If you’re under the age of 17 and live in the United States, you will need an adult with you to purchase Batman: Arkham Knight on June 2. Why? My headline spoiled it, but it’s rated “M” for Mature. It’s not clear why the ESRB handed out this severe rating to a series that has received Teen ratings to this point. Too bloody? Too violent? Curse words? Too sexy (The Dark Knight XXX: An Axel Braun Parody – The Video Game?!)? Alright, those assumptions were probably valid, save for the last one.
The real shocker here is that Rocksteady, the game’s developer, is not going to challenge the rating. It inevitably means they’ll sell less copies, but they are sticking to their artistic guns as it were.
“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,” said Sefton Hill, founder of Rocksteady and game director on Arkham Knight. “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.”
This development will no doubt further raise curiosity of fans everywhere. If you wanted a dark Batman experience that is truly uncompromising, it seems you will have your wish granted in just over three months.