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Politics Government Entertainment Games

Take Two Shelves Manhunt 2 350

If you've been following this story so far, it shouldn't come as a shock that Take-Two has shelved Manhunt 2 for the moment, while they decide what to do next. The company is considering its options, and still fully supports the game as a 'work of art'. "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 ... 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." Analysts have already started weighing in, with some seeing this as unfairly targeting the GTA-maker for previous 'sins'.
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Take Two Shelves Manhunt 2

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  • loss (Score:5, Funny)

    by mastershake_phd ( 1050150 ) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:24PM (#19622945) Homepage
    If take-two takes a loss on this game it could have a chilling effect on freedom of speech for years to come, and companies willingness to push the envelope.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      This is not about freedom of speech. This is about freedom to choose what you want to sell. Many 'family' companies don't want to sell games that depict this degree of realisitc violence.

      There were some kids that stole cars after playing GTA because they thought it was cool. What kind of things could we expect those kids to do after playing this game?

      I'm not saying I think this game itself should be banned from the open market and country. THAT would be an issue of freedom of speech. But I understand t
      • Re:loss (Score:5, Informative)

        by VJ42 ( 860241 ) * on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:37PM (#19623043)

        If Take-Two makes the smart choice, it will be to sell the game themselves.
        Unfortunately both Sony and Nintendo have declined to licence it, so they can't do that.
        • That's a problem in itself. With a PC-based product, they could just sell the program and be done with it: no corporate middleman deciding what is or is not appropriate. Personally, I don't care for that state of affairs, and will stick with PC games for the foreseeable future. I want to be able to support the publishers/developers of my choice, not the hardware manufacturer's.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by aichpvee ( 631243 )
            Just hope that the games for windows branding doesn't take off or you'll see a very similar situation with windows games. Which could always leave us Linux and Mac gamers, but I don't think we've got the numbers (even if all of us bought multiple copies) to support a game costing multiple millions (if not tens of millions) of dollars to develop.

            You'll probably scoff at the idea of games for windows becoming a serious force in PC gaming, especially with so few publishers signing on so far, but stranger thin
        • Unfortunately both Sony and Nintendo have declined to licence it, so they can't do that.
          There's a lesson in that. Ain't there.

        • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @05:14PM (#19623361)
          Unfortunately both Sony and Nintendo have declined to licence it, so they can't do that.

          If there was ever an argument for Mod Chips, this is it! Once I purchase a console it's mine, d@mn it! I should be able to play whatever games I purchase for it, and shouldn't need Sony's or Nintendo's blessing first. That's like buying a Mustang, and then finding that only Ford Brand Gasoline service station nozzles will fit the weird shape of my fuel filler tube.

          I wonder if you could win an anti-trust suit over this? Imagine if your Dell PC would only run software resold through Dell stores. Where does it say on the outside of the PS3 box -- This unit only runs software licensed by Sony. Any other use of this equipment violates the Sony Playstation 3 License Agreement.

        • Re:loss (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Stellian ( 673475 ) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @02:41AM (#19626225)

          Unfortunately both Sony and Nintendo have declined to licence it, so they can't do that.
          If they are smart, they can turn this into something big.
          Imagine the promotional campaign:

          Sony won't let you play it... (BANNED on the PS3)
          Microsoft won't let you touch it... (BANNED on the XBox)
          What are they afraid of ?

          The sheer curiosity for the forbidden fruit can propel the game in the history books.
      • Re:loss (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:59PM (#19623215)
        "There were some kids that stole cars after playing GTA because they thought it was cool. What kind of things could we expect those kids to do after playing this game?"

        I expect them to go "Huh, stealing cars landed me in jail. I don't want to do that again."
      • Re:loss (Score:5, Insightful)

        by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @05:10PM (#19623325)
        There were some kids that stole cars after playing GTA because they thought it was cool.

        So it's GTA's fault these kids were never properly raised? Hm so what happens if they watch on the news that more soldiers in Iraq were hurt/killed by a roadside bomb, decide it sounds cool and took a stab at that action.

