Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games have said little publicly since Manhunt 2 was slapped with an AO for Adults Only rating last week. The publisher confirmed that it was temporarily suspending production of the game while it reviewed its options, and Take-Two chairman of the board Strauss Zelnick issued a statement calling Manhunt 2 "a fine piece of art."
Zelnick expanded a bit on his position to The New York Times' Seth Schiesel in an article headlined, "Gore Galore but a Violent Game Can't Hold a Gutbucket to the Movies." According to Schiesel, Zelnick defended the game's innovation, but emphasized that it was a horror game, intended for audiences 17 and older.
"This is still animation," Zelnick said. "It's not photo-realistic. It's not live action. And compared to an R-rated movie, which is intended for 17 and above, like Saw or Hostel, it's actually pretty tame."
While Schiesel called the Entertainment Software Rating Board's AO "entirely reasonable" after spending a few hours with the game, he also agreed with Zelnick's estimation of films after watching through Saw II.
"Banning the original version of Manhunt 2 may be a good way to demonstrate that the industry can police itself. Side by side, though, movies seem to be way ahead of games in delivering top-notch gore."