After a significant number of complaints regarding performance issues, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has made the decision to voluntarily remove the PC version offrom the Steam digital distribution network.
The fourth title in the popular Arkham series of Batman games faltered at the starting line, with the publisher pulling the PC version of the game just one day after the game's release on June 23.
Despite a warm reception by fans and critics alike, gamers who were playing the title on PC soon took to message boards complaining of audio glitches, frame rate drops and even freezing. The problems seem to be particularly prevalent for people using AMD graphics cards in their gaming PCs.
Long-suffering PC gamers were once again hit with launch-day issues preventing them from fully enjoying the game, while the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions were free of such problems. At a time whenthanks to features like virtual reality and 4K being most at home on PC, the failed launch of a highly anticipated game like Batman: Arkham Knight speaks to the traditional PC gaming fear of glitches and hardware incompatibility.
Gary Lake-Schaal, VP of Game Technology at Warner Bros. posted on Steam to announce the game's removal, with the news being cross-posted on the Warner Bros. community forum. Lake-Schaal said that the company was working on an updated version of Arkham Knight to address the issues.
"We want to apologize to those of you who are experiencing performance issues with Batman: Arkham Knight on PC," said Lake-Schaal in the post.
"The Batman: Arkham fans have continually supported the franchise to its current height of success, and we want to thank you for your patience as we work to deliver an updated version of Batman: Arkham Knight on PC so you can all enjoy the final chapter of the Batman: Arkham series as it was meant to be played."
Warner Bros. has requested that fans stay patient while the glitches are ironed out, but has noted that Steam users can request a refund if desired.
Earlier this month Steam announced a new policy for refunds. Users can now request a refund on a game within two weeks of purchasing it from the service, for any reason. One caveat is that the game cannot have been played for more than two hours in that time, but Steam help centre says that "even if you fall outside of the refund rules we've described, you can ask for a refund anyway and we'll take a look."
Rival digital distribution platform Green Man Gaming will also be offering a full refund to dissatisfied customers if the forthcoming patch doesn't resolve playability issues, the company announced.
Rocksteady Studios has previously acknowledged the reports of PC issues on its Twitter account, saying that it was taking the complaints "very seriously."
Batman: Arkham Knight will return to Steam once developer Rocksteady Studios rolls out a fix for the PC version of the game.
We're aware that some users are reporting performance issues on PC. We take this very seriously & we're investigating http://t.co/9dGdLBGGIf— Rocksteady Studios (@RocksteadyGames) June 23, 2015