With reports surfacing earlier about Warner Bros knowing the broken state in which Batman: Arkham Knight released on PC, it raises the question: Why did Warner Bros even feign ignorance when it came time to pull the game from store shelves?
PC ports of games in recent years have taken the brunt of broken and missing content. Some examples would be the mess pretty much every Assassin’s Creed game in recent memory has released in, NBA 2K14 releasing with half the content of its console counterpart, oh — and Batman: Arkham Origins. That also had a shoddy PC release. Warner Bros. themselves have recent history of publishing games on PC in broken states. Mortal Kombat X was essentially broken for most PC gamers upon launch in April, and Dying Light had massive issues for those running on AMD graphics cards when it released earlier this year.
So what does this mean? Set aside the fact that Warner Bros. pulled Batman: Arkham Knight from shelves until the game was “fixed.” This should never have been released. No one should praise Warner Bros. for “doing the right thing” and pulling the broken game. The right thing to do would’ve been to never release the game in the first place. To do so, to milk as much money as they can get out of consumers knowing full well the product is broken, shows the supreme disrespect the Arkham Knight publisher has for those forking over hard-earned money for the product.
To knowingly pull resources from the PC product (which Kotaku’s source fully admitted only 10 percent of the QA team was working on the PC) so they could focus more on developing to the new console hardware and then doing nothing to resolve those issues, it’s a slap in the face to anyone who honestly thought WB would release a competent port on PC. Batman: Arkham Knight is the poster child now of everything wrong with releasing a game — highly anticipated game releases broken, and then it comes out that the publisher fully knew the extent of the issues beforehand.
While Warner Bros. can celebrate a decent console launch, which seems to be all they focused on in the end for Batman: Arkham Knight, the internet doesn’t forget things easily. All one has to do is read comment sections and Reddit pages to see that Warner Bros. is now in the same conversation some PC users hold Ubisoft, another company with a bad history with PC gamers.
It’s not a bad thing to delay a game further, and Batman: Arkham Knight is proof that sometimes that’s absolutely necessary. However, to knowingly release a broken product, grab as much money as you can from those sales, and then act as “contrite” as possible to save face is just plain disrespectful to your consumer base. Warner Bros — and Rocksteady, the studio who made Batman: Arkham Knight— fully deserve all of the vitriol and anger of the PC community they are receiving right now.
Warner Bros. needs to do something to show they do actually care about consumer rights when it comes to their games. However, the only way they will truly save face is to come out and fully admit they knew about the issues (which as of this writing is something they haven’t done), and then ensure that the next major cross-platform release they publish won’t treat PC users as an afterthought. No consumer, regardless of platform, deserves a broken product they paid for, and for Warner Bros. to deem it acceptable to release one, again, shows the disconnect with consumers that is becoming all too apparent in today’s video game industry.
What are your thoughts on WB knowing about Batman: Arkham Knight’s PC issues, yet still releasing the game? Sound off below.
[Images via Warner Bros.]