Batman: Arkham Knight ‘Interim’ Batpatch Due In August

Do you know anything about how computers work, Batman? How is this supposed to help?

Zam! Biff! Pow! Bap! Awk! Boff! Flrbbbbb! Vronk! Zlott! Zlonk! Swa-a-p! Crunch-eth! These onomatopoeias and more are the sounds that have surely filled meeting rooms at Warner Bros. since the disastrous PC launch of Batman: Arkham Knight [official site]. Almost four weeks after pulling the game from sale until they’d fixed it up, it seems WB and Rocksteady are still a fair way off bringing it back.

The next patch for folks who bought Bats before he was sent to the Batcave’s naughty step will arrive in August, WB have announced. This is described as an “interim patch update”, which suggests that The Big One is still lurking in the future beyond.

“This update will address many of the issues we listed in our June 27 update,” WB say. Those included better performance, AMD crossfire support, and an option to run faster than 30fps, though WB don’t yet say exactly which problems from that list will be fixed. “We will provide additional details as we finalize that interim patch over the coming weeks.”

When will the list be cleared, and the game ready for relaunch? Who could say!

A supposed internal e-mail leaked from the Australian arm of games shop EB Games to Kotaku Down Under claimed that “The latest information from Warner is that the updates won’t be available until Spring” (Aussie spring starts in September, remember – because they’re upside-down). Whether that’s real and whether the information it relays is correct, I couldn’t say.

In the meantime, PC players are also missing out on DLC (y’know, if that’s a thing they’re interested in). Batgirl is biffing Joker in a story set way back before Arkham Asylum, but we won’t see it on PC until Arkham Knight is back on sale.

24 Comments

  1. PearlChoco says:

    I just hope they don’t draw the wrong conclusion from this mess.

    • Cross says:

      The wrong conclusion, in your mind being?

      • PearlChoco says:

        That PC games aren’t worth it anymore, that PC games don’t sell anymore, that PC gamers are spoiled little brats, etc. and that they should stop release PC games altogether.

        I thought that was obvious :)

        • Booker says:

          Well if they would draw this conclusion that would just be dumb. Of course games don’t sell if they are very buggy. If they want to sell on whatever platform, it is their duty to deliver it in a working state.

          Quite frankly I don’t understand their decision making process. It is definitely quite warped. They knew it wasn’t working well and yet they released it. Why? It would have been smarter to just postpone the PC release until it was working properly.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            PC development might get messier, and sometimes it gets half assed with obvious results.

            The problem is that some developers feel entitled to pass the half assed job as good enough, and when they discover that they shouldn’t feel entitled to that they get angry.

          • Daemoroth says:

            Well, we have seen publishers release a terrible ports then blame piracy for bad PC sales and justify shifting even MORE attention away from PC ports (e.g. link to kotaku.com).

          • Baines says:

            The logic used is pretty simple, and applies to multiple console-focused developers.

            They don’t care about PC. They make their money from console. PC releases are something you can throw a little cash at to make a cheap port that will sell a few more copies. They make cheap ports because they don’t see PC as a large enough market to justify spending more money on.

            Worse, in regards to quality they can see PC as a lose-lose situation, After all, if a PC version can’t be run at visibly better settings than console, then PC users won’t be happy. But if the PC version runs at better settings than console, then console manufacturers aren’t going to be happy. You end up with that idea of parity across platforms, which too often ends up with the PC version actually ending up worse than the console versions instead of equal.

            And PC users are stuck. If PC users don’t buy the games, then the publisher might quit releasing PC ports entirely. If PC users do buy the games, then the publisher sees little reason to seriously attempt to improve the quality of its PC releases.

            Of course Warner Bros planned Arkham Knight’s development under Steam’s old refund policy (aka no refund policy). Valve implementing Steam refunds right before Arkham Knight’s release was probably a nasty shock for Warner. Or at least it was a nasty shock the day after they released Arkham Knight, because I’d bet at least half of management didn’t even know Steam now had a no-questions-asked refund system until after they learned that people were asking for Arkham Knight refunds. Without Steam refunds, I really doubt Warner would have pulled PC Arkham Knight from sale or put much effort at all into fixing it (at least not until they wanted to sell their next product and felt that a token Knight effort might mend fences.)

