Take-Two: R-rated movies top Manhunt 2's gore

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...

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(pictured above).

"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."

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Discussion

264 comments
AuronTsubaki85
AuronTsubaki85

Didn't Hostel, Pulp Fiction, Natural Born Killers & Silence Of The Lambs get the same treatment?

mixmastaart
mixmastaart

Now that I can't have it... I want it more than ever. Free the Rockstar 2!

XDaJokermanX
XDaJokermanX

It's very true. R rated movies have a lot more gore then games yet people are much stricter with games. I think it's because people have always hated games and been out to stop them.

samthesolidman
samthesolidman

I 100% agree with Lucrichard. Videogames are not going to be recognized as a medium of art until our generation of children who grew up on video games are adults. The last generation of kids had movies, so once they turned into adults, the industry was widely accecpted as a form of art and entertainment. One day video games will be accepted as a form of art by the general public, but thats only going to happen once our generation of children grow up to be persons of importance in the ecomomy.

paranoiasurviva
paranoiasurviva

I'm hoping for both versions to be released, kinda like what DVDs do with "unrated" and the "R" versions.

Nikalai_88
Nikalai_88

I find it strange that in high school literature classes students are required to read and comprehend books that are more sexual and violent than anything in the movies or games but when it comes to these concepts in diffrent mediums their minds are judged to immature to properly comprehend. I would further say that the violence/sex in books may not be as graphic but when you understand the concepts behind it becomes infinitely more disturbing. At the same time it is what gives it that art element; it goes beyond the physical representation of it, games and movies do not and thus remain artistic on an aesthetic level only, despite what Rockstar/Take-Two say.

KagimusMaximus
KagimusMaximus

Blah blah blah, "The Wii version allows children to act out cutting a throat". First off, if you're a parent and your CHILD is playing this, then you're probably not parent of the year. This is an ADULT game, I don't know how they can stress that enough. Considering that most gamers are old enough to buy cigarettes, go to an R rated movie, and then stop by the bar for a few rounds, I think these games have a right to exist. Even on a Nintendo console. I'm 25 and have tons of friends with Wiis. I want one myself, just can't friggin' find one...

gwd_boy
gwd_boy

Do sed parents know how to operate the ratings-security controls on consoles? Oh thats right. They must have something to blame cuz they're crazy kids definately aren't just crazy cuz of them.

sean2339
sean2339

This sounds like great news for Rockstar. This AO rating has got Manhunt so much publication, I never even heard of Manhunt till now. I think the Manhunt's future is bright, no madder how this ends up. (As long an it gets made).

Hicks_1
Hicks_1

It's very easy solution when u heard a scream from ur children's bedroom or a soun d effect of that nature u go into the bedroom and check it out or if ur not there have someone else look in on it but don't blame the game the fault lies with parents not wanting to do anything

discostouzo
discostouzo

Unfortunately it seems that the publishers have had the decision to edit the game thrust open them. I'm hoping if this awesome sequel will ever make it here...

changeup4985
changeup4985

why is it that video games take the blame, yet saw 2 and saw 3, which i thought. If u ever seen saw 3. showing someones skull, and brain was sicker than anything video game i ever played. its rated R so kids can't see the movie unless you are 17 and older. so than do the same with the video game .if some 13 years of age gets that game its the parents fault. stop blaming video games. people seriously whats wrong with all of us.

powerframe8
powerframe8

I agree with flynsk's comment. But I still think we should have a freedom of choice. If I want to see a movie like Hostel, I can. But a game thats less violent that Hostel? I can't even play that?? That doesn't seem right. And its complete BS when people say "Games can harm children and make them repeat what they've played." So if thats true... why don't we see those people who are amazing at NHL 07 actually become pros at hockey? And do Burnout fans really go on reckless rampages and drive around the streets going 200? No, they don't. So how the hell can a "violent" game have that effect?

Hawk456
Hawk456

To make an analogy... But Jimmy's parents let him stay up late... well, I'm not Jimmy's parents, go to bed!

UncoloredMATT
UncoloredMATT

Are they still gonna release the PSP version in Europe?

