Warner Bros. reportedly knew for months that Batman: Arkham Knight was broken

By Scorpus
Jul 2, 2015
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  1. According to a report from Kotaku, speaking to a number of people who worked closely on the development of Batman: Arkham Knight, Warner Bros. knew of the game's technical issues on PC for quite some time but largely ignored them in favor of polishing the console release.

    One quality assurance tester speaking to Kotaku said that "it’s pretty rich for WB to act like they had no idea the game was in such a horrible state." According to the tester, the game had "been like this for months" and "all the problems we see now were the exact same, unchanged, almost a year ago."

    Other sources close to the game's development said that Warner Bros. was well aware of all the issues with the PC version of Arkham Knight, but decided to ship the game anyway because they felt it was "good enough". Considering the game has now been pulled from sale following widespread complaints over performance and technical issues, shipping the game because it was merely "good enough" probably wasn't the best idea.

    The various testers that had worked on Arkham Knight said that many of the issues stemmed from the game's console versions. One tester said that getting the game working correctly on consoles "was impossible for months", and that developer Rocksteady were "totally unprepared for how hard it was on next-gen consoles."

    The issues with Arkham Knight on consoles led to the game being delayed from October 2014 to June 2015, during which QA testers were told to focus their time on addressing console bugs. This meant that out of a team of 100 QA testers, just 10% were focusing on the PC version.

    Due to the developers working mostly on the console version, tons of PC bugs went unfixed. QA testers said they found everything from texture and frame rate issues, to widespread performance problems while using the Batmobile. Many of these issues were clearly not addressed by the time Arkham Knight launched.

    To make matters worse, for some unknown reason QA testers were specifically looking for PC bugs at 720p resolutions, despite the majority of PC gamers playing at 1080p or greater. Arkham Knight actually performs reasonably well at 720p, but if the developers weren't focused on resolutions gamers actually use, it could explain the widespread performance issues.

    Kotaku's fantastic article exploring the issues with Batman: Arkham Knight goes into even more detail about the game's failures, and how the development process for this game differed to Warner Bros. other recent titles, including Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor that performed well on PC.

    Meanwhile, Rocksteady is hard at work addressing the wide range of issues PC gamers are facing. These fixes are expected to "take some time".

    Permalink to story.

  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,524   +288

    Incredibly myopic.
  3. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,616   +492

    Had I paid for this game I'd be really upset, but even a free copy of a game is worth nothing when said game is unplayable at any speed. It's really sad that this is what PC games are coming to, push it off the cliff before it can fly and expect it to be successful? I don't understand how this is a way of producing a game, the logic is just none existent, just boils down to more corporate greed to capitalize on another source of revenue, sadly they turned they're sights on the PC which is already having a hard enough time fending off the consoles with bad ports and those who think piracy is to blame, but in fact it's those bad ports which make people skeptical in the first place forcing them to turn to piracy. I sure as hell am never paying Rocksteady for a PC game unless I know it's going to work.
  4. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,524   +288

    Actually, I think it is more a case of incompetence. I cannot imagine that WB will enjoy net revenue from this one, especially after settling the various claims, costs and suits. Having experienced heavy handed senior management in another circumstance, my guess is that it is probably a bad decision under pressure.
    cmbjive likes this.
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,374   +2,161

    This. If WB et. al. wanted to be "greedy" and sell people a bill of goods, they would. Plenty of companies do it in the mobile market (and increasingly in non-mobile) and a lot of indie devs do it, too.

    This Arkham Knight blunder is a direct result of poor management decisions. Consoles are the biggest money maker for devs and publishers, as they can sell more units there than they can on PC. So, the fine managers at WB decided to put all their eggs in that basket, for whatever reason. They ignored the PC problems because, in all likelihood, they did not understand their significance (severity, how strongly customers would react, etc.) and became fixated on the more important market.

    As a result, they've damaged the reputation of their brand, something that will impact sales across platforms moving forward. It isn't greedy to make foolish mistakes that hurt your bottom line. It's demonstrably stupid.
    robb213, Capaill and cmbjive like this.
  6. TitoBXNY

    TitoBXNY TS Addict Posts: 224   +46

    WB should have done the same thing that Rockstar did with GTA5. They had their core teams work alongside their PC specialists throughout the process. In the end, it took for ever but GTA5 on PC is still on Steam's top ten list.
  7. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,616   +492

    Actually from what I was reading on Kotaku it was a matter of money, the team under bid for the contract to port the game from console to PC and obviously did not succeed.
  8. Why would anyone pre order or buy a game on day one? Because people are basically stupid!

    This kind of **** happens time after time after time and you still get the *****s throwing money at them.

