Batman: Arkham Knight – Warner Bros Offer Full Refunds For Steam PC Version

UPDATE: Green Man Gaming will also be honouring full refunds until the end of 2015. I’ve updated the article to reflect this.

Warner Bros have announced they will offer a full refund to Steam owners of their troubled PC port of Batman: Arkham Knight [official site].

“Until the end of 2015, we will be offering a full refund on Batman: Arkham Knight PC, regardless of how long you have played the product,” announced the company on the game’s Steam page. I’m flagging up the Steam stuff because it looks like this is an offer or an attempt at damage limitation which relies on Steam’s refund system.

Arkham Knight was originally pulled from sale at the end of June this year – an extraordinary move which underlined just how bad the technical issues could be for players of the PC version.

Here’s the video John made at the time to show the framerate struggles he experienced during the game’s opening:

In the intervening period there were patches and updates for those who had picked up the game already. For those waiting for the re-release… well, it turned out four months still wasn’t enough time to be able to fix the game properly.

As Alec explained the day after the re-launch:

“there’s some sort of issue with paging which means the official advice is to restart the game if it stutters under Windows 7, while Windows 10 players are advised to have at least 12GB of RAM. No other game, to the best of my knowledge, has that requirement. On top of that, there’s no official SLI or Crossfire support, and people without ridiculous systems are reporting all sorts of other issues too, including crashes and low frame-rates.”

Adam’s review pointed out positives, particularly when it came to spectacle and style but on the technical front he noted:

“Sadly, it all seems like a bit of a crapshoot – my PC is mighty (specs at the end) but it’s not the mightiest, and given the botched nature of the release and now re-release, I couldn’t confidently state that anyone should take a chance with the game unless they had the option to refund.”

In announcing the refund scheme Warner Bros note that, for players who do hang on to the game, they will continue to address the issues they can fix and “talk to you about the issues that we cannot fix.”

Basically the whole thing has been a complete disaster and, from that last quote, some problems with the game will never be fixed.

Here’s the full statement:

We are very sorry that many of our customers continue to be unhappy with the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. We worked hard to get the game to live up to the standard you deserve but understand that many of you are still experiencing issues.

Until the end of 2015, we will be offering a full refund on Batman: Arkham Knight PC, regardless of how long you have played the product. You can also return the Season Pass along with the main game (but not separately). For those of you that hold onto the game, we are going to continue to address the issues that we can fix and talk to you about the issues that we cannot fix.

Thank you,

Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment

Two things:

First is that even the refunds experienced technical issues. (If you encountered problems submitting a refund for the game on Steam Valve have also noted that the issue should have been resolved now so you should try again.)

The other is that, as I noted at the top of the post, this post refers to a Steam-bought refund offer. I just checked in with Green Man Gaming’s site and in mid-September they updated their refund info to say that the September 3rd patch fixed a large number of gameplay issues and “as such we will no longer be honouring refund requests for this title”. That hasn’t changed. Green Man Gaming have just issued an update saying they will also be honouring refunds until the end of 2015.

I’ve sent Warner an email asking for clarification on whether they’re working to secure refunds or some kind of compensation for people who purchased copies of the game for PC from other retailers. I’ll update this post if I hear back.

62 Comments

  1. gbrading says:

    Basically at this point all I’m hearing about Arkham Knight is that it should be avoided. If you’ve bought the game at original launch you already had a fair bit of time to claim a refund, but this is another step showing just how desperate Warner Bros. has become. Maybe next time they’ll release a decent PC version, like they did for Shadow of Mordor? We live in hope.

    • braven5 says:

      Shadow of Mordor has very serious issues too, many people who bought the game it ran great at first, then suddenly following a patch many of those people can’t even load the game now, and they no option to revert to early version, so thousands can’t play a game they paid for even this they used to run it in 2k+ resolution

      • socrate says:

        Wow didn’t know about that…they could pirate it i mean its not like they bought it right…with these kind of copy you can easily use different patch.

        SoM was good till i hit the very few story boss there was and as a stupidly short story if you don’t like hunting down orc leader and messing with the warband thing…its really sad to hear that because while not amazing the game did put new interesting thing in that stupid 1 hit button kill genre and let you assasinate who you wanted which was a nice change…oh well

  2. pseudoart says:

    “…talk to you about the issues that we cannot fix.” – That line should make everyone run to get their money back.

    • Pazguato says:

      Agreed.