LikwidX3
LikwidX3

whoever cant see that these movies are worse than the videogames that have been comin out lately, go watch saw 3. the esrb wasnt complainin about saints row, ohhhh wait, its not a rockstar game. and all the people complaining about this and saying "how could u wanna play a game that involves smashing peoples heads in" its different, thats why. its fun to play a mature game once in a while, nobody wants to play adventure games for the rest of their lives, unless thats what ur into, and then its not my business. just like its not your business to point fingers. i think gamespot should remove anybody who opposes ANY type of videogame, violent/kiddy doesnt matter. games all came from the same place and are steadily moving to a higher level. nobody complains about television allowing "b!+

dcoaker420
dcoaker420

Change will come when parents start taking responsibility for their childrens actions....Everyone is quick to blame real-world violence on everything but the truth. When is the last time someone went crazy and instead of saying, "well, maybe i could have done more as a parent" they came off with "well, he did play GTA.....HAH....I think thats what did it....the videogame".

xboxdudeman800
xboxdudeman800

this is what just about every gamer has been saying since the "AO" rating for manhunt 2 came out...

ultrazone
ultrazone

a bit of truth here that wont save the game. Although i really do agree that its rediculous to rate a game AO on the basis of violence when movies have more than topped gaming violence, watchdog groups are still going to say its different due to the interactive nature of the game.

MysticDynamite
MysticDynamite

This video game crackdown will not bode well for anyone. Parents can be easily as negligent about what their kids are watching as they can be about what their kids are playing. Yeah, I am aware of the V-Chip, but that doesn't automatically guarantee parents the ability to avoid responsibility. Neither does the ESRB.

Sniper
Sniper

The ESRB's Adults-Only rating for Manhunt 2 is being abused as another form of censorship. Retailers and manufacturers should recognize the fact that most video game players are adults, not children. Yet they continue to treat gamers like children, which I find insulting. I hope that Rockstar and Take-Two Interactive stand by their principles, don't change the content, and bypass censors by offering Manhunt 2 directly to adult consumers as a PC game, downloadable from the Internet. Make Sony, Nintendo and Wal-Mart irrelevant. They're treating us like children, so they don't deserve our money. If Rockstar wants to make a powerful horror game with a unique vision, they should proceed without interference or compromise.

TheCaveRat
TheCaveRat

I was saying that when i heard about it. They are so much harder on games. People always say it's games that make people kill people. Which isn't true, in my opinion, I play a lot of violent games and im a passafist (someone who won't fight someone else unless it truly calls for it, but most the time, not at all). Yet movies, which are so much worst, shows killings, though fake, are more real looking, and a lot more detailed.

Saluu
Saluu

i watched southpark last night and the episode had something to do with censoring mohammad. ('Cartoon Wars' was the title) anyway, the whole thing behind this one was that by censoring ONE thing.. it will eventually lead to more and more. ''oh, well this isnt right and here's why, and that's definitely not right and here's why'' - joe blow its BEEN happening to games. i dont have a problem with an 'M' rating, its just why the need for censoring? i could keep going but no. like they said in SP, 'either its ALL good.. or none of it is.'

darrrrk
darrrrk

LOl, im glad by reading this posts, that it seems a lot of more reasonable and responsable people are posting.

Swift18
Swift18

Yeah i agree movies will always be worse. Unless you can Rape and kill hookers i the game and theres no use of any kind of sex i dont think it should get the AO ratting though kinda ignorant when there have been worse games ant not like its on a NextGen its weak graphics not realistic by any means no worse then a crazy anime movie actually those would be worse so no their just being dumb

expert-yeti
expert-yeti

This is a well writen article. If you would like to discuss this more, I have already set up a topic in The Reconnaissance Union entitled "This Topic is rated 'AO'" It has different scenarios Rockstar and Take-Two could take. Feel free to post on there!

hiphops_savior
hiphops_savior

I agree on the article, but I blame bad parenting right now. I'm not saying blame video games, rock/rap music (heck, I even listen to biggie and fiddy), or violent movies and internet porno.5 year old Eric swearing at a gym teacher? 12 year old Lianna wearing makeup and using fake id? Just listen to the Marshal Mathers LP, he may be referring to his music, but it can still be applied today in video gaming.

apboyer
apboyer

While I agree that films like the "Saw" movies and "Hostel" are just as violent (often moreso) than most video games the argument is probably going to be that with movies people are not active participants in the violence whereas games are simulations wherein the player is the one performing the acts of violence (however unreal it may be). I don't agree with this censorship but this IS the argument that will be used.

jr0904
jr0904

Of course horror movies are more graphic than VVG,but beacuse of colombine,all the anti-gamers are picking on gaming.Give the gaming industry a break for goodness sakes!

grayfox2007
grayfox2007

Whoa, people, calm down. I'll just go on a homicidal rampage and blame it on movies in court. It'll bring games and movies onto the same playing field. I'll die anyway, but somebody's gotta do it.

HyperMetaDragon
HyperMetaDragon

I have to agree with this statement. I doubt the violence in Manhunt 2 could match that of Saw III. But then again, I have yet to play it, so I could be mistaken.

