Well, who says that large corporations don’t listen to customers anymore? After the hubbub earlier this week over the terrible ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ PC port, Warner Bros. has apologized over the problems and suspended sales of the game until they have it fixed. Anyone who has already bought the game can either return it for a refund (as many already have, apparently,) or continue playing it, if they want. This was announced in a post on their official forums. It reads as follows:
Dear Batman: Arkham Knight PC owners,
We want to apologize to those of you who are experiencing performance issues with Batman: Arkham Knight on PC. We take these issues very seriously and have therefore decided to suspend future game sales of the PC version while we work to address these issues to satisfy our quality standards. We greatly value our customers and know that while there are a significant amount of players who are enjoying the game on PC, we want to do whatever we can to make the experience better for PC players overall.
Thank you to those players who have already given valuable feedback. We are continuously monitoring all threads posted in the Official Batman: Arkham Knight Community and Steam forums, as well as any issues logged with our Customer Support (support.wbgames.com). If you purchased your copy of the game and are not satisfied with your experience, then we ask for your patience while these issues are resolved. If desired, you can request a refund at help.steampowered.com (Steam refund policies can be found here: http://store.steampowered.com/steam_refunds) or the retail location where you purchased the game.
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.
This is great news for PC gamers who have been up in arms for the past couple days over the sad state of the release of ‘Arkham Knight.’ And while it might be counter-intuitive, suspending sales on PC is actually a positive development. It’s a message from the publisher that they understand they screwed up and that they don’t want to sell a defective product. Most publishers of AAA titles that release games in a buggy, unfinished state tend to ignore customers while silently patching the game. Warner Bros. is being rather proactive in trying to not just mollify, but actually reach out to their community. This apology is a big step forward, and props to them for that. It gives hope that in the future they’ll pay more attention to correctly porting a game to the PC. While not all PC gamers may feel this way, I personally know quite a few who would accept the annoyance of waiting a few weeks or even months if it meant getting a functional PC port on release.
One does have to wonder how much Steam’s new refund system contributed to this reversal. Steam is the largest digital distribution platform on PC and up until only a few weeks ago, it was notoriously stingy when it came to refunding anything. Then they announced a rather generous refund system that has been somewhat controversial but mostly well-received. For a lot of people, apparently it was perfect timing. With a favorablility rating of only around 1/3 on Steam, there had to have been thousands, if not tens thousands, of refund requests for ‘Arkham Knight.’ PC may be the smallest market when it comes to gaming, but that’s still the sort of thing that would grab any company’s attention.
Again, Warner Bros. and the game’s developer, Rocksteady, are working to fix all of the game’s problems, and I have no doubt that once all the major bugs are ironed out, it will be one of the best PC games of the year. It runs well on consoles, and even a lot of PC gamers who had some serious performance issues admitted that the gameplay itself was solid. It was just difficult for them to actually play.
So, fellow PC gamers, are you glad that Warner Bros. has taken this step or would you rather go ahead and buy a buggy game and wait for the patches to roll in? Let us know in the comments. If you’re a console gamer, feel free to brag and feel superior to PC gamers while you still can.