      “issues that we cannot fix”. They’re laughing at us. Shameful conduct by Rocksteady amd WB.

      • OoooOoOOooh says:

        “Issues that we cannot fix” sounds like an admission of incompetence. I’d be shot if I sent that in an email to our smallest client. I can’t imagine trying to pull that off in a press release from a major multi-national corporation.

        • pseudoart says:

          In reality, it is most likely a return of investment issue. Fact is that the majority of sales is at release for all titles. At this point, throwing more money at the incompetent studio that handled the PC port will yield nothing in return, except for regaining some trust from consumers. However, the damage is done, now they’ll settle for “barely acceptable” – probably to avoid more bad press and/or lawsuits.

          Given enough time and money, they could make the pc port splendid (probably also by going with a different pc port supplier), but it’s no worth it. :(

          • welverin says:

            Well, based on some things I’ve read, primarily here I believe, there may well be some fundamental engine issues that are the root cause and those aren’t the types of things that you can just patch away.

          • epeternally says:

            Unfortunately you’re right. In an ideal world, WB would value their public image enough to put whatever it takes into delivering the product they promised their customers, even if it means a total rewrite taking a year and tens of millions of dollars, but in reality it’s just going to be cheaper for them to abandon it and accept the public ill will. Especially with it being PC only issues. Even when there’s been egregious screw ups (Sonic 2006), customers / fans still tend to come back. It’s not like 80% of people who got screwed over here are actually going to not buy WB games in the future, or like console users are going to boycott them in solidarity with PC players. With the firm hand of collective might, we could stop this sort of exploitation in its tracks, but instead we’ll just go back to being complacent consumers. WB can get away with this because we let them, and hell they could probably have gotten away with not even doing the four months patch without it meaningfully affecting their business long term.

  3. MikeTheRed says:

    I was one of the semi-fortunate few for whom the game worked mostly (still had some nasty frame drops, and other bugs, but it wasn’t crippling). However, since the patch, I get frequent crashes and can’t generally play for more than a few minutes at a time.

    I really wanted to give this game a chance, give it room to improve. But I’ve LOST ground in the patches. And I was one of the schmucks who got the season pass too. I put a lot of money into this game, and still don’t have something I can reasonably play fully.

    This will probably be my first ever Steam refund :(

    • dysomniak says:

      I was also lucky enough to have the game mostly work on my system (i7 3770k, 2x GTX770 SLI 4GB, 16 GB system RAM, 1080p), and also unlucky enough to have had the new patch tank my framerate. Whereas before I spent most of my time between 60 and 90 FPS (everything on max, NVIDIA stuff turned off) with occasional dips into the 20s when glide boosting or batmobiling, now I struggle to hit 50 fps just walking around. I’d be tempted to get a refund but I think I bought it through nuuvem. Oh well, I did put over 40 hours into so I guess I got my money’s worth. Sure would be nice if they’d kick down a free season pass or something for those of us who already own all the other Arkham games…

  4. mattevansc3 says:

    GreenManGaming are now offering refunds –
    link to blog.playfire.com

    Probably a case of them needing to confirm they would get a refund on the Steam keys before offering the refund.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Hammer says:

    It sounds like they are washing their hands of the whole thing and walking away. Clearly whatever is still causing the issues for folks is either too expensive or difficult to fix.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hammer says:

      Assuming expensive of course. If they felt that potential profit was threatened, they’d be doing more.

    • tomimt says:

      It kinda sounds like the flaws in the game are so fundamental, they only way to fix them would be to code a lot of it again.

  6. rustybroomhandle says:

    Interestingly, Feral Interactive, who did the Mac/Linux ports of Alien: Isolation, Shadow of Mordor, and XCOM, have taken on the task of doing those ports for Arkham Knight.

    Their output quality has been generally pretty decent thus far, so it’ll be interesting to see how they do with this one.

    • DiiGiiTAL says:

      I’d be happy if the PC ports just had fucking decent menus to be honest. It’s the one thing they seem to overlook when porting.

  7. oceanclub says:

    “…talk to you about the issues that we cannot fix.”

    How did they manage to produce a game that simply broke when ported to PC? (I’m genuinely curious.)

    P.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      At least From Software was honest with DS1 about them putting it into some sort of autocompiler bought for 1000 Yen from a student.

      Or something.

    • Jac says:

      Yeah I don’t understand either. I’m no developer but aren’t the new consoles using x86 chips now meaning they are essentially pcs?

