Rocksteady’s co-founder Sefton Hill made the announcement in an interview to IGN. This marks a significant change for the series, as its predecessors got a “T for Teen” rating from the ESRB. As of writing this, the ESRB have yet to reveal the content description on its website for Batman: Arkham Knight, so we are unsure why it has been rated M.
However, according to Sefton Hill, the increased rating was unintentional, “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.”
Hill also acknowledged that due to the higher rating, that some younger players may be unable to play it. However, he was unwilling to give up on the original story for Arkham Knight just to make it more ”mass market”.
“I’m not blind to the fact that [the M rating] does mean some fans will miss out,” he explained. “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 also mentioned that Arkham Knight’s story will be “more mature” compared to the rest of the games in the series.
“We’re not including gratuitous blood or swearing,” he added. “We want to deliver a true end with no compromises, and it takes us to some dark places.”
Hill also revealed that early on in the development process, Warner Bros. did a ratings analysis and stated that certain scenes would likely cause “issues.” Hill received an email informing him that these scenes (which still remain a mystery) potentially needed to be cut. However, losing these scenes, Sefton stated, could have “destroyed” the project. Fortunately, Hill was able to phone up a DC Comics executive, who agreed to have the scences remain in the game, although we do not know if they were altered.
There is also no word about the game’s rating elsewhere. However, we can assume that it will be rated PEGI 18.
Batman: Arkham Knight is the first game in the series to be available (exclusively) on the next generation consoles. Arkham Knight is set for release worldwide on June 2nd.
This is awesome news! It is no secret that I love Batman (and of course, the Arkham series) so when I hear that Rocksteady didn’t care about Knight’s rating but instead about their vision, then that makes me ecstatic! I am also curious about the scenes that have made this a M game instead of a T game, but it won’t be long until we figure out what these scenes are. One thing I don’t understand is the argument about the rating affecting its sales – Grand Theft Auto V is rated M for mature, yet it has sold millions. If people want it, they will most likely will get it.