Arkham Knight’s PC port was outsourced

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PC gamers have a right to be a little furious. Most of them pay for their games, just like everybody else, and are increasingly stuck with shoddy ports of things. The PC versions of many games are being farmed off to studios that just don’t have the experience, passion or technical savvy to port things properly.

It’s something we saw with Mortal Kombat X. The console versions, made by NetherRealm themselves are mostly fine – while the PC version, developed by outsourced porting studio High Voltage, was a mess that needed to be completely patched to fix.

The same seems to be true of Batman: Arkham Knight. We already know that many PC gamers from both sides of the red/green divide have been having issues with the game, reporting that it suffers from performance issues, visual glitches and game-breaking bugs.

Rocksteady is aware of the issue, saying that it’s working with the studio that did the port to fix things.

“We’re aware that some users are reporting performance issues with the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. This is something that Rocksteady takes very seriously. We are working closely with our external PC development partner to make sure these issues get resolved as quickly as possible.”

That studio? No, it’s not High Voltage, but rather another studio that seems to make a living from porting things: Iron Galaxy. They’re responsible for, among other things, the console ports of Borderlnds: The Handsome Collection (which as you should know, was a bit of a buggy mess when it was released), ports of Capcom games like Street Fighter III and Marvel vs Capcom and the PC version of Arkham Origins, which had its fair share of issues too. Don’t be too hard on them, they also did the excellent second season of Killer Instinct.

According to Reddit, the studio only seems to have had 12 core staff working on the PC port. Of course, that paints half a picture, and likely doesn’t list the temporary workers brought in to make the PC version a reality.

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And while it’s incredibly sad that technical issues are overshadowing what may be one of the best game experiences not just of this year, but ever, it’s equally sad that PC gamers are given a second-rate experience, which is something that’s becoming increasingly common. It can always, always be patched later, right? Personally, I think publishers and studios need to be a little more selective in who they use to port their games, and mayhaps put a little bit more effort in to Q&A.

Of course, with it being a PC game, many are reporting that the game works just fine, especially after fiddling with the configuration files to remove the arbitrary frame rate cap. Those people, it seems, are the lucky ones. Thankfully for every bad port, there’s a great one – with Grand Theft Auto V shining bright as an example of how to do a game on PC properly. Of course, it came months after it was released everywhere else.

Are you playing the game on PC? Are you having any performance issues? Because you know what? The game works just fine on consoles.

Last Updated: June 24, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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