[Updated: Warner Brothers has sus­pend­ed all fur­ther sales of Batman: Arkham Knight until fur­ther notice. See this post for fur­ther details]

It is com­ing to light that those who have pre-ordered the high­ly antic­i­pat­ed Batman: Arkham Knight on PC are com­ing away with a sour taste in their mouths. Several hun­dreds of users — pri­ma­ry AMD users but not lim­it­ed to them — are expe­ri­enc­ing a host of prob­lems at launch.

Micro-stuttering caus­ing gen­er­al un-playability from visu­al slow­ness and the game’s omnipresent DRM Anti-Circumvention Software Denuvo are ruin­ing game­play, enjoy­ment, and hard dri­ves — in that order.

Were this only an issue on AMD graph­ics cards, it would be easy to say this was the result of NVIDIA GameWorks™ and use of pro­pri­etary code in Arkham Knight itself. However, it is report­ed in the Steam forums that users with cards as pow­er­ful as the Nvidia GTX 980 are fac­ing the some of the same per­for­mance issues, mak­ing the game unplayable.

Another issue that has come up is that Arkham Knight is locked at 30 FPS. This can be fixed via an INI tweak, but this shouldn’t have been capped in the first place. This already push­es the play­er expe­ri­ence in favor of the PS4, with evi­dence that there were absolute­ly zero PC copies of Arkham Knight pro­vid­ed to any­body before launch for review. Other graph­i­cal issues, such as tex­tures load­ing improp­er­ly, mas­sive frame rate drops, and oth­er per­for­mance issues are being report­ed, again across both AMD and Nvidia plat­forms, prompt­ing Rocksteady to issue a state­ment to turn off SLI as this was report­ed­ly adding to the per­for­mance issues, rather than help­ing to fix them as adver­tised.

It’s look­ing like Iron Galaxy, a PC Port spe­cial­ist was cho­sen to han­dle the PC port, as they are list­ed in the cred­its as “PC Support and addi­tion­al engi­neer­ing.”

So why is Batman Arkham Knight Such A Heaping Mess?

Were a basic PC review copy pro­vid­ed before launch to any out­lets, this may have allowed the con­sumer to make the deci­sion to not to buy the game. However, there was a gen­er­al black­out across media plat­forms which favoured a PS4 Exclusive review sys­tem where­in Warner Brothers Software did not give any jour­nal­ists a PC review copy.

The Denuvo DRM, or Anti-Circumvention Software as they prefer it to be called, is infa­mous in the gam­ing com­mu­ni­ty for con­stant­ly read/writing the hard dri­ve for games under their dubi­ous pro­tec­tion. This can to hard dri­ve deaths, as the disk or — heav­en for­bid — an SSD has their lifes­pan reduced by the con­stant read/writes. This sys­tem isn’t dis­played in the store page details on Steam either, where it nor­mal­ly should be list­ed. As of this writ­ing, Denuvo DRM has yet to be added to the store list­ing as a “fea­ture.”

An attempt by Gameworks™ to obfus­cate, and indeed, lock-out AMD users was not­ed as well. Arkham Knight’s store page orig­i­nal­ly had only the Nvidia pre­ferred cards avail­able for its require­ments. This has been changed in the last Steam page update, and can be cor­rob­o­rat­ed by an archive of Nvidia’s Arkham Knight page here. What’s worse, is the require­ments for AMD’s cards jump­ing quite high, due to the ver­i­ta­ble black­out Nvidia has on new games using Gameworks™.

General per­for­mance issues are being cor­rob­o­rat­ed across the Steam plat­form, from the forums to the, now thou­sands, of bad reviews placed on the page itself, includ­ing but not lim­it­ed to the fol­low­ing

Judging from how this game was han­dled, there very well may be more issues crop­ping up in the future. This is a shame for Iron Galaxy, a con­sole and PC port spe­cial­ist com­pa­ny with many ports under their belt. A shame because they have han­dled oth­er ports quite excel­lent­ly in the past. [Note: This is a Wikipedia link, take with salt.]

