Take-Two: Manhunt 2 <i>will</i> be published

Publisher states that it 'will do whatever we need to do' to bring the banned UK and US title to market, slams the US ratings system.

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The would-be publisher of violent stealth-action game Manhunt 2 has vowed to release the controversial title following its outright banning in the UK and its de facto banning in the US. Take-Two Interactive executives said the company stood by the title, which it called "art," and promised it would eventually see a release.

Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick stressed that he believed the company took its social responsibility very seriously. "We also have hundreds of extraordinarily talented people who have worked on this title for three years, and supporting their creative vision and bringing it to consumers as unvarnished and unchanged as possible is crucial to us," he said during the call.

The chairman added that Take-Two subsidiary Rockstar Games, which publishes Manhunt and the Grand Theft Auto series, sees itself as a producer of games rated M for Mature. However, Zelnick did say Take-Two would stand by its game, even if it bore the dreaded AO for Adults Only rating. "We don't see ourselves in the Adults Only business," he told analysts listening to the call. "Having said that, if we find ourselves in the Adults Only business, it would be because we have a title that we consider art and entertainment, that we consider if appropriately labelled AO, and that we would like to bring to market."

Zelnick also was critical of the American rating system, where the game received an Adults Only rating from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, a certificate intended to ensure that products don't make it into the hands of those under 18. However, the majority of major retailers refuse to stock adult only rated products, and Sony and Nintendo also refuse to allow AO rated games on to their consoles.

The chairman pondered, "What is the purpose of a rating if it means effectively that a title cannot be released?...Having a rating that we don't think is appropriate is one issue, obviously, and a separate issue would be if we feel the rating is appropriate and we can't bring it to market…that seems somewhat nonsensical."

Discussion

724 comments
jakjbt
jakjbt

well i live in ireland and over here theres no bans:L i cant think of a game thats ever been banned!!

vass86
vass86

i don't understand why it's such a big thing in the US to have a game get an adults only rating. in the UK manhunt will obviously get an 18 certificate but stores will still sell it so i don't get why wal-mart or whatever have a problem selling an adult game

agustbestur
agustbestur

Manhunt will be relesed in my country, ISLAND

GhettoTaxii
GhettoTaxii

Who cares, I have been playing M games and rated R movies since 2nd grade, and I didn't turn out to be screwed up, if they did more video game studies, they can figure out that to see that you don't NEED to be mature to play mature games.

AdolChristin
AdolChristin

I thought North America was free speeched? Like, there's movies out there with actual actors getting raped, beaten, tortured, etc etc and they only get an R rating. These are just fictitous stories about things. They should be paying more attention to what's going on in movies than in games.

gibson-les-rick
gibson-les-rick

video game ratings are absoltely BS.just because there is a few ppl who hav a few sandwiches short of a picnic every1 else has to suffer

mixmastaart
mixmastaart

Video games rating systems are a good idea. What is NOT a good idea is refusing to allow a game on your console because of its rating - thereby turning a system designed to PREVENT censorship into a form of de facto censorship all its own. I'm glad Microsoft seems to be thinking smarter than that- even if Manhunt 2 turns out to be a mediocre title, the controversy and the media storm that will follow it will probably make it a hit, and it'll only be available on their machine. And, if it ends up being a great game that really is as "creative" and "artistic" as Rockstar describes, it could really expand the boundaries of what it means to produce an "adult" video game. So, cheers to Microsoft, holders of the video game world's first "Unintentional Exclusive." I didn't care about Manhunt before, but I do now.

feld3d
feld3d

its bs nintendo was always like that with there games but sony i mean come on there the prince of freaking darkness

XDaJokermanX
XDaJokermanX

It seems like in this situation the purpose of an AO rating is just to limit free expression. This type of thing happens all the time. People try their hardest to find a way to take away or limit freedoms.

Marlins4life
Marlins4life

Wow this doesnt suprise me our freedom of speech is getting taken away as we know it the FCC should be gone caz u no why its called freedom of choice we can chose if our kids are playing these games and if they go over to a friends house to play it so be it its the parents decision on how they want to "run" their kids not the government thats BS.

splintercelldg
splintercelldg

argh! all they need to do is go talk to microsoft. im almost positive microsoft would let them release Manhunt 2 on the 360. not only that, but because it "seems" as though the majority of 360 owners are either a "hardcore gamers" or just a little bit older, it would be the perfect platform for it. 6 months of polishing it, and reworking the controls a bit, and voila!

