Just a few days ago, the newest debate in the gaming business erupted when Gotham Knights creator WB Games Montréal announced that the game would only operate at 30 frames per second on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S and X. Producer Fleur Marty later clarified the decision in a post on the Gotham Knights’ official Discord channel.
I know many of you are wondering about the availability of a performance mode for Gotham Knights on consoles. Due to the types of features we have in our game, like providing a fully untethered co-op experience in our highly detailed open world, it’s not as straightforward as lowering the resolution and getting a higher FPS. For this reason, our game does not have a performance/quality toggle option and will run at 30FPS on consoles.”
Fan responses, meanwhile, varied from severe dissatisfaction to open fury. After all, Gotham Knights was initially intended to be played on consoles from earlier generations. The game’s current status as a next-gen exclusive was insufficient to justify a Performance Mode on the Xbox Series S and X and PlayStation 5.
Senior Character Technical Artist Lee Devonald, a fellow developer from Rocksteady (the Batman: Arkham studio, which is also part of the WB Games group), attempted to defend the creators of Gotham Knights with a series of tweets that only served to escalate the issue. He emphasized that the Xbox Series S may be to blame because it isn’t significantly superior to the Xbox One consoles.
I wish garners understood what 60fps means in terms of all of the things they *lose* to make the game run that fast. Especially taking into account that we have a current gen console that’s not much better than a last gen one. Series S GPU mostly. Multi-platform games always have to optimise for the lowest performer.
The Series S exists, though, and Microsoft won’t let you launch on one without the other. An entire generation of games, hamstrung by that potato.”
Without a doubt, Devonald’s remarks caused even more resentment. He had to wipe his whole Twitter account in addition to the tweets. Actually, this is not even close to being the first developer to criticize the Xbox Series S` system publicly. Billy Khan, the lead engine programmer at id Software, raised two issues: the much less RAM and the divided memory banks.
Whether WB Games Montréal will be able to utilize these improvements in time for Gotham Knights’ release is unknown. In a later patch, the studio may provide a Performance Mode or, at the very least, enable frame rate unlocking for users with Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) screens.