So pretty much the game wont be found in the UK, and the game is going to be hard to find in the US due to its AO rating.
Manhunt 2 Refused Classification in UK
BBFC refuses to classify Manhunt 2 and makes it illegal to supply the game in the UK.
by Rob Burman, IGN UK
UK, June 19, 2007 - Manhunt 2 on Wii and PlayStation 2 has been banned after the British Board of Film Classification refused to give the game a rating due to its "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone… which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing".
Speaking about the ban, BBFC director David Cooke director said that to issue a certificate to Manhunt 2 "would involve a range of unjustifiable harm risks, to both adults and minors, within the terms of the Video Recordings Act, and accordingly that its availability, even if statutorily confined to adults, would be unacceptable to the public".
He went on to explain that it was a decision that hadn't been taken lightly and normally the board would "try to consider cuts or, in the case of games, modifications which remove the material that contravenes the BBFC's guidelines." However, because the violent themes run so deeply throughout the game the BBFC couldn't recommend cuts that would allow Manhunt 2 a UK release, although Rockstar does have the right to appeal against the decision.
Cooke said: "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."
The ban may come as a suprises to some, considering the original Manhunt game - which courted much controversy and also featured violent themes and brutal killings - was given an 18 certificate by the BBFC in 2003. However, David Cooke said that the sequel couldn't be viewed in the same context. "The game's unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying and the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer, together with the different overall narrative context, contribute towards differentiating this submission from the original Manhunt game," he explained.
Carmaggedon is the only other videogame to be refused classification by the BBFC. The ban was overturned in 1997 after publisher SCi and developer Stainless Games appealed against the decision and the humans - which you ran over in the game - were replaced with zombies to make the experience less visceral and offensive.
Rockstar has yet to comment on the ban despite several attempts to contact them. We'll keep you updated with further developments throughout the day.
Manhunt 2 Rated AO?!
Is a Nintendo console delivering the first Adults Only console game ever?
June 19, 2007 - We're all expecting the upcoming Manhunt 2 to be pretty gruesome. The original was one of the most violent games ever, but even that avoided the dreaded "Adults Only" rating from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). As violent as it was, it was deemed appropriate for "Mature" audiences. In fact, ever since the ESRB established the current rating system there has never been an AO-rated game on consoles…until now?
According to GamePolitics, Take-Two, which owns publisher Rockstar, has revealed Manhunt 2's rating, and it looks like it is the first console game to ever receive an AO label (not counting Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, also from Rockstar, which was retroactively rated AO for a short time when the Hot Coffee scandal erupted).
"The ESRB has issued an initial rating of AO (Adults Only) for Manhunt 2," Take-Two said. "We believe the process of rating videogames is to help people make informed entertainment choices and not to limit them. Manhunt 2 was created for mature audiences and we strongly believe it should receive an M (Mature) rating, aligning it with similar content created in other forms of media. We are exploring our options with regard to the rating of Manhunt 2."
There is an appeal process through which Take-Two can challenge the rating. An AO sticker on a game box is considered the kiss of death, as the biggest retailers, such as Wal-Mart, will refuse to carry such titles. Earlier today it was announced that Manhunt 2 will be banned in the UK due to its intensely violent content.
As of this writing, neither Take-Two nor Rockstar could be reached for comment
Rockstar Responds to Manhunt 2 Ban, AO Rating
Developer "disappointed" with BBFC's decision to reject Manhunt 2 in the UK and with the AO rating in America.
by Rob Burman and Matt Casamassina, IGN UK
UK, June 20, 2007 - Rockstar Games has responded to the BBFC's rejection of Manhunt 2 for certification in the UK, making sale of the game at retail illegal in this country. Rockstar states that it "emphatically disagrees" with the decision, arguing the Board failed to consider Manhunt 2's intended target adult audience.
"While we respect the authority of the classification board and will abide by the rules", a spokesperson for Rockstar Games stated, "we emphatically disagree with this particular decision. Manhunt 2 is an entertainment experience for fans of psychological thrillers and horror. The subject matter of this game is in line with other mainstream entertainment choices for adult consumers.
"We respect those who have different opinions about the horror genre and video games as a whole, but we hope they will also consider the opinions of the adult gamers for whom this product is intended. We believe all products should be rated to allow the public to make informed choices about the media and art they wish to consume. The stories in modern video games are as diverse as the stories in books, film and television. The adult consumers who would play this game fully understand that it is fictional interactive entertainment and nothing more."
Both PlayStation 2 and Wii versions of Manhunt 2 have been rejected by the British Board of Film Classification on the grounds of what it considered to be its "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone… which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing". The BBFC reviews all videogames containing gross violence, sexual or criminal activity likely to earn the game a PEGI 18+ rating. In the UK, unlike the rest of Europe, games expected to receive the PEGI 18+ grade are automatically referred to the BBFC under the Video Recordings Act.
Rockstar also issued a statement in response to the ESRB's recent Adults Only rating of Manhunt 2 in America.
"The ESRB has issued an initial rating of AO (Adults Only) for Manhunt 2.
We believe the process of rating video games is to help people make
informed entertainment choices and not to limit them. Manhunt 2 was
created for mature audiences and we strongly believe it should
receive an M (Mature) rating, aligning it with similar content created
in other forms of media. We are exploring our options with regard to
the rating of Manhunt 2."
Videogames which receive AO ratings by the ESRB are not carried by a number of high-profile retailers, including Wal-Mart. Also, Nintendo and Sony have in the past not licensed AO-rated titles. However, neither have yet released a statement in support or against Manhunt 2.
Well I liked the first one and I was looking forward to this new one, hmm wonder if BestBuy will carry it. I found another article.
GameFly, Blockbuster won’t stock Manhunt 2
June 20th, 2007
You won’t be able to buy Manhunt 2 from Walmart…or Target…or GameStop and EB Games for that matter. Now you won’t be able to rent it from Blockbuster or GameFly either. Both companies have stated that they do not rent Adult Only titles.
I am not too sure about Best Buy’s policy when it comes to Adult Only titles. Does anyone know where you can purchase games with that rating?