"Manhunt 2" will miss its original shipping date

At the end of a tumultuous week of Manhunt 2-centric “adults only” games news, Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive announced it will temporarily suspend the release of Manhunt 2 due to a violence ban in the United Kingdom and a ratings controversy in North America.

Originally slated for release on the Wii, PlayStation 2 and PSP on July 10, Manhunt 2 is facing a mandatory delay after the ESRB rated the game AO for adults only. Rockstar Games was left with few options as it is Nintendo and Sony’s policy to not allow AO content on its systems. (Microsoft also carries the same policy, though there is no Manhunt 2 planned for the Xbox 360.)

The AO rating would likely cripple game sales because stores such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Target refuse to carry video games with an AO rating. Publisher Take-Two stated it believes the game should have received the M rating – and is now exploring possible options to get the game rating changed.

To pass Nintendo and Sony standards, Rockstar Games will likely have to rework Manhunt 2’s content to fit an ESRB rating of M for mature. The changes in content may also allow it to be reconsidered for sale and distribution in the UK, from which it is currently banned.

"Take-Two Interactive Software has temporarily suspended plans to distribute Manhunt 2 for the Wii or PlayStation platforms while it reviews its options with regard to the recent decisions made by the British Board of Film Classification and Entertainment Software Rating Board," a representative told GameSpot. "We continue to stand behind this extraordinary game. We believe in freedom of creative expression, as well as responsible marketing, both of which are essential to our business of making great entertainment."

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