The ESRB has given Batman: Arkham Knight an “M for Mature” rating, the first for the series. All previous Batman: Arkham games were rated “T for Teen”. IGN spoke with Sefton Hill, founder of Rocksteady and game director on Batman: Arkham Knight, about why the game earned the Mature rating:
“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. 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.”
During the development process, Hill got an email from Warner Bros., the game’s publisher, pointing out several parts of the game that they felt would cause “issues”.
“I was really freaked out because the solution was to lose the scenes,” Hill said. “But they were key scenes! We couldn’t lose them! I got the email. I’m freaked out. I thought this was going to destroy the game, everything I’m passionate about… I was building myself up for this big argument. I didn’t get much sleep…”
Thankfully, Hill was able to convince Warner Bros. to let him make the game he wanted to make. Because of that, Rocksteady will not be fighting the Mature rating or altering the game in any way to try to hit a more mainstream Teen 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 jepoardize that.”
The Mature rating shouldn’t hurt sales too much, the Call of Duty series is rated Mature and make up the biggest selling games of all time. Hopefully there aren’t too many young fans who miss out of the epic Batman: Arkham finale due to the Mature rating.
What are your thoughts on Batman: Arkham Knight being the first in the series to get a Mature rating? Let me know in the comments below!