So, I’ve made no secret of how stoked I am for ‘Batman: Arkham Knight.’ All of the ‘Arkham’ games have been nine kinds of awesome, and this game looks to be no exception. I have my personal theory as to who the titular character of ‘Arkham Knight’ is, but I suppose I’ll have to wait a little longer and see. However, the ESRB has decided to give the game’s rating. And this is really interesting.
See, the game has been rated M. That’s right, M. It stands for “Mature.” And you know, on the one hand, that makes sense, to me. See, the ‘Arkham’ franchise has long been very mature. I’m not talking about blood, guts, and titties. I’m talking about mature subject matter and dark themes that younger audiences could not appreciate/get. I wrote an entire post about how ‘Arkham City’ was probably the best critique of the concept of superheroes, to date. While they rarely show you the violence in the games, if you read the journal entries and hear conversations, you realize that there is some REALLY dark stuff that happens in those games. But it’s almost all subtext. Plus, it never felt like the studio really cared about that stuff, or how people saw it. In fact, that ties in with a response from Rocksteady Studios about this rating being given to their latest 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.
Wow. You know, I gotta respect that. For real, that is really admirable. They had a story that they wanted to tell, and didn’t really care about the rating that they got. That is very impressive. But it gets better. See, they also understand that this rating is going to affect how many people play their game. What do they think about that…?
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.
How can I put into words how much I respect this company right now? I can’t. For real, I can’t. This is so awesome! These people respect their artistic credibility and don’t want to hurt that by watering down the game that they are making. Respect, yo! Not even kidding, I have so much more respect for this studio now. They clearly are care more about bringing players a quality game than mass marketing.
And this is something that the rest of the gaming industry as a whole can take a lesson from. Have you ever noticed how most genres are now going out of their way to please a huge audience? Games that have no business having multiplayer in their game have it now. Games like the new ‘Tomb Raider.’ That game was totally awesome with its single player. Why tack on multiplayer? Did you think the fans would walk away if you didn’t? That’s kind of silly. Yet so many players go nuts if they don’t. Why?! Are you people not satisfied with a good game, even if it focuses on one area, rather than another.
I saw the recent review of ‘EVOLVE’ by Angry Joe. In it, he talked about how there was no excuse for there not to be a single player mode in a game. I disagree. If a game shows that it clearly only wants to be multiplayer, there’s nothing wrong with that. And same if a game only wants to be single-player. I would much rather we get quality games that don’t sacrifice on quality and give players the most awesome experience they possibly can, however they wish to focus their attention.
With that in mind, I tip my hat to Rocksteady Studios. I was already planning to pre-order your game, now it’s guaranteed. You all have shown your hard work, and I can’t wait to see you finally be able to bring the potential of the new consoles out. It’s long past due.
Until next time, a quote,
“Failure is not an option!” -Gene Krantz, Apollo 13