Target prohibits Manhunt 2

Posted by Mark Raby

Minneapolis (MN) - An internal memo has reportedly been issued to all Target stores across the United States, asking managers to remove all copies of Manhunt 2 and prevent future sales of the game.

The highly publicized gorefest has been the source of tons of controversy over the past several months.  The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) initally gave Manhunt 2 a rating of "AO" (Adults Only), which essentially bans it from retail stores.

Game publisher Rockstar tweaked the game and "toned down" some of its more gruesome parts.  That allowed it to receive a Mature rating from the ESRB, the equivalent on an R-rated movie, but activist groups are outraged, saying the game is still too violent.  The less violent version of the title has already been banned in the UK.

Last week the game came under even more scrutiny when users of the PSP version were able to access the original, uncensored content that the ESRB deemed too graphic for underage players.

ESRB president Patricia Vance stood behind the M rating, though, saying it was "still valid".  ABC reports it received a statement from Target that says, "While 'Manhunt 2' was given a 'Mature' rating by the ESRB, we received additional information that players can potentially view previously filtered content by altering the game code. As a result, we have decided not to carry the game."