        Truth is, this had nothing to do with the game and everything to do with them being irresponsible idiots with irresponsible idiot parents. We have to quit blaming everyone else for our failures otherwise we keep perpetuating the need for a nanny state.
        • Re:loss (Score:4, Insightful)

          by IllForgetMyNickSoonA ( 748496 ) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @01:47AM (#19626057)

          1. Yes, parents are responsible for their kids (I'm a parent myself). However, even the best and the best raised boy in the world *will*, from time to time, come to completely and utterly idiotic ideas, especially if there are some girls standing around, watching and cheering. You can't just blame it ALL to the parents, you know. Being a parent is challanging enough even without having companies like - in this case - Take Two making it even harder by raising car theft to the "cool" level.

          2. If I were the owner of a stolen car, I wouldn't CARE who is to blame - parents of the thief or the company that brought the thief to the idea. You can't just throw away all moral responsibility under the cover of "freedom of speach" (let's be honest here: it's not the freedom of speech Take Two is trying to excercise here, it's the money they are after).

          3. "iraq roadside bomb in the news" is such an inappropriate example that I am wondering how in the world can it be that you found somebody to mod you UP for that! If Take Two made a game where the main objective of the game was to place a roadside bomb in order to kill some marines, THAT would be a good example (although in a direction you wouldn't like). And I can very well imagine the (rightfull!) outcry on the /. against such a "game"!

          And what /. *really* thinks of "freedom of speech" will become obvious within a few minutes after I press the "Submit" button - I'm ready to bet this will be modded down into oblivion! :-)
      • Re:loss (Score:5, Insightful)

        by chanrobi ( 944359 ) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @05:12PM (#19623345)

        There were some kids that stole cars after playing GTA because they thought it was cool. What kind of things could we expect those kids to do after playing this game?
        There were also kids who stole cars before playing GTA.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          I'm not even going to bother replying to him. People who don't like something will think up any excuse to get rid of it. His argument has no weight what-so-ever except to those who agree with him. The same with any other logical fallacies. They make good rhetoric for persuading the naive, but nothing more.
        • Re:loss (Score:5, Funny)

          by Anpheus ( 908711 ) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @11:35PM (#19625497)
          I steal cars WHILE playing GTA!
      • As 3D graphics become more realistic the chances of disturbing people become greater. It's not like watching a horror film where you are the observer, you are taking on the role of the killer.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Das Modell ( 969371 )
          This only applies to people who are already unstable, assuming that video games actually have that kind of an effect on people.
          • by xero314 ( 722674 )

            This only applies to people who are already unstable, assuming that video games actually have that kind of an effect on people.

            I'm looking for a serious answer here. With the rising occurrences of Diagnosed Mental Disorders in western civilizations, how to you propose we keep games like Manhunt out of the hands of those who are "already unstable" and potentially susceptible to the negative imagery and psychological effects of simulation? Now how do you propose we do this without calling into question the last 100 years of anti-discrimination challenges?

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Nephilium ( 684559 )

              Wait a second... the "Diagnosed Mental Disorders" that you mention... do those include the crap like ADD? Or are you talking actual disorders, you know, the ones that don't sound suspiciously like: "drug the kids, they'll behave then!"?

              Also... I assume you actually have a source for the claim that there is a rising occurrence?

              Nephilium... avoiding modding to post...

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Some assumptions:

              Rising occurrences of Diagnosed Mental Disorders in western civilizations

              1) "Rising occurrences of Diagnosed mental disorders" does not equal "a rising occurrence of mental disorders"
              2) People are living longer in Western civilizations, so one would expect a rise in age related mental disorders (if in fact this is occurring)

              susceptible to the negative imagery and psychological effects of simulation?

              That's a pretty vague statement in itself. If you are implying that people who already have s

      • This is not about freedom of speech. This is about freedom to choose what you want to sell. Many 'family' companies don't want to sell games that depict this degree of realisitc violence.

        As individual companies you are right, they have full right to sell or not so sell anything, however once you have all of these companies come together to agree not to sell something, you actually have a classic example of anti-trust law violation... unless of course you scream "but think of the children" - in which case all the laws can be bypassed.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dewke ( 44893 )
        This is not about freedom of speech. This is about freedom to choose what you want to sell. Many 'family' companies don't want to sell games that depict this degree of realisitc violence.