DeNiRo_69
DeNiRo_69

I need to kill ppl with buzzsaws with my wiimote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz shhhhhhhhhhhsdjhksadhksjdhdhskjdh *stomps on brain*

rob3nelson
rob3nelson

If it's going to be released as AO any way, then a lot of gratuitous and graphic sex should be included as well along with the violence. Take Two should go all out on this one!

diamond2d
diamond2d

It reli dosn't matter what age they make it. People under that age will still be able to get it.

Fuuuuureakkkk
Fuuuuureakkkk

boobush I agree with them giving the 10-15 minutes speech and all but kids can go see a bloody as hell movie or a risque R rated comedy with an adult using Child/Senior Tickets with no questions no nothin just, Rip "Enjoy Your movie Sir/Ma'am s" then I with my parants (I am 14) go buy Chronicles Of Riddick and they LITERALLY tell you every word they say or thing they do, the hipocrasy of this country annoys me. Then as Reaper117 said that God Of War should have been rated ao as there is EXTREME amounts of blood,gore and violence, human sacrifice in one scene and in the Cutscenes their was nudity (the breasts are for the most part shown, yet no problem WTF.

boobush
boobush

Hey Reaper1117, we're not at war because of making money out of violence. We're at it because Hussein was trading oil for food to the UN, and then America's most hated A-hole got a brainfreeze or something while thinking about it. Anyway, the game is pretty violent, but I wonder if it really deserves an AO rating. They should make you buy the game personally and give you a 10-15 minute speech before handing it over. That way parents are aware and we are happy.

eJay13
eJay13

Draconis89: Whether you bought Grand Theft Auto, Bully, The Warriors, or the original Manhunt or not doesn't void the massive amount of sales and critical acclaim that Rockstar has brought to the Playstation 2. I just say because of their continual good work in the video game medium, Sony should at least bear that in mind when condemning three years of hard work on a title that would do nothing but help boost their mediocre sales since the PS3 hit the shelves. Oh, and btw, I kinda doubt that any Final Fantasy PS2 release outsold any GTA PS2 release. And besides that, what you play doesn't necessarily reflect what everyone else plays. I mean, everybody loves Halo and I thought it was one of the most unimaginative, most overrated first person shooters I have ever played. But that's just my opinion, it doesn't reflect on how well the game sold. Same with your opinion. You didn't buy all of Rockstar Games, but check the reviews for any current generation rockstar release and see if your one vote really makes a lick of difference. But back to the game. Do you really think that Manhunt 2 (besides inproved graphic performance) could be any more gruesome than the original? I just replayed the original last night and i shuddered a few times. Just release it for god's sake.

Nealkoke
Nealkoke

Reaper1117 i completely agree with you this is an issue about censorship... the ESRB has completely ruined it for everybody... im currently 16 and i can't even go into a gamestore and buy an M-rated game like the good old days. i hope things change

Reaper1117
Reaper1117

@ horioricorious If the goverment don't like the idea of making money over violence, so tell me why are we currently at war?

Reaper1117
Reaper1117

I for one want to see this game come out, and I know the ESRB is just doing it's job. But recently things have been bugging me, and I'm sure I'm not the only one to say this but, If stores are alowed to sell "Unrated" DVD (and mind you some of those are like Softcore) why is a game with AO not alowed to be sold at the very same places. Also I'd like to bring up that Sony has done much worst (in content) games then Manhunt. for example: God of War. Great game, but it pretty much should have gotten an AO rating, the only reason why they didn't was because they were killing Mystical creatures. So if killing people is so bad, what about animal abuse? Just an thought

ChinoJamesKeene
ChinoJamesKeene

Anything except snuff is alright with me. As long as no-one gets hurt in the process of making entertainment and it doesn't openly incite arson and mass rape. I don't think theres a game out there that can make little timmy slit his wrists.

gotrekfabian
gotrekfabian

Why is it that SONY wont allow AO ratings? After the latest review of the average age of gamers it was found that it is somewhere in the late twenties. I think the rest of the world needs to mature not us gamers... well not all of us anyway!

