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Following a huge wave of complaints about Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Knight‘s PC Port performance, publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has suspended sales of the title.  These complaints included tales of sluggish performance and a total inability to get the game to work.  Warner Bros. issued a statement on its community message boards last night:

Dear Batman: Arkham Knight PC owners,

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.

This debacle conjures an extreme case of deja vu, as developer Rocksteady’s last Batman game, Arkham City, had similar performance issues when it was released on the PC even though it was released a month later than the console versions of the title.  The game was purportedly delayed to perfect the title’s highly touted DirectX 11 features, which included more realistic physics and a greater level of game world detail.  Despite this extra month, those who pre-ordered and patiently awaited the game’s release found that DirectX 11 features caused the game to run sluggishly on even the most advanced contemporary machines.  It took months for a patch to be released, and even now, almost four years later, some users have issues enabling the advanced graphics features.

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Every time a AAA title is released on the PC, message boards and subreddits flutter with cautionary comments that warn users to avoid pre-ordering.  In the digital era, major game publishers like Ubisoft, EA, and Warner Bros. release titles before they’re fully functional and bug-free, relying on zero day patches and periodical hotfixes to produce an acceptable product after the consumer’s money has landed in their coffers.  This isn’t a new problem.  People should be well aware of what they’re getting themselves into when they pre-order digital games nowadays and by continuing to pre-order, they’re perpetuating an unacceptable and unsustainable business model.