Lots of video games these days launch with issues, thanks in part to the complexity of modern games and the pressures of this fast-moving industry. When that does happen, game developers can usually patch things up post-launch with bug-squashing downloadable updates.
In the case of this week’s biggest new release, Batman: Arkham Knight, the PC version of the game is so broken that publisher Warner Bros. Interactive has pulled it from digital shelves. Wow.
Reports have poured in since the game came out Tuesday that the PC version is more or less unplayable thanks to a plethora of bugs and performance issues, and now it’s been recalled like a car with a fatal design flaw (though with much less needless death).
Warner Bros. posted an update on the Arkham Knight Steam forums apologizing for the problems with the PC port—which it sounds like was outsourced to another developer and not created by Arkham’s primary dev, Rocksteady—and recommending players who feel slighted pursue getting their money back through Steam’s new refund policy.
Meanwhile, WB is scrambling to get the issues fixed. It already issued a patch that helps, and recommends players download new drivers for their video cards specifically geared at cleaning up Arkham Knight. And it must be noted that the console versions of the game on PS4 and Xbox One work fine and are totally worth getting.
Pulling a game from Steam for issues isn’t without precedent, but it’s hard to think of an example of it happening with a game this big. Apparently it wasn’t Bane who broke the Bat, but a game developer with a deadline. Could this be the Joker’s latest bid to destroy Gotham? Because, um, it’s working.