Batman: Arkham Knight has been rated M by the ESRB, much to the surprise of developer Rocksteady Studios.
In comparison, the studio’s previous two Batman: Arkham games (Arkham Asylum and Arkham City), as well as Warner Bros. Games Montréal’s Arkham Origins, were all marked with a T rating.
The installments in the franchise certainly have its fill of violence and otherwise dark moments. So far it nonetheless had managed to stay away from a Mature rating. One must wonder what other content is included with Batman: Arkham Knight to make the ESRB jump ahead.
According to the game’s director Sefton Hill, Rocksteady never planned for the game to receive a Mature rating. The studio is as surprised as its fan-base.
In an exclusive interview with IGN, he said: “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.”
On the notion of many young gamers possibly missing out on the game, Hill said that toning down the story content now would not be the way to go. Rocksteady had a story it wanted to tell and that unfortunately has achieved a Mature rating.
“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 jeopardize that.”
Batman: Arkham Knight is due for release on June 2 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.