      Even more bizarre as I remember playing Arkham Asylum on a pretty shitty laptop and it ran flawlessly.

      • mattevansc3 says:

        Its a little more complex than that though. Memory timings for the PS4 and XboxOne are considerably different to PC because of the different RAM configurations (GDDR5 and ESRAM). Then you’ve got two non-Windows OSs to deal with, low level access to hardware, etc.

        Just being made for an x86/64 platform doesn’t mean it will automatically work, just ask the Linux and OSX users.

        • TillEulenspiegel says:

          Memory timings are really just an optimization issue, and only if you’re writing assembly. You can squeeze a few instructions in between memory accesses. But if you screw that up, the CPU will just wait a few extra nanoseconds. Not a source of actual bugs.

          But the graphics API in particular is completely different on each platform. Until DX12, when Xbone and Windows will share one.

        • SuicideKing says:

          Memory timings? No, that doesn’t have much (if anything) to do with it. And the Xbone uses DDR3 as well.

  8. Runty McTall says:

    I very much enjoy the fact that there’s a handy image of Batman looking like he has a major migraine brewing that can be dropped in at the start of all of these articles :)

    Maybe have a lie down in a dark room for a bit Bruce…

  9. Gurrah says:

    Great, and I’m stuck with this pile of shi… I mean bits because I’ve got it with my graphics card in June. Nvidia should really reimburse their customers as well, they bundled their cards with software that doesn’t work.

    • Asurmen says:

      You got it for free. What’s to refund?

      • Lachlan1 says:

        Not if the inclusion of that software influenced his purchasing decision.

        • Asurmen says:

          Doesn’t matter. The money exchanged was for the graphics card.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            The money exchanged was for a bundle, so no, it wasn’t for a graphics card.

            The fact that it’s not possible to purchase the card alone for cheaper is something that should be addressed, but not the customer’s fault.

          • Asurmen says:

            No. It was for a graphics card that came with a free game, that’s how these things work.

            Even if you don’t agree with that, the game and the card are intimately tied together. You cannot refund the game AND keep the card.

          • Gurrah says:

            I strongly disagree, of course. Even though the game is “free” it is being advertised as software you get for free when purchasing a piece of hardware that can supposedly execute said software.

            It’s basically NVidia saying “Thanks for buying our card, and here’s software to go with it that will definitely work with this card”. Now, it isn’t in Nvidia’s interest to bundle software with their products that doesn’t work with their products. Reimbursement can take many forms, I’m not asking for my money back because I am happy with the card, but goodwill goes a long way keeping the customer happy, so a replacement game would be the way to go.

            For me it’s along the lines of buying a car with a special offer attached to it, say, for a set of free snow tires and the tires not fitting on the car. Sure, you’ve got some nice free tires but they don’t work as advertised.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            I don’t disagree with that, but the only right way is to offer the bundled version AND the simple version for less.

            This is not for today, but for tomorrow, and you twist my word if you think i’m saying that with the current deal you should get refunded, since you agreed to that bundle. Thing is, i don’t want bundles and that’s why.

            I would absolutely buy any future GPU with no strings attached.

          • Asurmen says:

            Tactical, I’m not sure what part of free you’re not getting :/ It costs you no more to buy a bundled GPU than one without.

    • anHorse says:

      I’m gonna ask Nvidia to refund the entire card ;)

      Whilst this does mean that both the games I got with my new 970 are essentially worthless (I already owned witcher 3) it has been interesting to experience the mess of Batman with no money invested it it.

      I know next to nothing about development but I always find it a bit hard to understand when developers struggle to port the game to pc. Surely they made the thing on pc in the first place?

  10. Premium User Badge

    DuncUK says:

    I’ve often wondered what it is about my machine that gave me rock solid 30FPS in the launch version and now gives me a solid 90FPS on the latest patch (besides turning off all the fancy nVidia smoke rubbish). From everything I’ve read it seems that RAM is crucial, especially VRAM. I’m running Windows 10 and have a 4GB 970 and 16GB of 2100 MHZ DDR3 System RAM. So I guess that’s it?

    Really, WB should release a free benchmark app or demo so people can see for themselves whether the game runs fine. Running the gamut with refunds is not a very customers friendly way of determining if your product is useable.

    • muptup says:

      My system is pretty much the same and it always ran fairly smoothly for me. Crashes were another thing though. Every 15 minutes or so until the September patch.

  11. JoeFX69 says:

    Can we buy now, test it, then get a refund?

