteract it by preserving their projected sense of quality control. Maybe it's cynical, but then again, it seems a little coincidental that this is really unprecedented for a major pc release and it comes as one of the first major pc releases following the introduction of this refund policy...

      The Steam refunds thing is paying dividends I guess. Companies actually get bottom-line feedback that their product is broken, rather than just internal advisors/marketing people saying "it is just a vocal minority" and having the company think all is fine.
      I took Halo MCC back and got it and the XB1 refunded, if it was easier for people to do that en masse, I think it would also have been pulled, and possibly fixed a lot faster.

        Yeah, previously your options were 1. Cry on the forums and sound like a bitch and 2. Nothing.

        Now you can straight up get your money back and that says more than 10 forums threads!

      In the past, consumers that got burned didn't really have a way to voice their complaint. Posting on Reddit or the official forums isn't exactly feedback that matters to anyone of note and it's impossible to track people who didn't buy a game (or why).

      Having a refund policy in place gives strong, actionable feedback to the publishers. If this means that consumers now have a way to tell publishers/developers that they screwed up, then I welcome it.

      Last edited 25/06/15 11:49 am

        Yeah in this case I think it's a positive, but I still hate what it does to smaller, short form indie games. I actually kind of hope this is something that leads to bigger companies putting pressure on steam to make changes to the refund policy, if only for the smaller devs sake.

          There is not, nor should there be, a one size fits all solution. AAA titles need a policy like the one Steam has to protect consumers against things like this. Indie titles need protection from review bombing (buy game, give negative review, refund) or people trying to get a refund for a game they played through just because they can.

          On the plus side, exploiting the refund policy is still more hassle than just pirating a game, so at least it's not the greatest evil :p

          Last edited 25/06/15 12:02 pm

        This is true, but I'm thinking it might be option 3: WB is recommending the refund system and shutting down sales due to having a 'mostly negative' review score on Steam.

        That thing seems to be poison, and I suspect their actions to stop sales and recommend refunds might both be actions to mitigate the negative reviews.

          That review score - mostly negative - has far more impact on sales than I think many people give it credit for.
          Coupled with the refunds - that gives hard, quantitative data (rather than qualitative*) - it's enough to take to somebody higher up and say "This needs to be contained".

          *Quantitative = measurable by numbers (review scores, refunds given)
          Qualitative = Other data not completely measurable by numbers (negative review wording, word of mouth trashing, complaints to a forum)

      Given that WB is recommending refunds, I don't think this is a response to the existence of refunds, let alone caused by it.

      AAA release dates are renowned for being considered inviolate even at the cost of quality, so there's nothing new about a buggy version making it to launch, there. Refunds have always existed for the buggy titles that made it to consoles, after all. Refunds being available on Steam just brings some parity to the PC as 'just another platform', instead of some separate, impenetrable stronghold of 'safe money', immune to launch problems. If anything, the fact that refunds are easy should mean that QA is more important on PC than it was.

      I think what we're seeing is that they would vastly prefer to recommend users seek refunds, and removing their game from the front page over getting review-bombed like they seem to be.

        Yeah this all makes sense. As I previously was saying to trjn, I think the refund system is super flawed for the smaller indie developers, so I guess I just kinda *wanted* this to be bad for Warner too in the hopes that bigger companies could influence steam and in turn help out the smallies :(

          Ah. Yes.
          Well... much like Trjn said, I also do not know the solution to that problem. Things like this won't be a vehicle for that kind of change. I'm not sure what might be.

    This is huge. I guess the refunds were getting crazy. It's the right thing to do, and I actually commend them for doing so. This can also be good and bad for the PC community.

    Good: It shows that gamers (PC users in this case) aren't going to settle for a broken game, and wait for it to become playable - like a WBGames rep said they should. Publishers will take notice (not likely) and not release games before they are done.

    Bad: Publishers place PC games in too hard basket, and either not release games (which they won't, because they like money), or try even less to add PC specific features that may cause problems (although I'm pretty sure Nvidia and AMD give devs/publishers a bit of money to do so).

    For the most part this is a positive step. Sure it was achieved by some unnecessary crying, but the wallet did most of the talking.

      The too hard basket isn't really an option at this point, the PC is a massive market and is far more of a consideration than what it was when the Xbox 360 launched and lured away a lot of the developer focus.

      There's money in those stunningly rendered 4K DX12 hills.

