Take-Two shelves Manhunt 2

Plans to release game "temporarily suspended" while publisher continues exploring options.

798 Comments

In the wake of international bans and an Adults Only rating in the US, Manhunt 2 won't make its July 10 release date, Take-Two Interactive has confirmed. The game had been expected to ship that day for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Nintendo Wii.

"Take-Two Interactive Software has temporarily suspended plans to distribute Manhunt 2 for the Wii or PlayStation platforms while it reviews its options with regard to the recent decisions made by the British Board of Film Classification and Entertainment Software Rating Board," a representative told GameSpot. "We continue to stand behind this extraordinary game. We believe in freedom of creative expression, as well as responsible marketing, both of which are essential to our business of making great entertainment."

While the ESRB's initial rating of an AO for Adults Only doesn't explicitly prohibit the game from being sold, most major US retailers refuse to carry AO games, and console manufacturers prohibit their third-party publishers from releasing AO titles on their systems.

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doomed51

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lol it doesn't sound too great of an idea for the Wii.

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Phazevariance

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The simple solution is to release two versions of the game, a regular version, and a cencored version. That way the game will make it to the masses, but htose who want the unrestricted gore and violence will have to 'hunt' it down through other sources to get a regular version. Then at least they won't lose money on the game.

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Hawk456

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It is reasonable and expected that consoles have the right to control material being released for their specific console. It takes years to build a reputation and seconds to lose it. PC however, should be fair game... if TT can find a retailer.

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wooooode

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They have no choice but to delay it and try for a M rating because Sony and Nintendo said no AO games.

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bigmick07

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too bad this game looks great, as long as its still released though

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digital_soul

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I played the original and for a while afterwards had disturbing dreams and thoughts of harming people in various nasty ways. Im glad the sequel is banned as Im not sure Id be able to trust myself if i played it.

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fr33_loader

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Just because you are an adult and you have the right to smoke doesnt mean that you could do it in my house. Just like nintendo, sony, MS saying you cant play AO games in my console. You have your rights and they have theirs thats how I see it.

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keinuveye

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Some good points here but I feel they are coming from the wrong reasons. It seems most people love to jump to defend their Wiis, since they so often need defending. Just because you bought the Nintendo system does not mean you can't have those AO or mature games. You are probably the same people who are jumping to play RE4 but yet are appalled by the violence of Manhunt. I agree that this material is not suitable for children, but I am of the camp that thinks the restrictions should come from the sellers and the parents, not the ESRB or the government. You have to understand what makes a popular game. Violence in video games is pretty much a staple. Heck, Fighting, First Person/3rd person shooters are GENRES of games recognized by the industry. Getting up on a soapbox and taking the moral high ground is not going to change the public's mind about games so do not hold your breath. I don't hate on Sony or NIntendo for banning such games necessarily. I think it is 99% a money thing though and they are worried their games will not make the profit that they could, especially since they are in it for the worldwide audience (superior numbers). I am sure this is the reason rather than any of their policies or caring for the wellbeing of the consumers. Why else would we get charged $10 for some of this crappy DLC???

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swiftstar183

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Well look at the bright side. if the game is Banned in The UK and other places. Buying the game and selling it to those unfortunate ppl in those countries would be a nice Profit for us. (that is if this game makes it out at all) and i was looking forward to this game too. I never had a chance to try the first 1, but was very interested in this 1.

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toastedrebel

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Do the freedom haters who are blocking this game know that the majority of gamers are over 18 years of age? I could understand pulling the Wii version since that system is targeted for younger audiences, but certainly the PS2 and PSP crowd is mostly of age. Why can't parents be responsible for what their children play? Why take away my freedom because of their parental inadequacies? I am 26 years old. I can drink and smoke legally (things that actually harm a person), but I can't get an AO rated game? Come on!

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Humidity

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"While the ESRB's initial rating of an AO for Adults Only doesn't explicitly prohibit the game from being sold, most major US retailers refuse to carry AO games, and console manufacturers prohibit their third-party publishers from releasing AO titles on their systems." Then why have an AO rating in the first place???

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Regginator14520

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This is so gay we live in USA, we have constitutional rights that allow us to have the freedom to play such a game, our rights protect us and our government violates us, meanwhile its "okay" to go to the extreme showing bloody violence in the middle east all over television on the news. And Jack Thompson, or whatever his name is, he can go to hell for the simple fact that there is way more worst things wrong with our country then "Video Games". If it wasn't for video games, there would more kids out on the streets probably getting into trouble, but since Video Games exist, we stay in our homes safely and we play video games casually, whether they are violent or not, we have the rights to play what we want to play.

