Nvidia Comes to Batman: Arkham Knight's Rescue

Because as if things weren't weird enough, let's have a graphics card manufacturer try to fix someone else's game for them.

At start of all this, I thought this was a predictable case of a botched PC launch. Now, between memory leaks and a full digital recall, I was beginning to think that maybe we'd seen all the twists in this little PC gaming soap opera. Yet the organ music is playing again, and what a twist it is: Nvidia is now putting its quality assurance and software engineer teams to work on Arkham Knight.

No, you did not just read that last sentence wrong. A graphics card manufacturer is helping a video game publisher and two developers get their act together so their game finally works. Why is Nvidia doing this? Well, Arkham City, Arkham Origins, and Arkham Knight all contain Nvidia specific features. Normally it's just extra minor details, but it's helped make City and Origins look far prettier on PC than they did on console. This was also supposed to be the case with Batman: Arkham Knight.

Instead, users have had widely varying results from using the Nvidia Gameworks features. Some say it makes their games run better. Some say it makes their games come to a crawl and are the main settings responsible for slowdown. Either way, the company has apparently taken it upon themselves to assist Warner Bros. and Rocksteady. In a statement sent to VideoGamer, Nvidia said:

We are working with WB Games and the development teams to address the performance issues of the PC version of Batman Arkham Knight. We have made our QA and engineering resources available and will provide updates when they are available. 

The big question is whether or not this aid will apply only to Nvidia gamers, or also to AMD users. In the past, Nvidia has given a few olive branches to AMD users, such as allowing their PhysX engine to run on AMD cards. However, if they ever wanted to make a case for exclusivity (and aren't worried about blowback), now would be the time. Perhaps just to ensure this isn't the case, AMD may offer similar aid.

Really, this just gets more surreal by the day. It's hard to tell where this story is headed, but we'll follow it as it proceeds. Will Nvidia get Arkham Knight playable? Will Warner Bros. stop releasing their games way too early? WIll Robin, the Boy Wonder, escape the clutches of the evil Joker? Find out as it all unfolds, same BatSkinny-time, same BatSkinny-website.

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Grumpily ranting at this computer screen since before you were playing Minecraft. For more of my work: https://elijahbeahm.contently.com/

Published Jun. 26th 2015

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