    Well if it wasn't for refunds would they just try patch it post release and players have to deal with it?
    Seems more and more we're getting rush out horrible performing games rather than a 'get it right the first time' approach.

    I'm looking at you AC:Unity + Alien: Isolation.

    It's not just PC these days, EB allows you to return games after a week or two after purchase for a full refund regardless of reason. And to think they still try to send out dodgy bug infested games

      Not for PC games though, their refund policy is for console games only.

      Really? So I could buy a game, hate it after a few days and they'll give me a full refund?!

        Have you never been to EB? They've had the return policy for close to 10 years now.

        Back in highschool I'd "EB rent" games for a week and take them back for another one.

          I regularly go in, laugh at the high prices and then leave.

        Yep, I am not sure if you have to sign up to their EB world but it's 7 days return policy or up to 2 weeks if you're a level 3 EB world customer.

        I've even completed short games and taken them back for a full refund then got another. Good for games with zero replayability.

    Given the amount said and written about this game over the past few days, it wouldn't surprise me if sales of the PC version had dropped to near zero anyway. They're just officially suspending sales that had probably pretty much suspended themselves by this point anyway :P

    So they're suspending the PC version. Why the hell couldn't they have done that for the Batmobile edition?

      It would delay the game by another year is why.

    Still waiting for my pre-order to arrive. Looks like I'll be heading straight into the store for a refund.

    They gave the company that did the port, Iron Galaxy, the game to port, 8 weeks ago, and the team was 12 people strong. That is why it is fucked on PC. Total lack of caring by WB/Rocksteady.

    https://steamdb.info/app/208650/subs/

    You can see down the bottom when Iron Galaxy got the code base.

    *edit* It runs fine for me, but practically everyone else I know has problems.

    Last edited 25/06/15 11:51 am

    So much for the "Master Race"

      I'm not sure how a developers lack of effort translates to it being the users fault.

        It was the same company that ported Arkham Origins.

        If "the market" keeps accepting a lower standard of work, then companies will respond in kind.

        Pretty sure @mightyjosh is referencing the platform rather than developers and/or end users.

        Last edited 25/06/15 4:25 pm

          I was making reference to the following:

          "I'm not sure how a developers lack of effort translates to it being the users fault."

          I am simply saying that once the consumer market exhibits a willingness to accept a lower standard of work, then that standard of work becomes the new normal.

          People purchased Arkham Origins en masse even though there were quality issues.

          Why then is anyone surprised that WB again handed the reins to the same port team?

            What the... did I respond to you by mistake? Thought I was responding to @korwin. Sorry!

            Edit: Hang on, I'm directly below you (rather than tabbed in a little) meaning we both repiled to @korwin. Now not sorry.

            Last edited 26/06/15 5:47 am

    Now we know why all the reviews were on the PS4 version.

    This is such a common issue on multiplatform releases now.
    Waiting for a review isn’t safe anymore, unless it’s very specifically been reviewed on your platform of choice.

    If the IGNs and Gamespots of the world were posting reviews calling this game a broken piece of shit then they’d be a lot less refunds needed.

      One of the reasons I wait for Totalbiscuits Port report or like you said other platform specific reviews.

      That said I picked this up on day 1 for x1, plays ok and looks amazeballs.

    The game was delayed twice, and yet still couldn't find the time to make sure it worked properly.

    They should give everyone the pre order DLC for free as an apology to their early adopters.

    It's one thing to put out a sub-par PC port, but users reactions are going overboard. Too many Pc gamers have bought into the "PC Master Race" joke and believe it to be true and that every game should be made for their ultra superior PC rig first, then ported down to those filthy console playing peasants later.

    Publishers are going to go for mass market appeal, and as I've said before; it's not PC Gamers. Yes, the game could have been delayed till it was fully tested with the hundreds of different system types, OS types and GPU types out there; but then we'd have PC gamers bitching and complaining about how the game isn't out on the same day as it is on consoles: Eg. GTAV.

    Rocksteady, their PC Porting Company and WB Games are in a "damned if we do, damned if we don't" situation with this game on PC. And i don't put all the blame on them, I put it also onto the attitudes of PC gamers who want everything to be native 4K/100fps to justify their purchase.

      I'm sorry they are just damned. They gave the company that did the port access to the code 8 weeks ago and the team was 12 people. That is not just chasing profit, that is pissing in the face of people who buy their games.

