Rocksteady Studios has announced that ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ will receive an “M for Mature’ ESRB rating.
In contrast to previous games, which held the “T for Teen” rating, the Mature rating (suitable for players 17 years and older) on the upcoming ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ is an unexpected first for the series.
Sefton Hill, founder of Rocksteady Studios and director of ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’, found the M rating to be surprising due to the fact that him and his team did not have that in their original plan developing the title.
“From our point of view, we never wrote it or made it with a rating in mind,” Hill said in an interview with IGN. “We never did that in the previous two games… We just felt that this is the story that we really wanted to tell.”
Unfortunately, the M rating will be causing younger audiences to potentially miss out on the title when it lands in June. However, Hill stated that Rocksteady was aware of this, but instead pursued to tell a story they wanted to tell as opposed to making the game more “mass market.”
“I’m not blind to the fact that [the M rating] does mean some fans will miss out,” Hill said. “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 jeopardize that.”
Hill commented further: “We’re not including gratuitous blood or swearing. We want to deliver a true end with no compromises, and it takes us to some dark places.”
According to Hill, there had also been talks very early on in the development of ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ over the removal of specific scenes due to a rating analysis conducted by Warner Bros, which concluded that these scenes could cause “issues” and might need to be cut. Hill stated that removing them would have “destroyed” the project. However, this issue was soon resolved when Hill made a phone call to Ames Kirshen, VP of production at DC Comics, who then agreed to allow the scenes to stay in the game.
‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ will be releasing for PS4, Xbox One and Windows PC on June 2.