Manhunt 2 yesterday became the second video game in UK history to be banned by the region's rating board, the British Board of Film Classification. The reasons given were that the game was "brutal" and featured "unremitting bleakness" and "casual sadism."
The Irish Film Censor's Office followed suit, and soon after the BBFC's statement, announced that it too would be banning the title in the Republic of Ireland, due to the "gross, unrelenting, and gratuitous violence."
Rockstar Games responded today with an official statement saying that it was "disappointed" by the BBFC's decision, and it "emphatically disagreed" with the ban.
The statement read, "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."
The company continued that it believed all products should be rated to "allow the public to make informed choices." While Rockstar stated that it would of course respect the decision and the difference in opinion, "We hope they will also consider the opinions of the adult gamers for whom this product is intended."
The statement continued, "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."
In the United States, Manhunt 2 has been given an Adults Only rating. Although not an outright ban, the label would mean that the game would not be sold at many major American retailers, such as Wal-Mart, since they choose not to stock AO-rated games. Take-Two told GameSpot that it would be "exploring its options" regarding the rating.