        8 weeks to write code for a lot of different CPU & GPU configurations. I don't know what hyper speed coding creation planet you are from, but it's near impossible to write the code and test it into perfection in 8 weeks.

          Yes. That is *my* point. They deliberately fucked PC development.

            Do not expect perfection in a tight time frame, and don't make it out like a company hates what you are playing on. Companies bid for these contracts, the porting company obviously bid too low a time frame and underestimated what they are in for. They fucked up, mistakes happen. Learn to live with it.

            Last edited 25/06/15 12:52 pm

        As a reddit user points out:

        "The PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution was done by Nixxes Software and there are only six people credited for that one."

        Staff size isn't the issue.

      Don't be ridiculous, it's not "master race entitlement" to expect a game to run at an acceptable frame rate. PC gamers aren't being precious when they expect the game to pull more than 5fps.

      This has been addressed before. Developing on powerful hardware and then downscaling is the way most companies handle development of cross-platform titles. Very few develop for console targets and then upscale for PC, that's completely inefficient. Even GTA5's next gen version was developed on PC first and downscaled for PS4 and XB1 consoles.

      The issue here has nothing to do with what platforms were targeted and nothing to do with entitlement, it's solely caused by a very bad port, which itself seems to have been caused by Iron Galaxy not being given enough time to do a proper job of it.

        Don't be ridiculous, it's not "master race entitlement" to expect a game to run at an acceptable frame rate.

        Amusing, because 30fps is an acceptable frame rate for playing games. It's just not acceptable to PC gamers because they expect everything to be 1080p(or 4K) 60-80fps minimum.

        I'll agree that it's a bad port, but what do you expect with the time frame Iron Galaxy was given? Not to mention nVidia didn't do the game any favors releasing new cards recently with fancy new processing crap that they wanted integrated into the game... Again, only weeks before release. Can't expect perfection at hyper speed.

          We expect them to NOT give a company 8 weeks only to do a job that clearly takes longer to perform to an acceptable level...

          And your definition of acceptable is different to PC users sure. But how is that our problem? If you played the majority of games at 60+++ fps you wouldn't accept 30 either. Look at the response from people watching YouTube videos at 60fps now. Even they can see it's night and day. Eveb 30fps is sluggish, let alonr the frame rates and frame dumps people are actually experiencing.

          What standard says 30fps is acceptable? 60fps has been the standard in computing for 15 years, even the majority of televisions run 60hz full frame since 2007. The only reason 30 was common on old consoles was because 10 years ago when they came out there was still a significant percentage of televisions that could only run 60hz half frames. Even movie theatre projectors have a minimum shutter rate of 48hz to avoid uncomfortable flickering. 30hz has never been an acceptable standard, only a technical limitation.

      Despite the juvenile disparaging of those who choose a superior platform, and the fact that pc games now outsell the thumb twiddler's inferior, mostly AAA pap for the masses, the point is correct that the major publishers cater to the lowest common denominator, as they buy anything on release, are easily pleased and accept lower quality product without complaint.

    Bad QA team, fire them, get REAL GAMERS IN to test your products. Stop hiring people who just wouldn't have a clue! And stop testing on pristine glorified setups, no one has them!

      Hey here's something you could do Kotaku, to show support for the PC crowd. Stop writing articles about the game. Like the easter egg one.

      *edit* was not supposed to be a reply to Riddick sorry

      Last edited 25/06/15 1:00 pm

        It's a bit of tricky situation for them in that regard. By all accounts, the console versions run gloriously and it would be hard on that crowd if there wasn't articles for them.

          I don't see Arkham Knight ads all over the site, it's not like they will be missing ad revenue.

        Why should Kotaku stop? They've written several, about the PC version's issues. The rest of the articles are quite timely for those of us playing on console.

      It's likely not QA who are at fault. They probably reported ALL the bugs.
      But this is what happens when they do: http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/translation

    now time use steam refined

    Don't see the problem with the system so far. I would refund a small buggy indy game, just as fast as I would refund a big AAA buggy game (I'm talking about game breaking glitches like unity, not wierd ones like red dead redemptions animal people).

    Refunds helped show WB just how much revenue they were losing. They saw the sales rates and they saw the refund rates. Where as before they might have assumed people preferred to play the game on a different platform.

    This is exactly why I NEVER pre-order.

    Glad I didn't pay directly for it in the current state, shame that the 970 I purchased came with a borked game though. Hopefully WB/Rocksteady will fix it and release it sooner than later.

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