Thursday, June 21, 2007

Manhunt 2 gets AO Rating and Banned in Two Countries (3 Updates Below)

Manhunt 2 from Rockstar games went from being an anticipated game to being one of the most violent games ever. If you have never heard of this game, Manhunt 2 from Rockstar games, masterminds behind the Grand Theft Auto series, was supposed to redefine the horror genre just like the first one on PS2 and Xbox. It is supposed to come out in July 2007 for Wii, Playstation 2, and PSP. The game has been looked at by game raters in the US and Europe. The game was immediately banned in the United Kingdom for extreme violence. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which rates games in North America has given the game an AO rating which is the highest rating they can give and has only has been given to about 25 games out of the thousands of games rated by them. Then, the game was banned in Ireland. Nintendo of America and Sony said that they do not allow AO games to be on their systems and retailers like Blockbuster, Wal-Mart, and Gamestop refuse to sell AO rated games. Rockstar is furious and upset. Right now their options are:
1. Talk to the rating companies and convince them to give the game a lower rating and get it unbanned
2. Edit the game so it is less gory and send it back to the rating companies
3. Cancel the game entierly

UPDATE: Here is the official statement released by Nintendo of America upon hearing the news of Manhunt 2's AO rating:

"Games made for Nintendo systems enjoy a broad variety of styles, genres and ratings. These are some of the reasons our Wii and Nintendo DS systems appeal to such a broad range of people. But as with books, television and movies, different content is meant for different audiences. That's why the ESRB provides ratings to help consumers understand the content of a game before they purchase it."
"As stated on, Nintendo does not allow any AO-rated content on its systems."

UPDATE 2: After hearing the news of the AO rating to Manhunt 2, Rockstar Games had this to say:

"While we respect the authority of the classification board and will abide by the rules, we emphatically disagree with this particular decision. Manhunt 2 is an entertainment experience for fans of psychological thrillers and horror. The subject matter of this game is in line with other mainstream entertainment choices for adult consumers.

"We respect those who have different opinions about the horror genre and video games as a whole, but we hope they will also consider the opinions of the adult gamers for whom this product is intended. We believe all products should be rated to allow the public to make informed choices about the media and art they wish to consume. The stories in modern video games are as diverse as the stories in books, film and television. The adult consumers who would play this game fully understand that it is fictional interactive entertainment and nothing more."

UPDATE 3: Figures, after all the updates we have been doing on this game lately, it isn't surprising that Manhunt 2 has been delayed. No doubt, it's being delayed give it a more friendly M rating from ESRB so that its release will be permitted by Sony and Nintendo. No official release date has yet to have been announced.

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