MrPillz
MrPillz

I hope it gets banned. Why? Look at what happened when San Andreas was released- Utter madness among parents and especially the media which led to only more people believing all video games are horrible atrocities. I have no doubt that less than a week after its release, it will be all over national news and just cause another anti-game sh*tstorm across America. Games like Manhunt are just exploitations of violence, drawing negative attention to the gamer community. ... ... ... Not that I'm saying I won't buy it...

mercypoo
mercypoo

Well, if the game does make it to release, it's going to be an interesting spectacle. Surely the local news channels will pick up on the Adults Only thing all across the country in one of those "watch what your kids are playing" segments--which, in reality, will only make the game more of a forbidden fruit for kids who hear about it. Rockstar has seen endless reward from controversy in the past, and who's to say the same thing won't happen here?

Draconis89
Draconis89

Ya because we all know every single playstation two 2 buyed Grand Theft Auto or all the Rockstar games......no wait I didn't . They made good sells not better then Final Fantasy games that been release but did ok. Sony won't stand by them and why the hell should they? All these companys dois use Sony hardware to make thier game, thus sony is not gonna go HEY LET THIS GAME BE RELEASE CUZ THEY ARE MAKING IT FOR SONY PLAYSTATION KK??!!

eJay13
eJay13

ESRB loves to pull the same sh*t as the MPAA (movie ratings). They were put in place as a way to let parents know who the game was intended for. Instead, they're used to hand down ratings specifically aimed at blocking releases. I don't really think that its the ESRBs fault entirely, even though they knew that handing down the AO rating would basically kill this game. I think that the hardware developers (specifically SONY) should stand by Take-Two and Rockstar and release the damn thing since both companies have made them an unimaginable amount of money with (specifically) Grand Theft Auto. Without Take-Two the PS2s sales would have turned out alot like the PS3s (lol).

callumohare
callumohare

@ joemerchant2006 so what are you? :D

joemerchant2006
joemerchant2006

I agree with Crash-Kart. WEll then again, 1/4 the population is retarded...and they all seem to have positions of power...and 3/4 the population is a bunch of WHIMPS! Goddamn all those whimps...seriously the need to get a life.

Crash-Kart
Crash-Kart

omfg just stop whining and release it this is a M rated game the ESRB just hates the Manhunt title im shure if it was Halo with the same ammount of gore it would get M rating at most look at how the **** the 1st Manhunt over just cuz som lozer kids think its fun to take a hammer and hit each other IF UR SMART U NO ITS ONLY A GAME AND U LEAVE IT AT THAT the ESRB thinks everyone is to stupid to look out for themselves and a few may be but honestly pepl with brains arent gonna take it seriously !!!

Alvaro_20
Alvaro_20

oh come on, get this over with! i want to get my hands on it!

diableria
diableria

let it be AO! kids will still be able to get their hands on it, i want this game badly i just hate how sony and nintendo dont allow AO games, they should make an exception for this title, its gonna sell too much.

dark_bruno
dark_bruno

i see that on the another site IG... (to not do publicity) but i think that its lie 1º its the only site tell that and if u go the official website of manhunt 2 dont tell nothing and its a little strange the game its suppost release in 10 july and not only release 3 month later...

kingfire11
kingfire11

"I heard" it will come out in October, but I don't know...

dark_bruno
dark_bruno

but the most importante question its when this relase?? anyone know?

buffalobill
buffalobill

horioricorious- Watch yourself, now. Dick Cheney is everywhere >;-( He's like Santa Claus, except instead of bringing gifts, he brings boxes of sadness.

buffalobill
buffalobill

Listlurker-point taken. I still believe this is actually a great stategy, however. They turned a game with a small cult following (of which I am admittedly one) into something far bigger, a piece of forbidden fruit. And if there's one thing the American public loves, it's the sweet necter of ripe contraband.

horioricorious
horioricorious

OH! i have another one! MAYBE, the game is getting banned, because the government doesn't agree with making money off violence! .... .... if i could, i would burn the bush administration. think of it this way, they're not doing anything about subsiding this anti freedom of speech or whatever you want to classify it as. the government is our tool, isn't it? then why arn't we using it? this stems farther than just some old fart disagreeing with some new revolutionary thing. i see this as another means of control.

horioricorious
horioricorious

also, thats a very depressing idea. waht, does your government control you now? like little lambs? are you worried about waht the government says? i think its time you take the reins of your government. otherwise..... i shudder to think waht else it will do. to not take charge is to bend over and open it up for them, as we are doing.

