Manhunt 2 on the Wii under fire

Manhunt 2 on the Wii under fire


Today has been a rough day for Rockstar, the developers behind the mega popular Grand Theft Auto series.  Their first bit of bad news came in the form of a ban in Britain on their upcoming release, Manhunt 2.

BBFC exec David Cooke had the following to say. “Rejecting a work is a very serious action and one which we do not take lightly… Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing…There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game…”

On the heels of the UK ban, the Center for a Commercial-Free Childhood has demanded that Manhunt 2 be issued an Adults Only rating in the North American market.

The ESRB has already issued the rating for Manhunt 2, which is scheduled for release on July 9th, but hasn’t made the rating public yet.

CCFC co-founder, Dr. Susan Linn of Harvard had the following to say.  “If ever there was a time for the ESRB’s strongest and most unambiguous rating, it is now. An Adults Only rating is the only way to limit children’s exposure to this unique combination of horrific violence and interactivity…An “M” rating is more like a wink and a nod than an effective safeguard. The industry appears to be going through its paces, but as the FTC’s most recent data show, these games are still being marketed to children.”

ESRB president Patricia Vance responded by stating that “We have received the letter from CCFC and, while we might take issue with some of the statements made within, we sincerely appreciate their expressed concerns.  Our ratings are intended to provide guidance that allows parents to choose games they deem suitable for their children, and that is a responsibility we take extremely seriously,”

She further stated that “It should be noted that ESRB has already assigned a rating for the Wii, PS2 and PSP versions of Manhunt 2, and that rating has in fact already been communicated to the publisher.  However, we are unable to publicly release the rating at this time as it is our policy that ratings be posted to our website 30 days following assignment, unless the game is released prior to the end of that period. This is done to give publishers the opportunity to consider modifying and resubmitting their games for rating or appealing the rating assigned to our Appeals Board should they wish to do so.  We have not yet been notified by Rockstar as to what they intend to do with respect to our rating assignment.”

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