    Good enough for ya!
  9. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +137

    It's not unusual for a company to go for the lowest bid for a project. Of course, the problem then becomes what you are getting at that particular bid price. Apparently, WB got what it paid for in this instance and will pay more in the long run for it.
  10. spectrenad

    spectrenad TS Rookie Posts: 97   +18

    nothing wrong with preorders when you are well informed and when the company is transparent with everything (wich is quite rare these days)
  11. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Booster Posts: 70   +58

    I'd agree with you but since it isn't rare, in fact its quite common now so I'd have to go with the other persons opinion on this. Please do not pre-order until these AAA game publishers understand this is not acceptable anymore. Only your wallet speaks loud enough.
  12. TekGun

    TekGun TS Booster Posts: 156   +17

    Shock as console port turns out bunk. Seriously why would anyone pay top price for a PC game that hasn't been produced for PC. They had twelve people working on the port, were selling it at AAA prices and people were still buying it... maybe start voting with your wallet next time, and we might actually get somewhere.
  13. spectrenad

    spectrenad TS Rookie Posts: 97   +18

    I meant, the transparency aspect is rare. some indie developpers are really transparent and in constant dialogue with their fans, and it pretty much always results in good/great games. for the big names tho, I wouldn't say the same...
  14. cwobara123

    cwobara123 TS Rookie

    No one gives a **** about PC gamers even though we are the most dedicated type of gamer out there. We spend thousands of dollars on our machines the least they can do is make sure they get the ****ing game to work right. Thank god for steam refunds.
  15. "We spend thousands of dollars on our machines"
  16. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,374   +2,161

    For those of us who spend thousands of dollars on computers for performance, it is the obligation of the hardware manufacturers to properly support their products. Game devs and publishers are under no obligation to justify that expense. Game dev/pub is responsible for delivering on their promises, which did not happen with Arkham Knight on PC.

    The PC Master Race crowd is the epitome of the entitled consumer.
  17. DriverJ

    DriverJ TS Rookie Posts: 17

    Really? by what expecting to get a quality product at $60? If a port sucks it sucks, and they have a right to be upset.
    I would rather a port be delayed. Ex. GTA 5 and be solid than come out garbage and be on the same release date.
  18. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,374   +2,161

    Emphasis added:

    Anybody who spends money on a product should expect it to perform as promised. This is reasonable. Complaining that your luxury hardware expenses aren't being adequately justified by software developers isn't reasonable. It's entitled.
  19. ddg4005

    ddg4005 TS Guru Posts: 361   +49

    I'm glad I cancelled my preorder for this game. It's a damn shame that after all the hype it turned out to be nothing more than a sh!t pile.
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    Of course they knew!
  21. theBest11778

    theBest11778 TS Addict Posts: 218   +64

    Next year they'll release an Arkham Knight GOTY edition with all DLCs, and exclusives for $40, and it will run fine by then... The lesson is, don't buy games until the re-release. Prices go down, value goes up, and bugs are all worked out. Destiny is a great example of this. I paid $60 for the game, +$35 for the first 2 DLCs, and will have to pay another $40 for the 3rd (The prices don't bother me personally,) but someone who just waits till next Sept can have all of that for $60. Almost all games do this now. Just wait till the game is EOL and they give you everything for nothing. Besides a few games that I play regularly (and have already paid for,) I can wait years for the rest of them to hit the bargain bin.
    davislane1 and cliffordcooley like this.
  22. All those freaking WB Developers sitting on their *** all day need to get fired. They are not working...
  23. DriverJ

    DriverJ TS Rookie Posts: 17

    Fair enough, I read those other posts more as they were miffed at spending thousands on their hardware and not getting the same care as others who had spent less on their hardware. To me seems a legit gripe to be upset that PC gamers weren't as well taken care of and they spend as much or more as console gamers to be able to game.

    Either way the point is WB should have taken care of this instead of releasing a garbage PC release.
  24. cwobara123

    cwobara123 TS Rookie

    Yah, what this guy said! :)
  25. cwobara123

    cwobara123 TS Rookie

    I'm the one who originally posted about how buying expensive PC hardware for games especially if you go ATI(their drivers come out late as hell and are still buggy as ****) pisses me off, because most high-end hardware is never properly optimized for most games that get released these days(Watch Dogs, GTA5). I got dual ASUS r 290x Crossfire, a 4790k, and 16GB vengeance 1866, 1000w evga PLAT PSU.

    I still feel like it should be the responsibility of the hardware manufacturer and the development team to work together to make the game as smooth and efficient as possible before it's release to prevent any major issues. Whats the point of exclusively promoting certain games with "AMD The Evolution of Gaming" or "Nvidia, The Way its meant to be played" if either one you choose makes no difference because the game just doesn't work right, whether it's a driver issue or a development issue. The same concept applies for Crossfire and SLI. If they promote the **** out of SLI and Crossfire there should always be profiles made for the games before they come out, not months after when I've already milked the game for everything its worth.

    I mean, what's the point of making a Graphics Setting named "Ultra" if no one can even run it with the best hardware available? Are there not enough beta testers before the game comes out?

    I know that as soon as a game comes out every benchmarking team has every hardware set-up imaginable to run any game, so wouldn't it be easier to give a beta release to a benchmarking team so they can test the games and send back bug reports and other feedback? I bet when Batman gets re-released there will be driver issues and everyone will be pissed that it's still not fixed, then start pointing fingers again. Not trying to sound like an *******, just trying to find out why PC gaming is so "far-back ahead of its time?". I mean ****, PC games beat console game sales Q1 this year so why are we being ignored. We don't even really buy hard copies of PC games anymore and were still charged the same price as one (sometimes more). Im done rambling..... my bad.

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