        Well yes, except what happens when "family" companies stop carrying a book because it has bad language, or god forbid sex in it. As it is I specifically avoid stores like Wal-Mart because as an adult I don't want them making choices about what language I should listen to. I don't need someone foisting their beliefes on me
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by timmarhy ( 659436 )
        "There were some kids that stole cars after playing GTA because they thought it was cool. What kind of things could we expect those kids to do after playing this game"

        this kind of rubbish has been debunked many many times... but *sigh* here we go again.

        blaming the present day medium for childrens behavour is FLAWED logic, as this kind of behavour was present prior to video games, and till continue to be there if video games never depicted such acts.

        the problem lays squarely with parents who allow the tv

    • Is "punishing for previous sins" unfair? No not at all, that's how the world works. Be an asshole, it's not illegal, your free to be an asshole, but that does not mean it does not come without a social penalty. and the next time you need someone else's approval, that someone has a chance to punish you. It's a good thing. It's not unfair.
      • by Kelbear ( 870538 )
        You have no idea what happened. Nor do you understand that punishment after punishment has been meted is not justice. It is vindictiveness that corrupts the punisher. An eye for an eye, not both eyes and your friend's eye for an eye. Punishment must fit the crime, and must not exceed it, or a new injustice has been created.
      • by dewke ( 44893 )
        My only hope is that this doesn't affect GTA IV. I really had no interest in manhunt 2 since I thought the first one sucked, but I love GTA and I'd hate to see Rockstar dummy it down because of Sony.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sigma 7 ( 266129 )

        Is "punishing for previous sins" unfair?

        In particular, you need to state which one of the sins [] is being punished.

        Is it Wrath? Attempting to kill everything in GTA will not advance the plot - perhaps even set back the player as he gets reduced back to what's considered the absolute basic equipment and stuff.

        Is it Lust? While it is true that GTA III had a dry-humping sex scene that cannot be obtained through normal in-game means, it's still considered an isolated incident.

        Is it gluttony? Probably not, since Pacman would obviously be considered

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Wind_Walker ( 83965 )
      I don't understand how the issue of free speech enters into the equation.

      1) Rockstar makes incredibly violent video game
      2) ESRB does its job and rates the game AO
      3) Sony and Nintendo reaffirm their licensing agreement, saying no AO game will be on their consoles
      4) Rockstar halts production of incredibly violent game

      Could you show me the step where somebody's rights were violated?
    • by jd ( 1658 )
      I'm having a hard time deciding if that was satire or not. From the moderations, I'm guessing others picked the satire option. After what Take Two did to David Braben, and after what they've done to other software authors, the only envelopes Take Two have any business pushing are the envelopes containing the pink slips to management. As for "free speech", Take Two aren't even willing to own up to their own speech, so why the hell should I care if they lose the freedom of it? How does one lose what one doesn
  • XBox 360 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:27PM (#19622967) Homepage

    This whole thing is rather interesting. The Wii version is the one that really catches my interest because of what the controls "add" to the game. I was rather surprised at first when I saw what they were doing. While it fits well, it's rather visceral compared to just pushing a button so I wondered if they would have a tough time.

    Nintendo banning an AO game doesn't surprise me. Sony banning it does surprise me some. But what all of this has really made me wonder is... does Microsoft have an anti-AO game policy? If Manhunt 2 was developed for the 360, would they be able to release it (problems with Target, Wal*Mart, etc selling it aside)?

    The computer is really the only platform where this isn't a problem. If you look at the list of AO games, most of them are on the PC, even if you remove the "Virtual Jenna" type games. Since no-one can stop a game from being published on the PC (you can sell it mail order or download if you have to), this wouldn't be a problem.

    Of course, Take-Two has put already had a target on their heads (unfairly). I can see the outrage over a game like this, seeing as how it makes GTA look tame. As adult as this is, I was really looking forward to reading the reviews of what the Wii controls added to it. There are previews out now, but previews are always positive so it's a bit hard to tell based on that. People called GTA a "murder simulator".. heh.

    Porting consoles isn't easy. But maybe MS could agree to let them publish and get PR win with the mature crowd. But that would probably cause them problems with the family crowd they want.

    • by grumbel ( 592662 )
      ### But what all of this has really made me wonder is... does Microsoft have an anti-AO game policy?

      No idea about the rest of the world, but at least in Germany they have. Any game (Gears of War, Condemned, etc.) that didn't get a USK rating (aka Germans version of ESRBs AO) isn't allowed to be published by Microsoft, this includes third party titles.
    • by Dorceon ( 928997 )

      ...does Microsoft have an anti-AO game policy?
      According to some of the coverage of this story, yes they do.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by RonnyJ ( 651856 )
      According to this [] article, Microsoft don't allow AO games on the Xbox/Xbox 360 either.

