Take Two chairman responds to Manhunt 2 debate

Posted by Mark Raby

New York (NY) - Take Two chairman Strauss Zelnick has fired back at the US and UK ratings boards for restrictions put on the gory action game sequel, saying R-rated movies are much more offensive.

In an interview with the New York Times, Zelnick defended Manhunt 2, Take Two's most graphic violent game yet, by saying it is actually "pretty tame" compared to some of the horror movies put out on the big screen.

In an official statement, Zelnick also called Manhunt 2 "a fine piece of art".  The ESRB (Entertainment Software Ratings Board) decided it was too graphic and gave it a rarely used "Adults Only" rating.

"This is still animation.  It's not photo-realistic. It's not live action. And compared to an R-rated movie, which is intended for 17 and above, like Saw or Hostel, it's actually pretty tame," said Zelnick in the Times interview.

The only specific difference between an AO rating and the more common Mature (M) rating is that it bumps the age requirement from 17 to 18.  However, console makers like Sony and Nintendo refuse to give licenses to games with the heavier rating, and most retail stores have policies prohibiting these games from being sold.

Manhunt 2 was banned from the UK and Take Two has suspended production of the game while it tries to attain a less restrictive rating.