    • Cantisque says:

      If you buy it on Steam, yes. The standard refund policy of 2 hours will still apply.

      • welverin says:

        Wrong, as this very article quotes:
        “Until the end of 2015, we will be offering a full refund on Batman: Arkham Knight PC, regardless of how long you have played the product,”

        So, if someone buys it right now, they have two (almost) full months to play it and still get a full refund.

  12. TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

    I understand that whoever got a “free” coupon from Nvidia is not eligible, makes sense i guess, though if that’s the case i wouldn’t mind a future in which we can get cheaper version of the same GPU without any extra crap.

    I also understand that such a thing won’t happen because of how all the parties involved cross-promote themselves, but i sure as hell can dream.

  13. Deano2099 says:

    Wait, it runs fine for me (dialling back the graphics a tad on a 970)- they’re saying if I finish it by the end of the year I can have my money back?

  14. PearlChoco says:

    I’m starting to feel like the only person on earth who had absolutely no problems at all (except for some minor bug maybe), although I have a very common setup (i5 4690K, GTX 970, 8GB RAM, Win 8 and later 10). I can play the game at 1080p maxed at a near constant 60 fps since one of the early patches. The only thing that kills the framerate is the interactive smoke (nVidia only), but Arkham Knight is far from the only game that has a next-next-gen feature to keep it relevant in the coming years.

    I feel a bit sorry for WB, since they seem to be trying their best to make things right. And Arkham Knight is a fantastic game with the best graphics PC has to offer at the moment. I hope they don’t abandon the PC platform alltogether.

    • Asurmen says:

      You feel sorry for them when it’s their own fault and wilfully let it be released?

      • w0bbl3r says:

        I feel sorry for them definitely at this point.
        Not for releasing the game in that state, they deserve all the ire in the world for that.
        But they are getting such abuse for re-releasing the game with a patch that fixed the game for a huge number of people, and then even MORE abuse for offering full refunds to every single person who can get one, until december, whether you could play the game or not.
        I see people actually saying “I don’t want a refund, I will keep the game to remind me not to buy from WB again”. Seriously? I mean…. SERIOUSLY?
        From what I saw so far on the steam forums, after their initial screw up, nothing that WB does is good enough.
        They could offer blow jobs from Denise Van Outen along with free games on steam for life, and an upgrade for your PC in the range of £1,000 every 2 years, and people would still say “you suck WB, fix the game or GTFO, we hate you”

        • Asurmen says:

          They’re getting abuse because even the re-release was a lack lustre effort.

          • Jediben says:

            WB are a company, a huge conglomerate of people whose sole motivation is making as much money as possible. Feeling sorry for them is like feeling sorry for a wasp’s nest caught in a rain storm. The corporation deserves no emotional affectation because it shows none back and sees no bottom line. All the press releases are pure efforts to prevent losses on future projects, nothing more. It’s a golem that yearns only for the dollar!

          • Jediben says:

            And a BJ from Denise Van Outen? Showing your age there grandad!

      • Vandelay says:

        I don’t feel sorry for WB, but I do feel sorry for Rocksteady. By all accounts, they did a fantastic job on the console versions, but their name will forever be tarred on PC.

        I’m certain that they had little to no involvement in deciding on how the port will be done and I find it unlikely that they had sight of the game before release. It wouldn’t be surprised if WB had minimal sight of the PC version too, but either way they have shown a lack of care for their customers.

    • Premium User Badge

      DuncUK says:

      How much RAM does your 970 card have? Mine has 4GB and I wonder if this is the sweet spot for good performance (which I get).

      • PearlChoco says:

        Are there 970’s with other memory configurations?? I don’t think so.

        BTW I think asking for 12GB ram to optimally run max settings is not that unreasonable, considering the Xbox One already has 8GB and barely manages to run the game in 900p, no real AA, at 30 fps and considering it probably has the best PC graphics in an open world game so far. (I have only 8GB ram and it works like a charm too).

        • welverin says:

          The Xobx One doesn’t really have 8 GB of RAM, 2-4 of that is reserved for the system and all the extraneous programs it runs. At best it probably uses 5.5 GB of RAM for games.

    • socrate says:

      “best graphics PC has to offer at the moment.”

