July 14, 2015 | by Devin
Big, Dead Fish in a Little Pond: Arkham Knight’s Release
What it Means to Dominate the News Cycle, for Better or Worse.

Watching the subsequent release- then-removal of the PC version of Arkham Knight was like watching a train wreck. What happened in the first week of release was a derailing of the well oiled “hype train” that powers a big release these days. The year of the bad release was supposed to close out with 2014 and the numerous big name belly flops (hey, how’s that Master Chief Collection holding up?), but it seems this trend of half baking a game is still the lay of the land. Rocksteady, who developed a serviceable console version, are now in the crosshairs of the gaming press and public where mistakes this big are highlighted and berated.

What really drives this backlash is how separated this release is from the holidays, where glitches and hiccups are so numerous it’s easy to slip by with as little as a blurb along side other lukewarm launches. Coming off an E3 press event in the previous week to a full refund program in effect is emblematic of a title that went full stop right into a brick wall, during a typically quiet time of the year.We know where this rush came from; it should be made clear that because of the methods of porting to PC, Warner Bros. and Rocksteady should have come to an agreement on a delay while still releasing the console version.

Because they stuck with the same date for the PC version rather than hold off, Rocksteady must now run the tape back and try again, all while footing the cost of a major re-release. Had they taken a page from Rockstar’s playbook with GTA V , and released a later and enhanced version of their game, this would be a different conversation. Would fans be disappointed in waiting for the chance to play on their computers? Yes, but that’s a hopeful kind of disappointment, where the studio still has a chance to impress PC gamers. That first chance has since passed, and we’ll be lucky to see a fixed copy in the (hopefully) near future. My only hope is this version doesn’t get the DriveClub: PS Plus Edition treatment when it’s back on the market.

We’ve seen a good amount of big releases pushed back and separated before this year, from the Witcher 3 to Uncharted 4; all were pushed back for their own reasons, but it’s becoming a necessary step in AAA development. Look at it as the realistic release date, one that takes into factor just how much is going into the title. Arkham Knight is massive and chock full of side quests and collectibles; should it be taken to account that kind of port from console to PC would need more work to be passable? Yes, but pressure from a major publisher like Warner Bros. can’t be discounted. Since this is Rocksteady’s reportedly last Batman game , this entry comes down to looking like senioritis.

Devin

Devin can neither confirm nor deny if he is the result of a massive experiment gone horribly right. Master of the Wu-Tang sword style.

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