Rockstar holds off on Manhunt 2 US release

Posted by Mark Raby

New York (NY) - With a statewide ban in the UK and an Adults Only rating from the US ratings board, Rockstar has temporarily suspended the game from being released anywhere.

Earlier this week, the UK deemed Manhunt 2 was too violent for the public and refused to give its seal of approval, effectively banning the title in Europe.

Meanwhile, in the US, it seems the ESRB (Entertainment Software Ratings Board) wanted to give the game an "AO" rating, which means virtually all retailers would not sell it.  It's also believed this would make it the first mainstram US game to be given that rating because of violence.

Rockstar is also the name behind the most well-known ESRB scandal, when gamers unlocked hidden scenes in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City that were never meant to be seen.  This caused stores to remove all copies of the game, the ESRB changed its Mature rating to AO, and Rockstar faced a huge legal controversy.

"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," said Rockstar in a statement.

The game was planned for the Wii, PS2, and PSP next month.  Now the company says it "has temporarily suspended plans to distribute Manhunt 2 for the Wii and PlayStation platforms while it reviews its options with regard to the recent decisions made by the BBFC and ESRB."