Batman: Arkham Knight has not had a good launch on PC, to put it mildly. There was, even before Warner Brothers, and Rocksteady started replying, a lot of issues, as documented here.
This was a case though where sometimes being quiet is the best thing you can do. The first of two posts put up on the Batman: Arkham Knight page suggests setting requirements, and ‘fixing’ the problem by turning down the options. It appears the minimum specs in fact are for minimum 720p/30 FPS instead of the more normal 1080p/60fps that people might expect, and the Ultra system requirements are a NVIDIA 980… and still capped at 30 FPS.
In that post in fact they warn against modifying the ini files saying it will make the game less stable. That is the only way to get more than 30 FPS currently, and also the only way to disable motion blur which some users have reported as crashing the game if they do so.
The bigger news of the evening though is that Warner Brothers has removed Batman: Arkham Knight from the Steam Store. They have disabled it for purchasing saying, “We want to apologize 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.”
However, it is important to note that while they are saying that, and in the post include a link to steam refunds, the game is still being sold in other distribution methods such as Amazon, Gamestop, Greenman Gaming and others. Getting refunds at those distribution networks may be tougher than via Steam, though at least in the case of Greenman Gaming – who are selling the title at 40% off – they have committed that if the next patch doesn’t fix the game for you they will offer a refund. Humble Bundle has also said they’ve been requested to take down the game from the store and appear to have done so, and are offering refunds through their support page.
What does this all mean? It’s a bit tough to say, though they appear to have come down a bit off their initial high horse and are looking at the game, the worst port since at least Assassin’s Creed: Unity, and arguably worse then that game’s awful port. This is, as far as I know, the first time a title has been suspended for sale on Steam like this, and is almost certainly directly due to the refund policy. It also appears we are seeing downstream effects of the Steam Refund policy on places like Greenman Gaming and Humble Bundle.
Update: It appears that Greenman Gaming have removed Batman: Arkham Knight from their store as well, with an out of stock part added.
Update 2: It appears that they aren’t the only ones. We’ve reached out to several retailers but there are some we can confirm based on statements made elsewhere or storefront changes.
- GAME UK has according to Eurogamer pulled it from their shelves, though it still is on their website.
- Amazon has apparently pulled their digital download code as that page is no longer available, and the physical copy is only from third party vendors
- Walmart no longer appears to be selling any copies at this point in time.
- Best Buy is still stocking Batman: Arkham Knight in Canada but not in the United States.
- Gamestop appears to have pulled it in the United States but it is still available in Canada.
What are your thoughts on Batman: Arkham Knight’s launch? Do you think suspending it for sale is the right move? What does WB have to do to get you interested in the title again? Share your thoughts in the comments below!