It appears that the Dark Knight’s latest adventure is going to be his darkest yet, as the ESRB has given the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight an “M for Mature” rating, marking a first for Rocksteady’s popular franchise.
Despite the mature rating, don’t expect any “gratuitous blood or swearing” in Batman’s latest battle. In an interview with IGN, Rocksteady founder Sefton Hill clarified why Arkham Knight potentially earned its rating.
As the end of the trilogy, we have every villain in Gotham working together to destroy Batman. It’s unavoidable that some bad stuff is going to happen. But that doesn’t mean we changed our approach. 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.
Hill and the team at Rocksteady are aware that the M rating could potentially keep the title out of the hands of some of the younger gamers out there. Even after a ratings analysis from publisher Warner Bros. Interactive, though, the developer did not want to deviate from the story they chose to tell.
I’m not blind to the fact that the rating means 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.
Honestly, this news was quite a surprise to wake up to this morning, as even though the Arkham franchise has been rather dark at times, I never figured Warner Bros. would let it earn an M rating. However, I’m glad to see that the publisher is sticking behind Rocksteady and letting them tell the tale they want to, no matter how rough it gets.
Batman: Arkham Knight is currently scheduled to launch on June 2 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.