The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has officially handed the game rating for the highly anticipated final installment of Rocksteady Studios’ Batman: Arkham Trilogy. Batman Arkham Knight has been handed down a rating of M for Mature. An M rating means players only age 17 and older can buy the game. Anyone younger would have to have their parent buy the game for them. Arkham Knight has received the M rating for “blood, language, suggestive themes and violence.”
This will be the first Batman: Arkham game to receive an M rating from the ESRB. While a lot of the previous games were quite dark and pushed the envelope in terms of suggestive content, all games received T for Teen ratings.
Speaking to IGN, Batman Arkham Knight game director Sefton Hill addressed the rating change for the franchise and what it means for the game. According to Hill, he and the Rocksteady team was initially surprised when the game received an M rating. He stated: “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.”
Hill added that Arkham Knight will not feature gratuitous blood or swearing, similar to previous Arkham games, which likely avoided the M rating by not including copious swearing, gore or sexual content. He continued on the game’s content: “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 did reveal that early in the game’s development process, Warner Bros. Interactive did a ratings analysis for Knight. The analysis revealed that several scenes in the game could cause issues. Ultimately, Hill was concerned that the game would have to lose those “key scenes,” but he talked things out with Warner Bros. Interactive. The game and the apparently controversial scenes went ahead as planned.
Batman Arkham Knight hits the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC on June 2.