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deactivated-5ce72effd6960

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Hmm....Poor Rockstar games, what are they gonna do now?

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amj1984

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O.K. PC don't have any problem release it now. :)

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x-2tha-z

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So they ban a game because it might lead to someones death? How many people are killed every year by cigarettes and alcohol? How many people die every year in road accidents? How many people are shot every year? Why not ban all those things so there's no chance of them killing anyone? Why is the videogame industry such an easy target?

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tamz

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tamz  Staff

Dammit

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Leick3

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also, sony,nintendo, and the esrb all decided to not sell the game. If they dont want it on their consoles then u guys have absolutely no say in it.

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Leick3

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Taketwo is bringing this upon themselves. They make the most violent innapropriate games out there and then act surprised when people dont want that crap around their children. and stop using freedom of speech as an excuse, it applies to both sides

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wargraymon

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hey, that was my first post of all the years i've been to this site...yaaayy!!:-))

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MoogleDragoon

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I can't say anything that hasn't already been said, so I will just say everything that Dr_Swordopolis said very well put mind you I agree with.

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fr33_loader

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A new game genre has evolved. FPS, RPG, RTS, Driving games, Fighting games, Puzzle games, Card games........ Now, TGITB (Torture Game Is The Bomb) genre 2-10 yrs old can play Kids Level wherein they can squish bugs and so forth. Unlockable weapon will be the Magnifying Glass where you can wipe out a whole colony of ants. 10-18 yrs old can play Puberty Level. From dogs to cows can be skinned alive. Do whatever with them. The sound effects would be awesome for that matter in Dolby Surround sound output, the cat voice acting is especially great. A great party game. 18+ Adults Only Level. Torture at its maximum level. Friends, sister, wife, grandma is all a fairgame. Sky is the limit. Unlockable is that when you get too bored with the game, you can increase your adrenaline boost by doing it in real life.

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romans828_2002

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Dr. Swordopolis, Thanks. FInally, there is somebody who makes sense on this board.

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Gen-Gawl

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Well. It's not like this is government censorship or anything. It just a few companies upholding their personal standards for what they want to release. With that being said I still think it was a bad idea to not allow an AO game to be released. It just goes back to the mentality that games are for kids. Which is dead wrong.

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haterex

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I preordered the ps2 version and paided the full amount....Rockstar, Take-Two.....Why????

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wargraymon

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i'm personally with the esrb on this one plus the console manufacters, nintendo, sony, and microsoft being their system wouldn't allow them either.

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darkdaej

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jpfondeur Sony doesn't allow AO !!?? that's ridiculous ! it's a 600 dollar system!, how many kids own it!? i mean really !? have you noticed that the game is not being released for ps3?

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ColonelWilks

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Jesus Christ! By now, the ESRB and every single other "official" ratings bureau knows that an AO/NC-17 rating for any piece of public media is a death warrant, effectively destroying all the effort and time put into said media. What they're doing is using a loophole in the console maker's/retailers' policies to ban games and movies. I thought these establishments were created to regulate what media reached what audience, not to completely cut off certain media from the people.

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jpfondeur

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Sony doesn't allow AO !!?? that's ridiculous ! it's a 600 dollar system!, how many kids own it!? i mean really !?

