It’s hard to imagine that the abysmal state of the Batman: Arkham Knight PC port was a surprise to the publisher, Warner Bros. If it was, it would imply a problem just as serious: that Warner Bros. has no idea what it’s selling. According to a report from Kotaku, however, coming from two anonymous sources involved in the game, Warner Bros. did know how plagued with problems the Dark Knight’s latest adventure was.
Two anonymous sources who apparently worked on the game, one as a tester and the other in production, claim that Warner Bros. knew what state the game was in, and that development had been extremely troubled.
“I will say that it’s pretty rich for WB to act like they had no idea the game was in such a horrible state,” said the QA tester. “It’s been like this for months and all the problems we see now were the exact same, unchanged, almost a year ago.”
Somehow making it all worse is that Warner Bros. didn’t ship the game in this state because they are some sort of cabal of anti-PC supervillains, but simply because they thought it was good enough. It was missing PC features, prone to crashing, and even with new GPUs like the 970, the frame rate was plummeting below 20. Good enough.
Some of the problems were not PC specific; Rocksteady had problems getting it to work on consoles too.
“Getting it to work on consoles was impossible for months,” continued the tester. “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 difficulties with the console version had a disastrous knock on effect. The second source, who worked on the production side of things, explained that QA teams were told to focus on squashing console bugs, leaving only 10 percent of the team to work on the PC version. Incredibly, QA was, apparently, only bug testing at 720p, while the vast majority of PC users play at 1080p.
Batman: Arkham Knight has been taken off Steam and retailers have been instructed not to sell it. In the mean time, Warner Bros., Iron Galaxy and Rocksteady are working on fixes, though it’s not at all clear how long this will take. So far we’ve seen one minor update that added the missing rain effects and fixed some crashing problems. That was on Saturday.