Batman: Arkham Knight Receives “M” Rating

Rocksteady's third edition of the Batman series was hit with an "M" rating by the ESRB.
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Rocksteady’s newest installment of their Batman franchise has been hit with a “Mature” rating by the ESRB.

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The ESRB didn’t have any details on why Batman: Arkham Knight was given the “M” rating, but it listed descriptors of “Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, and Violence” on their website.

In an IGN interview with game director Sefton Hill, he talked about not focusing on the ranking when making the game. They instead focused on delivering a story they wanted to tell. He was “surprised” that Batman: Arkham Knight received the “M” rating, but promised there wasn’t anything “gratuitous.”

“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.”

Will Warner Bros. force Rocksteady to edit Arkham Knight?

As of now, it doesn’t seem that WB Interactive will tell the developer to censor because they expected it coming. The publisher analyzed that the game could have scenes that would potentially push it to an “M” rating.

Hill didn’t want to remove or change the scenes because “they were key scenes,” according to the interview. The WB went through with Hill’s wishes.

It’s a big gamble for the publisher to go through with a “Mature” rating tagged on a super hero franchise like Batman. Sales will be affected as retail stores won’t allow anyone under 17 to purchase a Mature-rated game without an adult.

However, Rocksteady and Warner Bros. will gain respect from the gaming community for not censoring a product just to receive the “Teen” rating. The previous two Batman games by Rocksteady were rated “T”.

Image credit: Games Radar

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Brian Spaen
Freelance video game and sports writer. I'm the guy who picks Saints Row over Grand Theft Auto. Mario is my idol.