      Though Manhunt 2 isn't slated for any of Microsoft's systems, the company has also confirmed that it does not allow AO-rated titles on the Xbox or Xbox 360.

    • MS wants to have a family image, "the press would have a field day!" -- or at least fanboys would.
    • Re:XBox 360 (Score:5, Informative)

      by falcon5768 ( 629591 ) <Falcon5768&comcast,net> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @05:55PM (#19623635) Journal
      none of the system makers allow AO games, Microsoft included.
  • show some goddamn spine and stick to their guns! :)
    • And how would they do that? It's not like they have a choice. None of the consoles that they developed the game for will grant them a license to release it on their system because it is rated Adults Only. Which makes wonder what kind of idiots they have working at their company. How would a project, that would clearly earn a rating of AO, be green lighted when they know that such games cannot be released on the systems they created it for?
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:50PM (#19623149)
    While I love Rockstar games as much as the next person, I don't see how they possibly thought they could get away with this game. It's almost as if they're are determined to go bust.
    • by RonnyJ ( 651856 )
      it's no surprise if the ESRB were more cautious over a Rockstar product this time, considering what happened over the Hot Coffee issue and how Rockstar lied about it afterwards. Specifically, they said you needed to reverse-engineer the source code, yet you could access it via an Action Replay code on the PS2 version.

      Rockstar's statement also claimed that the mod was the product of complex technical tampering. "Since the 'Hot Coffee' scenes cannot be created without intentional and significant technical mo

      • Right. So they had a var "bool ShowHotCoffee = false;". The ActionReplay overwrote the memory to this var (I assume). Not exactly rocket science
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by asuffield ( 111848 )

        it's no surprise if the ESRB were more cautious over a Rockstar product this time, considering what happened over the Hot Coffee issue and how Rockstar lied about it afterwards. Specifically, they said you needed to reverse-engineer the source code, yet you could access it via an Action Replay code on the PS2 version.

        Do you realise that "reverse-engineer the source code" is a reasonably accurate layman's description of the process needed to create an Action Replay code? It's not a perfectly accurate stateme

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by valdean ( 819852 )

      I don't see how they possibly thought they could get away with this game. It's almost as if they're are determined to go bust.

      They must not have seen it coming.

      Think about it. If they suspected it, they would never have developed the game -- what company would voluntarily lose money? Or, for that matter, what company would want to waste their creative energy -- the developers are very creative people who want to get credit for a game being produced. Everyone must have thought they were going to get an M rating.

      Maybe we could do an Ask Slashdot about this -- an interview with Manhunt 2's head of development. Imagine how angr

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by asuffield ( 111848 )

      While I love Rockstar games as much as the next person, I don't see how they possibly thought they could get away with this game. It's almost as if they're are determined to go bust.

      Never before has any level of violence, no matter how explicit or gruesome, been reason for an AO rating. Let me repeat that again, in bold and capitals:


      The only reasons for AO ratings are sex and politics. This game contains neither (as far as I know), and anyway, it

  • (Score:2, Insightful)

    by davmoo ( 63521 )
    I agree that the ratings systems suck and this company is probably being unfairly punished. But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, what's the problem here?

    Release it with the adult rating. If the traditional outlets won't sell it, find new ones or sell it online yourselves. If its such an awesome game, where you sell it should make absolutely no difference and buyers will beat a path to your door/website. But if it blows chunks, then the ratings really don't matter.
    • (Score:5, Informative)

      by Chandon Seldon ( 43083 ) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @05:13PM (#19623357) Homepage

      The problem is that it's illegal for them to release it. Both Sony and Nintendo require that all gamees released on their platforms be approved by them (it's part of the contract a developer must sign to get a dev kit). In some countries it's even more illegal because selling an unrated game is prohibited.

      All I really have to say is "Ha, Ha! That's what you get for developing for a proprietary platform".

      • I'm 100% in agreement here. Nobody is putting a gun to Rockstar's head and making them license for consoles. They do it because there's more money in it, and as a consequence, they play by the console maker's rules.
  • Oh, Hell No... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by moehoward ( 668736 ) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:58PM (#19623201)

    Hell no. Political Correctness(tm) was NEVER a slippery slop to censorship. Gosh. Those Chinese sure do suck for their Censorship(tm). We don't suck. We have REAL reasons!!!! I mean, Think About the Children(tm).

