Manhunt 2 shut out by Sony and Nintendo
Refuse to release game unless it gets a lower rating
Both Sony and Nintendo have confirmed that they will not authorise the release of controversial video game Manhunt 2 on their games consoles - the PS2, PSP and the Wii - in the US.
The news comes in the same week that the game was refused certification in both Britain, the Republic of Ireland and Italy. Manhunt 2 is the first video game to ever be banned by the Irish Film Censor's Office (IFCO) and the first game ban in the UK for ten years.
The IFCO issued a prohibition order in relation to the game under Sec 7 (1) (b) of the Video Recordings Act 1989 which refers to "acts of gross violence or cruelty (including mutilation and torture)".
In a statement, the censor's office said: "IFCO recognises that in certain films, DVDs and video games, strong graphic violence may be a justifiable element within the overall context of the work. However, in the case of Manhunt 2, IFCO believes that there is no such context, and the level of gross, unrelenting and gratuitous violence is unacceptable."
In addition, on Tuesday, the US Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) opted to give the game an Adults Only (AO) rating. Such a rating is usually considered the kiss of death for publishers because it means that leading retailers such as Walmart won't stock it.
Moreover, given that Sony and Nintendo have both said they won't bless the game's US release unless publisher Take-Two Interactive either wins an appeal or alternatively edits the game in order to receive a Mature (M) rating instead, it would seem as though hardcore gamers may never get the opportunity to play Manhunt 2.
The first Manhunt game, which was released in November 2003, also courted controversy and was banned in a number of countries because of its extreme violence. Manhunt 2, which was scheduled for release in July.
Both games have been developed by Rockstar Games, the company behind the notorious Grand Theft Auto series.
Rockstar is a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive whose chairman, Strauss Zelnick, described Manhunt 2 as a "fine piece of art" earlier this week.
"The Rockstar team has come up with a game that fits squarely within the horror genre and was intended to do so," Zelnick said in a statement. "It brings a unique, formerly unheard of cinematic quality to interactive entertainment, and is also a fine piece of art."
Copyright © 2007 ENN
Register Hardware's Tony Smith contributed to this report
One Small step...
If I’m honest, I wouldn’t play Manhunt 2 even if it was available, simply because its not my type of game.
Having said that, i don’t think it should be banned either. I think this sort of censorship starts with games like this and before you know it all you can play is Wii Tennis (As long as you don’t get too competitive mind!).
I don’t want to see this being the start of games censorship for adults because today its Manhunt 2 and tomorrow it could be Resident Evil. And no-one is allowed to tell me, as a mature 31 year old, tax paying, law abiding person (For the time being, although continued whittling at my Civil liberties could change that very quickly), that I cannot kill Zombies on my games consol in my spare time, in my own home.
With all the issues that modern society faces, I cannot believe that they think this is a root cause of any of them.
For shame! Go and do a days work that makes a positive difference to society and peoples lives.
Here's my thoughts...
Firstly, why is it banned/overclassified? Easy. It's a RockStar game. Even before any real details for Bully were out there were people complaining. And every one of them repeatedly mentioned GTA.
Secondly, it'll get released, but with a lot removed. That disappoints me slightly, but so long as the content on all platforms is the same, I don't care.
It's not my type of game, but banning games based mostly on the publisher is not fair.
its a mature game for mature gamers. not all games should be for kids.
if a game gets a mature adult only rating then what is wrong with that?
can we guys in our 30's not play some serious games? Do i always
have to be some squeaky clean woman or little italian plumber?
if kids play these games then, lets not beat around the bush here, its
the PARENTS / SUPERVISION fault.
In the world of film we get adult only movies (violent or porn). we dont stop
these from being distributed. sure. lets address the issue of 'interaction' -
i'm a well adjusted mentally astute guy. I'm not going to have a session on
a game and then go out my door to re-enact.
I'm also aware of thousands of teenagers who play tomb raider and platform games. they dont go out into the real world with a pair of lugers and jump from
roof top to roof top shooting dogs and banging their heads on bricks.
i'm getting completely sick and tired of the nanny state!
Some very childish comments about freedom of liberty.
To all those people who believe that freedom of choice is being undermined by the banning of this game I would like to remind you that when we cannot police ourselves then all what remains is anarchy.
The typical person glad that this has been banned? Here's an example. PATRICK PAKEERAH. His son was killed by some 19 year old who claimed he was addicted to Manhunt. Now, what I am struggline to comprehend is, why the game and publishers are being blamed instead of the actual murderer? Has anyone considered possible mental problems as the real cause of the killing? Any normal person may want to kill someone, but it takes a psychotic murderer to actually murder a person.
Ironically, the people who want this game banned are either publicity hungry politicians, jumping on the ride for personal gain, or simply people with a lemming mentality. These people have no concept of the game or what it is about. Thinking back to the original Grand Theft Auto when people called for that to be banned... these people were embarrased and nothing more said when they saw the game consisted of crappy graphics comical gameplay.
I personally call it the "Mary Whitehouse syndrome". Mary Whitehouse, the meddling old lady who wanted everything that didn't conform to her narrow minded views to be banned.
The idea is simple.... reinstate the game and if you want to play it then you buy it. If you don't want to play the game and you feel it's too violent, then don't buy it. Really is that simple folks! The difference between real life and fiction is still a massive leap and the vast majority of people, unlike your misconceptions, understand the differences.