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Dr_Swordopolis

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Alright, a few points here: For those comparing an R-rated movie to this AO rated game; your argument doesn't even stand up. AO games are more closely related to NC-17 movies (no one admitted 17 and under), which are rarely, if ever, released into theatres. Second, people crying freedom of speech MAY have a valid point, but like so many other people who feel oppressed, they just use the First Amendment as a blanket statement. Yes, as Americans, we have the right to express ourselves freely. (I don't begin to state I know the rules/laws on this in the UK/Europe). But, it is also our responsibility as a nation to protect those who cannot protect themselves, i.e. the children who may end up getting this game. While the family is a sovereign group, meaning they have authority over everything within that group, there are still times when others must intervene. People may cry "CENSORSHIP!", but the fact of the matter is that since this is a mandate put in place by SONY and Nintendo, censorship isn't even applicable. As someone pointed out earlier, this is just regulating the game industry to make sure gruesome games don't end up in children's hands. Another thing, if you read the article, you would see that it says SONY and Nintendo don't allow the sale of THIRD-PARTY GAMES with an AO rating on their systems. This is why you can play pornographic movies on your PS2, if you so choose. Those movies can be played through any media, not strictly the PS2. However, a game is made with the express purpose of being played on that system, so it is perfectly legal for SONY or Nintendo to regulate what games are played using its hardware. It's a policy that has been in place long before this rating was even handed down. So it is definitely not a reactionary policy. And the ESRB is an independent group; with the two console corporations being in this to make money, it is not in their best interest to simply ban the game because of the rating, but they've had this policy the entire time, and Rockstar should have been aware of that. Finally, the argument that I've seen a couple times, that Rockstar has a history of pushing the envelope, so the ESRB, etc. should have seen this coming... that is a terrible argument to begin with. Just because someone has a habit of pushing the envelope doesn't mean it should be allowed to continue. How far do we let someone continue to create "art" as freedom of speech? What if they make a painting using recently harvested human blood? "Oh. Well it's art, and thus freedom of speech." A bit of an extreme example, but I believe there is precedent for stating that society is heading towards that. By living in America, we are bound by a social contract that gives us certain rights in exchange for subjecting ourselves to civil law or political authority. So until the standards of society change and openly accept games that freely utilize chainsaws and axes, then we have to live with the fact the these games are "socially" unacceptable, despite what you and I may think ourselves.

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Yuck_Too

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It's a tad strange in that if they did release it by default it would be a 360 / PC only title. Thing I don't quite get is Sony saying no AO games on their system...after all Debbie does Dallas in Blu-ray is ok...or is porn no longer AO? But really who cares. It was going to be a junk game anyway and I'm glad it got squashed. It was violence and gore for the sake of violence and gore. (...though I do miss the old school rocket / grenade damage from Wolf...)

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latin_boi

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Freedom of Creative Expression has nothing to do with it...your game's too violent, therefore it gets an AO rating...no one's taking your right to make the game away. I see Rockstar definately trying to take advantage of previous mishaps involving their games to get the ESRB to be a little lenient.

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yian

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So what if it is AO? Come on, have faith in us. We adults will be buying it!

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Kobugodo

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well.. saw that one coming. Wonder how much more money it would cost to tone it down... and if it's actually worth it. What if they tone it down... and than the ESRB still rates it AO... Funny... Gamespot just did a hands on feature... for a game that's done... but might never see the light of day.

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chrisdojo

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hopefully the game is shelved indefinitely.

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suchafool

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So I'm old enough to buy any movie, drink in any country, vote for my country.... but I'm not allowed to buy an AO game? It's not like I'm too bothered about this title as it does sound a bit unnecasary, but prohibiting AO titles is just plain stupid.

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therapyhiccup

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i'm still surprised that a game like this will be on the Wii :O :D

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fr33_loader

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ragrdoll21 Fr33_loader...I'm 27 with a wife and 5 kids and I want to play this game. P ------------------------------ I said MOST. LOL. Ok you are allowed to play it then.

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Piccolo-san

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Though there's no way in hell I'd let my kids play this game, or want to play it myself - It's easy to understand that there are people who want to play it. Give it an 18 rating and let people have the **CHOICE** of whether they want to play it or not.

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ragrdoll21

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Fr33_loader...I'm 27 with a wife and 5 kids and I want to play this game.;) P

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Nerfit

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its ok folks! just keep an eye on the torrent sites!

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nenoneno

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This is such crap! Its a game!!!! A GAME! there is movies that are 10 times worse in content and no one says a thing about them ........... :(

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fr33_loader

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And the funny thing is most of the people who wants to play this game are the kids (makes them appear cool) and very young adults who just got out of Mom and Dads "censorship" thus wants to exercise their God given rights (read:freedom of speech) to butcher people for fun.

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digital_soul

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Hopefully as the game is already in many peoples hands an ISO will appear on the internet

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Dopeyman

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FilthyYamBag, definitely seems like a Helen Lovejoy scene.

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smfes

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u can just download it through the illegal way but thas illegal but wth

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Zoomer30

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The good news is the game got an AO, the bad news is the only reason the game got an AO is becasue there is no rating higher then AO :)

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III-Rob-III

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Its banned in the UK, it was all over the news >.

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dschalmers

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"steve ur dumb" Well there's an ironic sentence.

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joz90

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i hope its released in th UK

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