There are so many prob­lems with this launch, it’s dif­fi­cult to fig­ure out where to begin: Proprietary tech from NVida block­ing out AMD dri­ver devs until after launch, Denuvo DRM Anti-Tamper Technology, no PC review copies before launch, and Arkham Knight’s PC port being han­dled by a port­ing com­pa­ny nor­mal­ly well known for their con­sole ports. It is like­ly with all the­se issues com­bined, that end­ed up ground­ing this much antic­i­pat­ed launch.

Thankfully, some­one at WB has their head on their shoul­ders and it seems that the com­pa­ny is aware of all the­se prob­lems. Community man­ager CODA release a state­ment on their forums which will be repro­duced ver­ba­tim.        


Hi all

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.

We’ll update this thread when we’ve got more info to share.



What This All Boils Down To

Pre-orders are increas­ing­ly for those with too much mon­ey and/or ter­ri­ble plan­ning skills. With each new game that comes out pre-ordering becomes a hit or miss affair, where one may receive some in-game trin­kets in exchange for being a late beta tester for the devel­op­ers. What is worse, the­se trin­kets often become part of the Game of the Year copy released sev­er­al months lat­er. It is becom­ing clear one must be patient in this mar­ket and hold out until those brave (or per­haps fool­ish) users help out the devel­op­ers in iron­ing out all the kinks and breaks present in the game itself. Iron Galaxy will have a lot to prove after this mess of a launch, with them slat­ed to run Killer Instinct Second Season.

It is also becom­ing clear that Nvidia is becom­ing anti-consumer, block­ing out their erst­while rival AMD from work­ing on dri­vers for new games, as well as attempt­ing to use their new  monopoly to become lazy. Proprietary tech­nol­o­gy locks out com­peti­tors who may be able to do bet­ter, and Gameworks™ is just a trans­par­ent attempt to cap­i­tal­ize on a pre-launch monopoly to push Nvidia tech­nol­o­gy such as the Titan (which still can­not run Arkham Knight prop­er­ly as of this writ­ing). While AMD are made fun of for hav­ing no dri­vers, they are at the very least open sourced, and have the fastest turn-around for dri­vers despite the dis­ad­van­tage they have when they are locked out of code pre-launch.

Also, the DRM Anti-Tamper Technology Denuvo added a third tier of prob­lems, requir­ing con­stant reads/writes of the HDD to make sure that the game itself was not pirat­ed while it is being played. Despite hav­ing been bro­ken already months ago, Warner Brothers still insist­ed on its use. This hard­ware based DRM adds yet more com­plex­i­ty to an already busy, hard­ware inten­sive, and tech­no­log­i­cal­ly vibrant game.

Where is stands now, we feel it would be best to stay away from this game for a while on PC, at least until all the deter­mined — and jus­ti­fi­ably angry — con­sumers help the game devs out of this mess. Which could be a while at this point. CampbellNerd NewsPCBatman Arkham Knight,PCIt is com­ing to light that those who have pre-ordered the high­ly antic­i­pat­ed Batman: Arkham Knight on PC are com­ing away with a sour taste in their mouths. Several hun­dreds of users — pri­ma­ry AMD users but not lim­it­ed to them — are expe­ri­enc­ing a host of prob­lems at launch. Micro-stuttering caus­ing gen­er­al un-playability from…
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Michael Campbell
My name is Michael Campbell. I am a bud­ding writer, pro­duc­er, and the content-manager for off-site opin­ion pieces. I focus on Early Access Game Reviews, Traditional Games Media (Primarily Pen & Paper Role-playing Games), Steam Games, Origin, and Indie Titles. My inter­ests include draw­ing real­ly ter­ri­bly, run­ning far too many RPG games a week and hor­ri­fy­ing my co-workers and friends. I also get real­ly angry on Twitter at injus­tice. I am also like­ly going to become a fix­ture in the edi­to­ri­al sec­tion of this site, due to the above anger. You can reach me at if you have ques­tions or com­ments; As well, you can reach me @EvilBobDALMYT on Twitter to see some of that anger in motion.
Michael Campbell

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