horioricorious
horioricorious

schepterbrowser - why are you talking about what they, the government or esrb wants? who cares waht they want? they can go **** themselves. its ridiculous, and as such it will not stand, this orgy of idiocy surrounding video game ratings. they can not control it. there is NO JUSTIFICATION for its ban. the thought of someone telling me waht i can't play, or more over what others can't develop is infuriating, and i will do everything in my power to destory such obstacles. dont fall into their kind of thinking, people. even if u agree with it, know that there are people who want to see that game. don't become communist and try to deny them their right. you have no right to do so.

schepterbrowser
schepterbrowser

i dont think theyll change the rating i wish they would but they proberbly wont they dont want this kinda game out and neither do the gouvernment!!!

korn_phreak
korn_phreak

It's quite sad really how the media works, they try so damn hard to ban this game and all they're doing is giving it free publicity, making my mouth water in anticipation for it's release because it WILL come out. All they're doing is making people want it more because of the controversy, making them WANT to see what the fuss is about and in turn, making the game more popular. I'm willing to pay any price to get my hands on this title on release date.

12powerbo3
12powerbo3

the ESRB are harsh raters...usually everytthing for us is rated higher than in other countries... Also they even gave halo a M rating! call of duty has more gore than it, and it's rated T, dammit!

listlurker
listlurker

buffalobill -- the tiger's tail of courting controversy on purpose (i.e. "playing the bad boy") to boost sales. If you intentionally, repeatedly take the "bad boy" route to make money, as RockStar has with franchises like GTA and Manhunt, that's your choice -- but how can you act surprised and offended if it comes back to bite you once in a while? It doesn't matter. Judging by the negative ratings on my post, everybody missed my point -- my point that this is not about "Art" or "Freedom" or "Censorship" or "Your Right to Choose", it's about Rockstar using those hot-button buzzwords to make themselves look like the poor poor victims here, when the plain (economic) truth is, they gambled on their bad boy game-maker rep yet again, but this time it happened to work against them. Ultimately, they'll make money off this controversy. That's not really in doubt. I'm just tired of the cynicism behind it all. They made a play, it failed them this time. That's all. They never complained about the system when they beat it, only now, when they lost. The cynical invoking of ideas like Art and Freedom of Expression, are just that -- cynical ploys designed to elicit sympathy and to grow sales. Thus, this is my final word on the subject. It's fairly obvious the ploy has already worked on most of the posters here, and I've said my bit now.

VurtHead
VurtHead

As someone who's likely on the older end of the gamer demographic I've gotta say that I like seeing the anger and frustration that this situation is provoking. We should be angry: We Americans are becoming dangerously comfortable with being told what we can see and think and read. Business is business and game companies will respond to the market and perceived political pressures, but we gamers are both consumers and voters or soon-to-be voters and can influence both the market and the perceived political pressures. Let Take2 know that you want this game, and that you're willing to spend the money for a good product regardless of rating. Let your elected officials know that you're tired of having morality legislated for you and that if they want to keep their comfortable jobs they need to start listening to you. We don't have to put up with this or any other restrictive, arbitrary policies advanced by officials more concerned with pleasing narrow-minded interest groups than serving their constituents. Tell the people in charge that we can decide for ourselves what's suitable for us and our children. We can change the political environment in this country. It doesn't have to be this way. [/soapbox]

quincy0191
quincy0191

"What is the purpose of a rating if it means effectively that a title cannot be released?" Well, the rating doesn't inherently mean the game can't be released, it's just Sony, Nintendo and the retailers who make that distinction. Don't blame the rating for the decisions of the game companies.

Hicks_1
Hicks_1

people need to see the difference between movies and video GAMES

numnutz01
numnutz01

if manhunt 2 gets released i hope 2 high heaven that it isnt watered down or made suitable for young gamers. if its not suitable for certain gamer groups then its simple those people who it conserns dont bloody play it, am i right, if something offends you dont play it, it doesnt have to be spoilt for anyone else. its hypocracy at its worse. whats next?????

dark_bruno
dark_bruno

why the game was suspended?.... i was so happy in 10 july because this game was suposted release and nothing... and of corse this is a violent game but its that put this game cool and of course its only to adults. but the more important, when its the new release that?

RanXer0x
RanXer0x

I can see Rockstar releasing their own console for Adults-Only and become successful in a select market. Sorry Kids!

ultimaweapon79
ultimaweapon79

DastardlyD, Do you how many pantings there are out depicting battle scenes, witch hunt execution, holy wars, and other such things are you saying those are not art? I consider Game designing art because they require what all art do, creativity, talent, and the ability to awe. Did you ever hear of Martial arts? Its also a kind of art than can be percieved as violent, yet art.