Batman: Arkham Knight publisher Warner Bros. allegedly knew that Rocksteady's latest superhero opus would be a mess upon its PC launch for months.
That's according to a Kotaku report speaking to numerous sources close to the matter, many of whom were quality assurance testers.
"It's pretty rich for WB to act like they had no idea the game was in such a horrible state," said one such tester of the PC port that was so bad the publisher pulled it from sale. "It's been like this for months and all the problems we see now were the exact same, unchanged, almost a year ago."
Another tester said "Getting it to work on consoles was impossible for months." Yet our tech experts at Digital Foundry described the final PS4 game as a "technical tour de force" and noted in its Face-Off that it was very nearly the same on Xbox One.
According to Kotaku's sources, the PS4 and Xbox One were harder to work with than Rocksteady thought, so of roughly 100 QA testers, only 10 were assigned to report on the PC port.
Another source close to the project said that bug-checking was done at 720p resolutions, so it performed better than when it's played on the higher resolutions most players set it to.
The scope of the game was also an issue and by the time the developer was able to really scrutinise the bugs, it was getting close to launch. "We had some testers bugging more than 100 bugs per day," said one of Kotaku's sources. "Devs would fix what they could but they were juggling that with actually finishing the game so they were insanely slow. Only when the game was done and no new features had to be built could they actually buckle down. Once that happens they also restrict what you can or can't bug, to ensure that they can catch up."
Apparently Warner Bros. decided against using third-party PC testing firms, that specialise in trying out games on a wide variety of rigs, because the publisher was concerned that story details could get leaked. As such, it chose to keep things in house.
This isn't the first time Warner Bros. has shipped a Batman game with a suffering PC port. Batman: Arkham Origins, which was also ported by Divekick developer Iron Galaxy Studios, likewise suffered from a buggy launch.
Last we heard from Warner Bros. on the matter of Arkham Knight's PC port, it noted that the fixes are "significant" and "will take some time".
For more on the PC ports performance, here's Digital Foundry's take on.
We've requested comment from Warner Bros. on this matter, and why Arkham Knight's PC port was launched in the state it was, and will update should we hear back.