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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Manhunt 2 For Adults Only

"Manhunt 2," an upcoming action game from "Grand Theft Auto" development house Rockstar Games, has been labeled Adults Only by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, according to a spokesman from Rockstar Games. Major retailers, including the big game chains, won't sell AO games, effectively guaranteeing the game won't be for sale next month as originally scheduled unless Rockstar changes the content.

Asked whether the studio would delay the game (which is scheduled for a July 10 release), Rockstar spokesman Rodney Walker told MTV News: "That's the last thing we want, but it's too early to say."

Walker provided "Manhunt 2" publisher Take 2 Interactive's statement on the game's rating: "We believe the process of rating video games is to help people make informed entertainment choices and not to limit them. 'Manhunt 2' was created for mature audiences and we strongly believe it should receive an M (Mature) rating, aligning it with similar content created in other forms of media. We are exploring our options with regard to the rating of 'Manhunt 2.' "

This revelation followed news that the British Board of Film Classification — which rates entertainment, including video games, for the U.K. market — declared that it had rejected "Manhunt 2," denying it a rating.
-- Rockstar Games' 'Manhunt 2' Slapped With 'Adults Only' Rating

Has anyone heard the precise content which makes Manhunt 2 worse than Mature? Because if it isn't sexual content or nudity, I'm struggling to remember this rating being given for purely violent content.


Greg Tannahill said...

British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) based the rating on its "its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing. There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game".

On why Manhunt was given the okay by the board but the sequel was not, he added, "Although the difference should not be exaggerated, the fact of the game's unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying and the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer, together with the different overall narrative context, contribute towards differentiating this submission from the original Manhunt game."

Check my source.

ESRB won't comment publicly on their reasons until 30 days from notification to the publisher but you can bet they'll follow the BBFC.

Source for that bit.

Josh said...

My problem is that that statement ... and how the ESRB make it sound ... remind me just as much of Unreal Tournament as anything else.

Stuck in a room with nothing to do but endlessly kill the people next to you with items including a chainsaw.

Pretty bleak. Pretty visceral.

In short, I don't think it's much for them to elaborate on what they consider to be inappropriate sadism in a game (or I assume, movie?)