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Old 07-01-2015, 05:23 PM   #1
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Batman: Arkham Knight PC Problems Were Known "For Months"

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Batman: Arkham Knight PC Problems Were Known "For Months"
Alleged testers claim difficult console development contributed to compromised PC version.

Batman: Arkham Knight publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment had known about the issues plaguing the PC version for "months," but decided to focus on the console versions, according to purported inside sources.

Speaking to Kotaku under the conditions of anonymity, sources said to be familiar with the game's development said the publisher knew about the various bugs, glitches, framerate, and resolution issues for months in advance of its release.

"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 one unnamed quality assurance tester, which Kotaku claimed had worked on the game.

"It's been like this for months and all the problems we see now were the exact same, unchanged, almost a year ago."

The identity of these inside sources, and their claims, could not be verified at the time of going to press. GameSpot has contacted Warner Bros for comment and clarification.

Shortly after release, the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight was revealed to be carrying noticeable issues ranging from sporadic freezes and frame-rate stutters to audio glitches and texture degradation.

According to the sources, Warner Bros. chose to ship the game because they believed it was good enough. Additionally, the source confirmed that principal developer Rocksteady Studios did not work on the PC version; porting duties was outsourced to Iron Galaxy Studios.

Difficulties developing on new consoles were cited as a major factor in shifting priorities away from the PC version. According to the source, Rocksteady found getting Batman: Arkham Knight to work on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One "impossible for months," which is why "the game got delayed so many times."

"[Rocksteady was] totally unprepared for how hard it was on next-gen consoles," the source stated.

Another source, said to be close to the game's production, said QA teams were told the consoles were "not nearly as easy to work with as [Rocksteady] expected," and were told to focus on finding console bugs. Of the roughly 100 people on the QA team, ten percent were focused on the PC version. This figure, along with all statements from the purported sources, could not be verified at the time of going to press.

Following the high-profile backlash from PC players--and Warner's decision to remove the game from Steam and UK store shelves--Rocksteady released a statement saying it was now working on remedying the port's problems.

Another source told Kotaku that Warner's internal QA team focused on bug-checking at 720p only, which might possibly explain the significant decline in performance at higher resolutions.

Other development issues highlighted by sources were the sprawling nature of the game's world and its many missions, which made testing the game a considerable task.

"We had some testers bugging more than 100 bugs per day [on console]. Devs would fix what they could but they were juggling that with actually finishing the game so they were insanely slow."

Additionally, Rocksteady didn't want the game's story details to leak, which is why PC testing companies were not used, as is the case in many other multi-platform development projects.

A statement laying out plans for ongoing support was also detailed, and the following statement was issued: "The work is significant and while we are making good progress on improving performance, it will take some time to ensure that we get the right fixes in place."
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Old 07-06-2015, 08:54 PM   #2
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i'm glad i went with an x1 this go round instead of a new pc.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:20 PM   #3
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I'm not surprise. I am keeping well away from WB games ever since MKX, and they arent making me doubt myself.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:23 PM   #4
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The Arkham series have always had shitty/delayed launches for PC. In the end though, they end up being pretty good. I 100% both Asylum and City last year on a 670 and had pretty solid framerates at max settings (PhysX on too).

Arkham Asylum was delayed for PC by about a month, as was City. City was so bad that you really couldn't play it on DX11 and had to settle for DX 9, which meant no tessellation. About a month later, Rocksteady patched it and it was fine. Arkham Origins released on time, but had some bugs, including one that prevented everyone from completing the Riddler quest unless you glitch into the building.

I'm currently playing through Knight, as it was free with my 980Ti. It's playable for me. But 'playable' on a PC that would cost you around $2K (not including my $800 monitor that smooths out fps dips) is unacceptable. I hope Rocksteady patches it to allow people with PS4/X1 levels of GPUS to play it. This is the first AAA clunker since Steam offered no-questions-asked rebates on games owned for under 2 weeks and/or played under 2 hours. I think that WB was really caught with their pants down and expected that they could just get away with launching a shitty port for their quarterlies. But now that the bottom line is affected, they pulled the game entirely from sale. Good.

Originally Posted by bujeezus View Post
i'm glad i went with an x1 this go round instead of a new pc.
The way things are going, PC might end up with the lion share of X1 exclusives in the end. So far we got Dead Rising 3, Rome, and Killer Instinct (Kind of shocked by that one).

Originally Posted by Nem View Post
I'm not surprise. I am keeping well away from WB games ever since MKX, and they arent making me doubt myself.
WB has been shady as shit, but a lot of blame lies on the developers too. WB published Shadow of Mordor, and the devs (Monolith) have extensive PC developing knowledge and SoM was pretty damn good. Supergiant Games also puts out quality PC games and they are published by WB too. But Neversoft and Rocksteady? Fuck that noise.

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Old 07-08-2015, 09:49 AM   #5
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I believe some other company besides Rocksteady ported Arkham Knight for PC. But yeah, it's fair to say Rocksteady have little experience making PC ports. I think with consoles you have Sony and MS helping out to optimize the game for their systems. With PC obviously you don't have that outside technical support, so devs are kind of left to fend for themselves. Monolith and CDPR for example do really well in this context, but companies like Rocksteady(and most Japanese devs) who are mostly experienced in developing for consoles usually don't. Like Rockstar, it took them like 2 years to finish the PC port of GTA5. :p Granted from what I understand it was a really good port, but the fact that it took so long demonstrates how difficult it apparently is to make the switch.

I think it's understandable for companies who didn't originate as PC-developers, what I don't understand however is how the PC-version of Arkham Knight made it through WBs quality control and why they didn't delay releasing this version. That's really where they dropped the ball.
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:53 AM   #6
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You can thank the 12 strong team at Iron Galaxy for the shitty PC port, sure, these guys did a good job with 3rd Strike Online and Season 2 of Killer Instinct. But they also have blemishes like Darkstalkers: Resurrection and more recently, Arkham Knight making them look bad.
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