This whole Batman: Arkham Knight debacle has been an embarrassment. Warner Bros have now posted a statement on Steam saying they’re willing to refund Arkham Knight and its Season Pass up until 2016, but the game will continue to be sold. I can’t think of another industry where that would be considered okay.
Yes, it’s nice that people can get their money back, but what about Batman fans who perhaps don’t follow gaming news? I’m surprised Valve are letting the sale of a faulty product continue, frankly.
Here is the latest statement from Warner Bros:
“We are very sorry that many of our customers continue to be unhappy with the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. We worked hard to get the game to live up to the standard you deserve but understand that many of you are still experiencing issues.”
So they’re not sorry for releasing a broken game, they’re just sorry you’re unhappy about it. So what are they going to do?
“Until the end of 2015, we will be offering a full refund on Batman: Arkham Knight PC, regardless of how long you have played the product. You can also return the Season Pass along with the main game (but not separately). For those of you that hold onto the game, we are going to continue to address the issues that we can fix and talk to you about the issues that we cannot fix.”
It’s a nice gesture, but there are some big issues with this. Firstly, “talk to you about the issues we can’t fix” doesn’t sound very good. It sounds a lot like “it will never be the game that was promised, but we’re done now”.
If it can’t be fixed, they should take it off sale.
Secondly, letting players return the Season Pass is fine, but what about players who got the main game on a promotion? I got my copy with the purchase of my GTX 970, and the Steam comments suggest many others did the same. Some of these likely bought the Season Pass, but the rules prohibit them getting a refund.
For these people, all that’s left now is for Nvidia to swoop in and save the day, perhaps by offering an alternative game. Whatever the solution, it’s probably best not to wait for it to come out of Warner Bros. Mad Max was a stellar PC port, but this experience will likely make people think twice before buying a Warner Bros’ published title on day one any time soon.