“Holy 17+ Batman!”

Earlier this morning, Rocksteady’s final installment in the Arkham franchise was slapped a “Mature” rating from the ESRB. This came as a huge surprise for many, myself included. Arkham Knight’s critically acclaimed predecessors, Asylum and City had both received T ratings. Though M rated games usually come with a darker and harsher connotation, this isn’t a bad thing for the caped crusader’s fate; in fact, it’s actually a good thing.

When an artist who is a part of any medium, stands behind the content they’ve created–and how they want the final product to be represented–it’s respectable. I believe that’s exactly the case with Knight’s 17+ rating. Sefton Hill, founder of Rocksteady, had this to say..

“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.”

His comment goes to show what the developers’ priorities were when constructing Gotham’s last Arkham tale. The story they wanted to tell, and what was necessary to drive it home, was first and foremost, and they stuck to that.

As for the downsides of this decision, Rocksteady is well aware that some younger players won’t be able to tackle Gotham’s thugs. When buying a retail copy of the game with a parent or guardian, there’s sure to be a small demographic of the 16 and under group who is unable to suit up for Batman’s last adventure. When asked about the exclusion of certain players Hill had this to say…

“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.”

Personally, this is exactly what I want to hear. Batman has always existed in a dark universe and with a strongly conflicted, dimensional character leading the narrative; puppies and kittens have never been occupants of it’s world. From the sounds of it, Arkham Knight will be showcasing Wayne at his most vulnerable, and if that means a Mature rating, I’ll welcome it with open arms.

Connect with me on Twitter and let me know your thoughts on the caped crusader getting a 17+ rating. Find me @BraxHaugen