Supperdude9
Supperdude9

Hunter said: "Of course it is. But video games always get the bad rap ever since Jack Thompson started running his mouth. Manhunt is probably less violent than Hostel, but it's banned because most parents are too lazy to give a damn about what their children are playing or buying whatever little timmy wants with looking at the rating. " ====== Well, as I stated in another section, games are a different medium than the medium of movies in one huge factor - you get to participate in whatever is going on. That is the factor. Sure, you can watch someone get their guts removed via a mechanical device or get impaled by some trap. But when you play a game and you take some enjoyment in what you are doing like impaling somone, that is the thing. That is the "logic" behind people like Jack Thompson. I can watch on the telly someone be set on fire. But let little Timmy play Postal 2, set someone on fire, and take enjoyment out of it, well, you can almost see where Thompson is coming from. Not that I condone Thompson's insanse ramblings or anything. I do believe that they should allow Manhunt 2 to have an M rating...a very close to AO M rating, but an M rating non-the-less.

danleeah
danleeah

We shouldn't have to put up with this AO non sense. When I was younger they didnt have ultra violent games. My parents did'nt let me see r rated movies. They made an effort to control what I watched. Heres my point. We shouldnt have to worry about what other kids are playing. It is up to their parents. Why should I have to wait for a games rating? It pisses me off.

aaron5829
aaron5829

So, How about Asia, is it banned ? No ? Awesome..

Rentago
Rentago

dumbasses, I can go into a movie and watch REAL people get killed and butchers or I can play a game and kill people who are TRYING to kill me :D Its self defense people.

McDog3
McDog3

Manhunt 2 is a game intended for adults and these organizations are trying to tell me what I can and can not play/watch/see? Blatant censorship using the scapegoat of "but what about the children?". The thing is, just like drugs/ alcohol, these videogames will never be out of the reach of children, so keeping it banned is effectively stopping it from being veiwed by anyone........it makes my stomach turn.....

DarrcEnigma
DarrcEnigma

It doesn't matter how many times it's said, it needs to be said again. The problem with Manhunt 2 and the Adults Only rating isn't Take-Two, the ESRB or the MPAA. The groups you should all be upset with are Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony -- they're the ones who have "banned" things in North America by not allowing AO-rated games to be released on their consoles. Which is weird, given to what lengths they will go to, to convince you that video games aren't for kids. Banning anything with an AO rating, at least to some extent, just screams "Games are for kids!" And as long as that image sticks, we'll continue to have these problems... I am rather annoyed by the fact that the ESRB can effectively ban any third-party game they want by sticking "AO" on it, though. Not like Microsoft, Nintendo or Sony have any say in how things are rated after all.

rynmls
rynmls

yeah i agreed...

Sydwynder
Sydwynder

Such a strange double standard. Obviously fake violence in video games gets trashed in the media, yet truly vicious movies like Saw and Hostel get released, trailers get played during prime time TV and no one bats an eye. Why is violence seen as so acceptable in movies, but a graphic sex scene brings all the religious zealots out of the woodworks? God forbid we should see people nude, but seeing them decapitated and mutilated is OK? Give your heads a shake people.....

ahyumifan
ahyumifan

very true... It is very unfortunate. does ESRB have to kill Take-Two? and I really hate those parent's watchdog people. It's like they have no life, and want to destroy one entertainment company which happens to be the one of the most popular developers just for fun.

Tracido
Tracido

Save interactivity for real life, if this is your entertainment it is what's been explained to me through this entire situation, guess that's left. ;) This was the reason among very few other games I purchased the Wii for, but after the region lock change from free to not from Nintendo it taught me already not to trust what they say about what's allowed on their console and whether they are being honest, EVER... Both companies however agreed to let this game on their console and later stated rating limits, more bs. Best lesson is business's LIE, and do not give a spit about thier paying customers as much as stupid media run watchdog groups and moral a-holes...

spike6958
spike6958

this woun't change a thing, they have been waiting for a game to just slightly go ott with it's content killing wise so they can ban it, and they have done it just to prove that they can and nothing more

Gamer-Addict
Gamer-Addict

I can't help but wonder how much money ERSB is making off this scandle.

styphin
styphin

I say Take Two should just release the game anyway, without the endorsement of Nintendo or Sony. Sure, the game won't be endorsed, but many developers released games for the NES without a Nintendo "Official Seal of Approval." With the hype that this game is getting anyway, I doubt the lack of an official endorsement would hinder sales THAT much.

The1BigBoss
The1BigBoss

I completely agree. Movies have been far ahead of games with blood,gore and voilance for a long time. Its about time for the double standard to be taken care of.

The1BigBoss
The1BigBoss

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

The1BigBoss
The1BigBoss

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