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
"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."