    Un-frickin-believeable. For you purist-morons, yes, this was both governmental and economic censorship. My belief will always be that pornography is the line. That is to say, sexual contact and insinuated sexual contact when one or both sides' "stuff" is involved. And, it even has to be REAL for that. Not animated.

    I am a parent. I am a parent to my kids and I take responsibility for what they see and experience. I have the power to control a heck of a lot of what they are exposed to and I exercise that power. Sucks for the parents who don't, but don't put that on me via government. I'll handle my own situation and you handle yours.

    If stuff happens to be viewed or experienced by my kids out of my control "area", then we'll deal with it. But, my kids absolutely 100% won't be "damaged" because of it. Show me one person of us 6 billion who hasn't had a perfect go of it. I can only say that now after Paris Hilton got sent away, but before that, I was 99.999999% sure.

    • Do a little research. The original was blamed for a murder in the UK. It turns out the victim owned the game not the killer but it still got blamed.

      Google it up. :)
    • by db32 ( 862117 )
      Oh what ever... This is not censorship at all. Censorship would be not allowing it to exist. Not allowing it to be sold in stores where noone checks ratings anyways when they sell to kids is not Censorship. It is no different than not allowing hard core porn to be sold on shelves in walmart.

      1. The company is known for making deranged games.
      2. The company is known for lying about content in said deranged games
      3. This particular game is supposed to be incredibly dark and violent
      4. As a result of a
      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
        At this point, it's not even the stores that are a problem. It's the console companies. And they -are- preventing it from existing... on those consoles.

        There's nothing to stop Take Two from releasing it on PC (and possibly 360, if MS will agree) at this point. They simply won't be able to be on the consoles they had planned to.

        What surprises me is that this appears to come as a shock to Take Two. Did they NEVER think about what would happen if they published an extremely violent game and ended up with
        • by db32 ( 862117 )
          A couple years ago a game like this wouldn't exist. Go back and look at the games and you will see that this company is primarily responsible for the deranged games that are getting fire. Its like trying to claim that porno really is just a story about a pizza guy who was down on his luck when he met love, and that its all just art. As far as the consoles, still not censorship. They don't want their brands associated with that nonsense. I don't think you will ever see Disney get involved with a Marilyn
        • by db32 ( 862117 )
          Incidentally, take a close look. This IS their defensive preparations. Look at what they did when busted on Hot Coffee "OOOOh those evil hackers did it" until it came out that was a load of bullshit and it only worked on the people that have no understanding of how technology really works. So they get slapped, they shelf a nearly completed project (once again stupidity at its height if they are serious at all about that). Now people are coming out of the woodworks to cry about how its freedom of speech
          • You make some interesting statements in your various posts, except they seem to contradict themselves. Some examples:

            Tattoos and such can be art torture is not art. I swear to god the lawyers in this mess would have defended John Wayne Gacy as being an artist...

            They aren't stupid, they are just assholes.

            I have nothing against the content of their products on a moral level at all.

            You equate their games with torture and with murderers, and you claim that you don't have a moral problem with them selling gam

            • by db32 ( 862117 )
              No I said they are depicting torture and murder in an entertainment venue, which isn't morally offensive to me, just kinda dumb and deranged. I said the money grubbing fools and their lawyers that try to claim this BS is art would defend John Wayne Gacy as an artist. At no point do I equate their games with torture and murder, I equate the claim that their games are art are along the same lines of claiming torture, murder, porn, or even just shitting on the wall as art. And they are assholes. They are no
          • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
            That's a good point, but I'm not convinced that their plan was to create a violent game, get shunned, and have the minority of people who think an AO rating is censorship come save the day.

            It's not a solid business plan, and even as a defense plan, it sucks. There's only a few wackos screaming 'censorship' (because it's not) and only a few of those will actually buy the game in protest, most of which would probably have bought the game anyhow.

