Of course every gamer would prefer if games were available on console and PC simultaneously. (Does anyone really enjoy FOMO?) It makes sense why Warner and Rocksteady tried to release Batman: Arkham Knight on PC at the same time as it was available for consoles. The problem is: it wasn’t even close to ready. And they knew that.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re on an AMD or Nvidia card, users everywhere reported a terrible experience on everything but the most powerhouse of machines. The game was locked to 30 frames-per-second (unless of course you dug into the game’s INI files and manually unlocked the frame rate.) Warner Bros. released a series of statements acknowledging the issues, but that only seemed to provoke more anger out of users. Despite recommending certain setting to optimize performance, most users were left pretty… peeved.
We get it: Steam has 125 million users with money to burn. That’s a lot of cheddar. And it’s common knowledge that PC users who don’t get a timely release of their favorite games aren’t too kindly to companies. Look no further than Ubisoft, who pushed the release of PC versions of their biggest series for YEARS. PC gamers sometimes forgive, but they never forget.
As bad as a delayed release is, what the creators of Batman: Arkham Knight did was even worse: they released it despite it being borderline unplayable. This is one case where the fallout of delaying the PC version wouldn’t have compared to what Warner Bros and Rocksteady are experiencing now.
In a perfect world PC and console versions of games would receive equal thought, strategy, and development time, but that’s not always an option. Exclusivity deals, strapped resources, and biases often stand in the way of such blissful equality. So how do you get PC users on your side? Give them a little somethin’ somethin’ extra.
When Rockstar released the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V, they made sure that it was the best version they delivered. They gave PC players an experience that was tailored just for them, and this was extremely effective at quelling the rough waters of even the most impatient of gamers.
Obviously, if it’s possible to release both at once and still provide the best gaming experience possible, please do! No one likes hearing from their console owning friends how awesome that new game is that they won’t be able to play for MONTHS. But if it’s what has to be done, do it. And do it right. Don’t just give PC users an apology and pat on the back before collecting their money and sending them on their way. Add some sick graphics options. Give them a bonus gameplay mode. Let them customize all the things. And how about some mod support?
It might have been tough, but pulling the Arkham Knight’s PC version from Steam was the right choice. When it returns, it better include something PC users can get excited about. What would be even better though, would be if next time they’re getting ready for a hot new release, they thought about PC users with the goal of creating a great game tailed to them, instead of as an afterthought they put minimal effort, or care, into. If they make PC users a priority, gamers will get behind them, and that’s what we call a win, win.
from Doug MacFaddin | Video Games Page http://ift.tt/1HfH1a3