Will the final edition of the Batman: Arkham series take an even darker turn on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One? It was revealed Tuesday that Arkham Knight was given an “M for Mature” rating by the ESRB, a first for the franchise.
The ESRB has not officially released the rating for Batman: Arkham Knight so we don’t know exactly why the game received an “M” rating. However, Rocksteady Studios Game Director, Sefton Hill told IGN that they were not aiming for the mature rating when crafting the story.
“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,” Hill said.
“We just felt that this is the story that we really wanted to tell. In terms of creating the story, with such strong characters, sometimes they lead you in interesting directions. They lead you because you know who they are and you build the world around that.”
Developers will typically work with the ESRB to scale back on the reasons why a game might receive an “M” rating or worse. Rocksteady, isn’t going to do that for Batman: Arkham Knight even if it costs some sales.
“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.”
The cause of the Mature rating in Arkham Knight appears to be “key scenes,” Hill told IGN. An earlier analysis by Warner Bros pointed out these scenes would cause “issues,” but the Game Director did not back down and got his way.
“As the end of the trilogy, we have every villain in Gotham working together to destroy Batman,” Hill said.
“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.”
He added that while Batman is at his peak, the Penguin, The Scarecrow, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, and the new Arkham Knight villain are “going to fight dirty and take him to dark places.”
Batman: Arkham Knight is currently scheduled for a June 2 release on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
[Images via Batman: Arkham Knight]