            As for the 'it's art' statement... Well, they -would- feel that
            • by db32 ( 862117 )
              And how many people saw this on slashdot in the past few days so Manhunt 2 is fresh on their mind every day with a new wild and crazy development. Like it or not, you can't get that kind of mindshare with any paid for advertising. It takes conflict and controversy to generate this kind of free PR buzz all over the net. I don't believe for a second that it is really going to be shelved...its just too stupid to do that to a game that is already almost finished.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        It is censorship because it is not being released because of its content. This censorship comes from both political and market forces. The British government is censoring it (through its ratings system), and the console manufacturers are censoring it by not allowing it to be licensed on their machines.

        It may not be popularly known as censorship by people who don't like the game (and I can presume have never played the game), but yes it is censorship.

        I'm sure if this topic involved something about banning th
  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:59PM (#19623219)
    Release it on the PC.
    • Release it on the PC.

      There isn't time for this. Take-Two needs get back on track. To focus on Grand Theft Auto. Franchise gold. It's delusional to think the AO rating for GTA 4 is out-of-bounds.

  • If the British classification board doesn't like the game, just don't sell it in Britain. They're not a make-or-break market for worldwide sales. And if British players want the game anyway, I'm sure they'll find a way to import it. Shelving the whole project when 90%+ of the money and effort required has already been expended sounds beyond foolish in a world economy.
  • Or more seriously, what about the PC release? There's no one to get permission for, the ratings are optional, and if there's still trouble there's the online distribution. There was a PC version of the first game, so I hope they make this one available. The first one certailnly wasn't GOTY material (although a friend of mine is quite fond of it), but it was still enjoyable... most of the time.
  • Do somthing about it (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tainek ( 912325 ) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @05:45PM (#19623545)
    If your British, let the goverment know, right here : []

    England Prevails!
  • by bakura121 ( 1117149 ) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @05:59PM (#19623669) Homepage
    Here are the definitions of M and AO from the ESRB Ratings Guide []:

    "MATURE Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language."

    "ADULTS ONLY Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity."

    I find it hard to believe that this game could not be classified as an M rated game. Both games require you to be at least 17 years old (18 in the case of AO). I highly doubt this game has "graphic sexual content", so it all comes down to whether the violence is "intense violence", or "prolonged scenes of intense violence".

    The rating system is really not very well thought out. There should be some kind of process to appeal the decision and have it re-reviewed by a different group.

    Come on... IT'S A GAME! They need to lighten up. I probably wouldn't want my kids playing this game, but if it's rated M then that means that you have to be 17 to play it anyways. Hold the stores responsible for upholding that responsibility, just as movie theaters are responsible for upholding the movie ratings by not allowing minors in to see R rated movies.

    And for all those articles that talk about the game not being for 'families'.... those people need to get a life. Nobody is trying to claim that 'Manhunt 2' is a 'family friendly' game. It's a game for adults, and it should be available for adults to purchase. I hate it when other people decide what is best for me.
    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      I highly doubt this game has "graphic sexual content"
      Hmm... I'm among those who think its a bit silly that a AO game is indirectly banned, and I wish they would be allowed to release it in its current form, but... did you actually read about whats in that game? Graphic sexual content is in, and not the nice fap fap fap kind.
  • So, seriously... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dave Parrish ( 1050926 ) <> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @06:05PM (#19623713) Homepage
    What is everyone so upset about? Half of the comments on here are either anti-ESRB or anti-USA. Why?

    Last I checked, the US hadn't banned the game. So there's no reason for that.

    And the ESRB didn't ban it, either. The ESRB's website says a game gets an AO is it has "prolonged scenes of intense violence," and, from my understanding, if you "charge up" (presumably hold a button or something) for a kill, it will take longer to do (it will be more complex, or brutal). In other words, it will be PROLONGED.

    If you have hostility for this game not being released, blame either Nintendo, Sony, or the countries that are banning it. The ESRB rated the game appropriately and were not directly involved in it not hitting shelves.
  • ... you really don't have anything to complain about when you're caught out in a shit storm.
  • by jshriverWVU ( 810740 ) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @07:03PM (#19624055)
    I'm guessing they were just in the the design phase and not in full production. I can't imagine ANY company going through R&D, prototyping, full development, testing, and have a product at production quality then stop right before the software get's pressed.

    That would be like an automotive company spending 100million to develop a new car, have the parts done and the factory with the ON switch just waiting to be pressed and then throwing in the towel. That kind of stuff doesn't happen, and as a shareholder I'm sure someone is going to be upset with them for this.

