Manhunt 2 distribution plans suspended

Take2 has suspended plans to distribute Manhunt 2 on the three platforms it was due to be released on following the BBFC ban in the UK and the Adults Only rating it received in the US.

Of its decision the BBFC said, "Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end videogames by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing." Basically you don't do anything apart from killing people all the time.

A statement from Rockstar's parent company Take2 responded, "Take2 Interactive Software has temporarily suspended plans to distribute Manhunt 2 for the Wii or PlayStation platforms while it reviews its options with regard to the recent decisions made by the BBFC and ESRB."

Manhunt 2 was scheduled to be released on PS2, PSP and Wii, in mid-July.

The publisher added, "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."

Above: Putting the lid on Manhunt 2, at least for now.

What are Rockstar or Take2 going to do about this? Well, for starters, Rockstar had this to say to the BBFC, "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."

The BBFC has given Rockstar six weeks to appeal against the decision. Rockstar has yet to publicly say if it will go ahead and appeal or sit back and accept the BBFC's decision.

A source who wished to remain anonymous told us that the firm will indeed appeal against the decision and that the company believes the game could be released in around six weeks' time. Whether this means in its current form, or a toned-down, edited version is unclear.

When contacted, a Rockstar spokesperson simply told us that the company "is considering all its options." We're sure we'll be hearing more on the ban in the weeks to come.

June 22, 2007