    • NonCavemanDan says:

      That pigs are actually a type of fruit?

  2. Tinotoin says:

    I’m glad I’ve held off playing. I tried to play for an hour or so, but the random frame rate drops to single figures were really distracting.

    The thing is, 80% of the time it’s up at 80+ fps, but when on a rooftop and looking around, when initiating a grapnel boost above the buildings, or when the batmobile shows up – it drops to 4 or 5 fps.

    Funny thing is, this happens at both 1080p and 720p… even reinstalling to my SSD eliminated none of this.

    Frustrating, as it looks like it’s really good fun.

  3. merbert says:

    From Batman to Shatman….oh dear….what a f**k up.

  4. rustybroomhandle says:

    For Linux/OSX users this is actually quite intriguing. We were already waiting for Feral to do the port, and I’m sure there were no doubts that the port would be absolutely top quality, like all their work. But their porting is based off the Windows source code. So either:
    a) This mess is delaying them
    b) They’re carrying on just fine and might possibly have the port ready before the Windows version goes back on the store shelves. :)

    • Janichsan says:

      Although Feral has on occasion used parts of console versions in their ports*, which would make option b) not completely unthinkable, I’m afraid option a) is the more realistic outcome.

      (* For example, the Mac App Store and stand-alone versions of Batman: Arkham Asylum had extra content that was otherwise PS3 exclusive.)

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        Also depends on the nature of the bugs. If the optimisation issues are primarily DirectX related, it won’t affect the rollout of the port necessarily. a) is definitely more realistic, but dangit if b) wouldn’t be funny :)

        • Janichsan says:

          Good point. I had the impression that Nvidia’s Gameworks is at least behind some of AK’s problems. Since Gameworks is not available for OS X and Linux, it might actually make things a bit easier… :P

          • fish99 says:

            With all the gameworks stuff turned off, the game still has the stutters for me. It’s something to do with streaming the level, because it’s always triggered by moving around the map, whether by batmobile or grapple/gliding.

  5. montorsi says:

    It’s a real shame that this happened to the PC port. I can’t even talk about the things I like about the game with friends because they haven’t bought it yet and certain aspects of the story should not be spoiled or even hinted at unless you’re the kind of asshole who likes ruining things for other people.

    • Tinotoin says:

      Yeah I’ve had to be wily with my internet browsing to as not to spoil anything for myself!

  6. PancakeWizard says:

    It’s crazy that it’s got to the point of pre-announcing ‘interim’ patches. Any other publisher would’ve got away with just releasing the patch when it was ready and carrying on regardless. I get that the port was shoddy and pulling it from shelves was a good move, but the continued flaggelation is a bit much.

    • Det. Bullock says:

      There weren’t steam refunds until a few days before the release, so nobody really cared as they mostly made their profit with pre-orders and day-one sales, now most of those profits have been literally vaporized by the refunds and they have to make known they are patching the game.

    • KillahMate says:

      It’s possible that you don’t quite get how shoddy the port was or how angry people are about it. The answer to both of those, by the way, is ‘very’.

    • Baines says:

      343 Studios did a poor enough job of Master Chief Collection for the Xbox One that they were announcing what were effectively interim patches.

      Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer/whoever did such a poor job with Modern Warfare 3 (consoles included) that they might as well have been announcing interim patches, considering they released multiple patches that actually did the opposite of what they claimed, and released a major weapon rebalance patch that did absolutely nothing at all. (And then spent a day or so denying that they’d botched it, while trying to keep hidden any information that would show whether or not they’d botched it.)

      PC has seen that kind of treatment for a while, effectively, as well. Tecmo Koei said that the PC version of DOA5 wouldn’t get online play until a patch three months after release. When they finally did deliver online play, they admitted that it was still only beta code in need of testing.

  7. Phantom_Renegade says:

    The big patch will come when everyone’s forgotten about this mess, which considering the internet’s memory will be in a few weeks. Then they’ll release some big new edition, making all the bad reviews disappear, and make some big fanfare about releasing a great game. Then, with the next batman game, they’ll do the exact same damn thing again. Know how I know? Because they released a bugged out batman game before, Origins, refused to patch in order to work on DLC and despite all of that, people pre-ordered Knight in droves anyway.

    Short version, people are short, forget this has happened before, and will pre-order the next one anyway, regardless.