    • Happens alot. The big three produce alot of concept cars all the time that never make it to the market as internal politics from those who sell Trucks/SUVs do not like fuel efficient cars as they would cannobolize SUV sales.

  • Thrill Kill, anyone? (Score:3, Informative)

    by NorQue ( 1000887 ) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @03:46AM (#19626411)
    I'm surprised you people are so upset about Manhunt 2 being canned. Anyone remembers Thrill Kill? [] ? Same old, same old... and I bet a lot of you people played it anyways. Anyone wants to bet when Manhunt 2 hits the internet, should it *really* not be published? You'll all be playing it by the end of this year, most likely.
  • by 7Prime ( 871679 ) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @06:26PM (#19630825) Homepage Journal
    They whine about freedom of expression, creativity, and being free to push the bounderies... but I don't buy it. All they've ever done is push ONE VERY SPECIFIC, and incredibly OBVIOUS social boundery. It's not original, creative, or anything of the sort. It's simply sensationalistic. If they REALLY were a creative company, one game would feature horrific violence, and the other would be an incrediblely innocent game, the next would be something completely different. But no, everything we've seen out of them at least has this looming undertone of mass violence. Even Bully (which I consider completely acceptable) could be defined as an alegory to criminal human nature. Why are Rockstar so intent on pushing the concept that humans are so evil? If they're trying to tell us some moral lesson, then they've done a VERY BAD JOB in getting it across.

    This isn't about creativity, it's the opposite... it's chosing one really divisive topic and sticking with it, without any given reason, other than it being purely sensationalistic. Fuck em, as far as I'm concerned, I really fucking hate this kind of unthinking, lazy, sensationalism. I'm a very strong supporter of Civil Liberties, and that's actually WHY I'm so upset... it's companies like this that are almost TRYING to get limits put on our civil liberties.

    No sense of class, no sense of taste, just pick the most divisive things you can think of, and make big $$$$. Why are Slashdotters so quick to put up with this line of thinking? Sure, maybe you can defend it on principal, but you have to admit that what Rockstar ARE is really against everything that slashdot stands for.
  • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Monday June 25, 2007 @03:44AM (#19633461)
    This is like the British debate about fox hunting. First a bit of background - the traditional fox hunt in Britain was performed by a large number of people on horses and a large number of beagle hounds chasing after a fox until it was so physically exhausted that it simply gave up, at which point the dog would tear it apart while it was still alive. This was, I believe, the last remnant of the 'Royal Hunt', which was something European kings enjoyed doing; only, they would chase a stag, which would at the end just stand there, waiting for the sword to cut it down. It is said that the carcass was more or less just discarded, because the meat wouldn't be any good to eat after a chase like that. In other words, this was a kind of sport that was not only cruelty just for the fun of it, but also utterly pointless. The same could be said about the fox hunt - it was cruelty for fun, and it was pointless, because it had no discernible effect on the number of foxes.

    A lot of stupid nonsense has been said in that debate; those in favour of fox hunting would say 'It's traditional', and 'It's necessary to regulate the number of foxes', whereas the other side would have their own, rather emotional nonsense. But what it boils down to in the end is: do we, as society, want to encourage the kind of mentality that sees meaningless cruelty as 'fun'?

    The same goes for violent games, especially a thing like Manhunt 2. Yes, 'Freedom of speech' is important, and 'Simply don't buy it if you can't stomach it' - that all sounds very convincing, but at the end of the say - do we, as society, want to encourage the kind of mentality that enjoys meaningless cruelty and casual murder? I know that I don't; and although it is important to allow people to make up their own mind and to protect minorities, it doesn't make sense to protect minorities to the extent that it harms the majority. And it does harm the majority - the majority of parents don't want their children to be lured into that kind of mindset, just like they don't want their children to get into contact with other things they consider harmful; and as a parent YOU are the one that is responsible for your children, and therefore YOU have the right to decide what your children are exposed to.

    So what is more important: 'Freedom of Speech' used as an excuse by a company out to make money, or the right to bring up our children according to what we believe is best? A company like Take Two willing to go right to the limit of what is legal and acceptable, and if we don't show where that limit is, they are not going to stop; they'll just wade on, as long as it makes a buck for them.

Do you suffer painful recrimination? -- Nancy Boxer, "Structured Programming with Come-froms"