Things are about to get super serious in Gotham (as if they weren’t already). Batman: Arkham Knight has been rated M for mature by the ESRB, and that’s the highest the Batman franchise has ever been on the ratings scale.
That M rating typically means that we’ll see some combination of “intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.” This game has been listed as “generally suitable for ages 17 and up.” The previous Arkham games? All rated T for teen.
Rocksteady spoke with IGN about the rating, and the studio only offered good things. Typically, an M rated game is bad for business. Or, at least, that’s how publishers tend to view things. The M rating has the potential to cut a gaming audience by a large margin. Of course, one has to only look at Grand Theft Auto to tear that logic apart, but that’s the general thinking.
Here’s Rocksteady founder and Game Direct Sefton Hill.
“From our point of view, we never wrote it or made it with a rating in mind. We never did that in the previous two games… We just felt that this is the story that we really wanted to tell…
I’m not blind to the fact that [the M rating] does mean some fans will miss out… I don’t want to be oblivious to that fact. It would have been wrong to water down the game and deliver a story we didn’t believe in to keep the game ‘mass market’ or enable it for more people. We feel that’s the wrong way to go about it. We said we love the story and we don’t want to jepoardize that.”
Like I said, that’s the type of response you want from a developer. They wrote the game without a rating in mind. They had a specific story they wanted to tell within the Batman universe that hit certain beats. It looks like they didn’t skimp on their ideas, and that’s good news.
Batman: Arkham Knight is set to release on the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms on June 2, 2015.