      Is this just PR damage control because that is just the most stupid thing ive heard in a long time

  15. Enso says:

    Omnishambles

  16. Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

    I must say I feel sorry for Rocksteady. They have been in the firing line as well on this one, when it’s likely entirely the influence of Warner Brothers. They built a superb franchise, some of my favourite games of all time, and now their reputation has been sullied by yet another cunty publisher. Big shame. Also who the fuck is this porting house they used? Is no one suing them?!

    • uh20 says:

      The group tasked with porting night not be to blame here if you factor in the state of the game to be posted and the time they were hired on. That there still exists porting issues is anybody’s guess.

  17. orbit_l says:

    I can’t even get my copy refunded, even though I got it as a free game with my GTX 970 and it has been running without problems all the way to the end. I’m sure the fact that I have 16GB of RAM has helped with that as well.

    I wholeheartedly agree with Adam’s review as well, so if your system has the specs to run it and you enjoyed the previous Batgames, I say get it. Especially with the refund policy in place, you don’t have much to lose :)

  18. w0bbl3r says:

    I couldn’t agree more.
    The thing is I actually saw someone posted on the steam forums SERIOUSLY demanding some kind of refund or compensation for an “nvidia version”, which he explained to mean he got it from nvidia.
    I see so many people complaining about WB, and releasing the game in that state was horrific of them. But they screwed up… what can you do? Since the screw up I believe they have done everything possible to make people happy. Sadly, gamers just love to have something to whine about, and this will keep them going for months yet.
    One of the steam forums mods told me that there had been 100 bans issued on the arkham knight forum on the night of the re-release, people were just being such jerks about everything, and really attacking anyone who said they ran the game fine. Basically, they said if you run the game ok, you’re lying and work for WB, or are just a fanboy.
    I had almost no problems at launch, and it runs almost perfectly for me now after the patch and re-release.
    With this refund policy in place I don’t see that they can do too much more to make it better.
    They shouldn’t have given the game to an inexperienced developer for the PC version, and even when they did they should have made sure the game was up to scratch all the way. Their mistake. And it has cost them a lot already, and will cost them more in the future I am sure.
    But how many developers/publisher have we seen that have made screw ups almost as big, and just release a patch or two, or even just left it and done nothing, without even a word? Ubisoft are well known for this, apart from their offering over AC:U.

    • socrate says:

      Love that you treat a company as a benevolent benefactor then whine saying gamer are basically spoiled brat ffs,i really hope you are either trolling or have very little life experience because these things are not exclusive to gaming…and you praise bad forum moderation which is just beyond silly and show that this problem need a fix badly from steam because they only stop doing it when the flood of complaint just cannot be stopped…i do get that steam forum like so many forum have people with really bad behavior but you also have the opposite which are the horrible fanboy who praise these damn product as if their life depended on it even if its a clear broken mess…just look at the recent vermintide you have people still thinking that game is a godly incarnation and yet you see the community that see that the game they want it to be will never be there with people defending every bad decision the dev make and keep pushing that rigged bad RNG system in and expect people to not exploit or cheat in their game..and now since the fix you see less and less people playing it which tells alots…keep in mind that this game is really multiplayer centric and aside from brain dead bot you have no real single player.

      Here what we see is basically WB trying to minimize their future loss on their name and for the next games on pc and im totally fine with that i think its a good deal for everyone since this doesn’t seem recoverable at this point…if the product you bought isn’t working as intended refund is needed,im just worried now that they will just delete negative post just to up their sale after 2015…i really hope im wrong because you should be warned when buying that game that your top end pc MIGHT not be able to run it properly.

      That said i have no problem with it but i do stick with the 30fps cap…i wouldn’t say its the best batman game i liked city better personally it had more freedom in roaming around then in this which is basically on rail with really small freedom involved its…ok(if you can run it that is).

  19. IcyBee says:

    The great tragedy in all this is that, provided that it works for you, this is a terrific game.
    I’m currently on my second playthrough (new patch is great – no slowdowns at all now) and I’m looking forward to trying out all the DLC.

  20. Ethilin says:

    I for one am glad they’ve admitted that for some the game will never work.
    This was the last PC game I pre-ordered having bought and loved the others (even Origins). I played it on release day with zero issues or crashes on default settings for longer than I should (17 hours, 1 CTD), after this it would not last 5 minutes before crashing.
    Bought it for PS4 – finished it without crashes; I’ve since given my 3D gaming PC away, I would rather play a game with lower FPS/Res if it means a stable playthrough.
    I’ve still got the MacBook and a media PC for CKII & RPGs. As an added bonus my electric bill dropped by £30 a month with no 3D gaming PC.