While you won’t be seeing Batman go head-to-head with Superman on the big screen until next March, you definitely won’t be seeing him on your gaming console if you are under the age of 17 (unless you have an adult to purchase it for you).
Arkham Knight, the widely anticipated sequel in the Batman: Arkham series, is already grounded in controversy. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has given the game an “M for Mature” rating, prohibiting minors from purchasing the game. This came as surprise to fans of the video games series given that the last three main titles all received a “T for Teen” rating.
The fans aren’t the only ones in shock of the deliberation. The people at Rocksteady, the game’s developers, were also taken back. In an exclusive interview with IGN, Sefton Hill, founder of the company and game director of Arkham Knight, said the goal was not to write an M-rated game.
“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,” Hill said.
With an M-rating: What does this mean for the game? Apparently not much. Hill and the Rocksteady crew are not exactly shivering over the matter. If anything, toning the game down to “T for Teen” standards would take away from the experience.
“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,” Hill said. “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.”
In this case, what does that mean for the fans? A lot. The Arkham series caters to a wide demographic of adults and adolescents. In theory a restriction like this could plummet sales. But in the end, this game especially, still has its critical reception and hype working for it.
After its debut at the Electronic Entertainment Expo( E3), Arkham Knight was endowed with several accolades including Best Action Game and Best Xbox One Game.
Over the years, critics have praised the series’ darker depiction of the dark knight, and with an M-rating fans will likely be getting just that.
Aside from the M-rating, the ESRB has not yet provided any further comment on why Arkham Knight received the rating, except that the game contains Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes and Violence.
Unlike Arkham Origins, which was a prequel to 2009’s Arkham Asylum, the title takes place one year after the events that transpired in Arkham City. With the Joker dead, the crime rate has dropped to an all-time low and Gotham City has finally become safe – or has it? Some of Gotham’s worst villains including new foe, the “mysterious” Arkham Knight, are plotting to take down the caped crusader. Once in for all.
Will you be purchasing the game?
Arkham Knight is slated for a June 2 release and will conclude the Arkham trilogy.