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Take-Two "determined" to release Manhunt 2

Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick has said that the firm is "evaluating its options" regarding the release of the "adults only" rated Manhunt 2.

"We're determined to bring Manhunt 2 to the consumers for which it was intended, and to do so in a responsible fashion," he stated during a conference call today.

Zelnick also questioned the point of having an "adults only" rating when it effectively bars a console game from release.

The Entertainment Software Rating Board recently gave the game an "AO" rating because of intense violence. Many large retailers don't carry games with an AO rating, and console manufacturers don't allow such rated games on their machines.

"We don't see ourselves in the AO business," Zelnick explained. "But if we find ourselves in the AO business, it would be because we have a title that we consider art and entertainment, that we consider is appropriately rated at AO, that we'd like to bring to market, and that I and Ben [Feder, CEO] are prepared to stand behind.”

"In that instance, one has to ask oneself what's the purpose of a rating if it in fact means that a title cannot be released? But I don't think that issue falls at the door of retailers. Retailers are acting responsibly, frankly, and I think a retailer has a right to say, 'This is what I'm prepared to put on my shelves.' It's not correct to be critical of the retailers at all.”

"Because this is a voluntary rating system in the US, we have to be critical of ourselves if we've allowed a system that prevents us from bringing a title to market that we want to bring to market. That's something that we have to address."

Zelnick said that the upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV “fits squarely in the M (mature) category," so Take-Two doesn't expect to run into similar ratings issues.

Source: Next Generation

July 10, 2007

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