Warner Bros. has issued a statement apologizing to PC gamers affected by the performance problems with Batman: Arkham Knight.
The full statement, which was provided to Continue Play just a short while ago, reads as follows:
“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.”
It should be noted that while the publisher mentions a refund, they are not actually providing one themselves; rather, they are deferring customers to Steam or whichever retailer they purchased their copy from.
Steam’s refund policy states that you can request a refund for whatever reason, provided that you have not played the game for more than 2 hours. But for many gamers, particularly those who have experienced frequent crashes to desktop or who haven’t been able to even reach the game’s main menu, it’s possible that their logged playtime (Steam counts idle time such as load times and launching the game as actual playtime) will have already exceeded that limit.
Many physical and online retailers, meanwhile, refuse to issue refunds to customers once a game’s shrink-wrapping has been removed – a policy designed to prevent piracy, but which negatively affects people who purchase a product only to find that it’s either incompatible with their hardware or has severe technical problems.
In the United Kingdom, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 states that a person has the right to request a refund if the product they have purchased is not “fit for purpose”, and many other countries have similar consumer rights enshrined in law.
However, the definition of the term “not fit for purpose” is often ill-defined, and many retailers simply defer customers back to the original manufacturer of the product. In this case, that would be Warner. Bros., who are the ones telling consumers to get refunds from the retailer in the first place. Hurrah – customer service ping pong!
So while technically Warner Bros. is saying you’re entitled to a refund, it’s likely that a large proportion of people affected by the issues surrounding the shambolic state of Arkham Knight on PC will not be able to actually receive one. And while it can only be a good thing that the publisher has stated they are doing everything they can to resolve the problems, many will want to know just how Arkham Knight was allowed to be released in such a poor technical state in the first place.
Our review of Batman: Arkham Knight is currently in progress, based on Xbox One retail code provided by the publisher.