Rocksteady Studios has received a huge amount of praise for its DC video game titles Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, and fans have been eagerly awaiting Rocksteady's return to the franchise in Batman: Arkham Knight. The new sequel sees Scarecrow take a central villain role and, aided by a mysterious figure called the Arkham Knight, he gathers together Batman's greatest enemies in a bid to kill the vigilante once and for all.
Batman: Arkham Knight was released earlier this week and has generally been met with critical acclaim and further praise from players... on console. The PC port is a different story, as customers who bought Batman: Arkham Knight on this platform have reported serious problems including freezes, framerate stuttering and audio bugs - particularly on PCs that use AMD graphics cards. Amid the flurry of complaints Rocksteady has been scrambling to put together a patch that will fix the problems, and in the interim has taken a surprising step.
In an update on the WB Games community forums, the publisher issued an apology to those experiencing problems and announced that PC sales will be suspended "while we work to address these issues to satisfy our quality standards." WB Games has also requested that retailers remove the PC version from shelves until a working patch is released.
The first few days of a game's release are a crucial time for sales, so this is not the kind of step that's taken lightly. While it has unfortunately become common for games to be released with masses of glitches and technical issues (last year's release Assassin's Creed Unity was notorious for this), usually publishers do little more than ask customers to be patient while they wait for a patch to fix it.
Digital video game distributor Steam recently rolled out a refund policy that allows players to have titles removed from their account in exchange for their money back if they're unsatisfied with the game that they bought. WB Games' update also advises that customers who already bought Batman: Arkham Knight that they can request a refund - though obviously the publisher would prefer for people to simply be patient and wait for the patch.
The suspension of PC sales is definitely a financial gamble, but it could pay off in terms of damage control for Rocksteady's public image. This is, after all, supposed to be the final chapter in the Arkham series, and Rocksteady probably doesn't want the Dark Knight to go out on a bum note. Let us know in the comments if you're currently playing Batman: Arkham Knight, and if you're experiencing any issues with the game.
Batman: Arkham Knight is available now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with PC sales expected to resume soon.
Source: WB Games