Manhunt 2 PC gets AO rating

ESRB suggests an uncut release for Rockstar's controversial stealth action game is in the works.

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In June of 2007, Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2 for the PlayStation 2, PSP, and Wii was slapped with an AO-for-Adults-Only from the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Given that Sony and Nintendo forbid third-party publishers from releasing AO-rated games on their platforms, Rockstar and parent company Take-Two quickly toned the game down and resubmitted it to the ESRB, receiving an M-for-Mature as a result.

Rockstar took the axe to its game on the consoles and PSP in order to get an M-for-Mature rating.
Rockstar took the axe to its game on the consoles and PSP in order to get an M-for-Mature rating.

Now the game has been given an AO from the ESRB once more, this time for a new platform. The ratings board's online database has been updated to include Manhunt 2 on the PC, with the age-restrictive rating applied for "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs." The M-rated editions of the game feature the same content descriptors.

Manhunt 2 was Take-Two's third time running into ratings trouble. In 2005, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the PlayStation 2 and PC had its ESRB rating bumped up from an M to an AO after a sex-themed minigame dubbed "Hot Coffee"--inaccessible through normal gameplay--was discovered on the disc. The game was yanked off shelves, damaging Take-Two's bottom line, sparking a federal investigation and multiple lawsuits, and ultimately contributing to a change in management.

The second time Take-Two ran afoul of the ESRB was with the release of Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the Xbox 360 and PC. Launched in March of 2006 with a T-for-Teen rating, Oblivion was on shelves roughly six weeks before the ESRB decided it deserved an M rating, citing "more detailed depictions of blood and gore than were considered in the original rating," as well as nude female skin textures in the game accessible through user-made mod programs.

As of press time, representatives with Take-Two and Rockstar Games had not returned GameSpot's requests for comment.

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