Manhunt 2 ban in UK and Ireland


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Manhunt2 got banned in the UK and Ireland a couple of days ago

From the BBFC

"Rejecting a work is a very serious action and one which we do not take lightly. Where possible we try to consider cuts or, in the case of games, modifications which remove the material which contravenes the Board's published Guidelines. In the case of Manhunt 2 this has not been possible. Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing. There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game.

Although the difference should not be exaggerated the fact of the game's unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying and the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer, together with the different overall narrative context, contribute towards differentiating this submission from the original Manhunt game. That work was classified '18' in 2003, before the BBFC's recent games research had been undertaken, but was already at the very top end of what the Board judged to be acceptable at that category.

Against this background, the Board's carefully considered view is that to issue a certificate to Manhunt 2, on either platform, would involve a range of unjustifiable harm risks, to both adults and minors, within the terms of the Video Recordings Act, and accordingly that its availability, even if statutorily confined to adults, would be unacceptable to the public.

Under the terms of the Video Recordings Act distributors have the right to appeal the Board's decision."


From The IFCO

"A prohibition order has been made by IFCO in relation to the video game Manhunt 2. The Order was made on 18th June 2007 under Sec 7 (1) (b) of the Video Recordings Act 1989 which refers to ‘acts of gross violence or cruelty (including mutilation and torture)’.

IFCO recognizes that in certain films, DVDs and video games, strong graphic violence may be a justifiable element within the overall context of the work. However, in the case of Manhunt 2, IFCO believes that there is no such context, and the level of gross, unrelenting and gratuitous violence is unacceptable."

This is gonna turn into another Carmageddon

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You have to admit, this story has generated considerable buzz for this game before its launch - much more than it would've otherwise enjoyed, especially considering how the original underachieved. It's also only being released on PS2, Wii and PSP, so a lot of gamers wouldn't give it a second glance next to the latest PS3 and 360 titles otherwise.

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You have to admit, this story has generated considerable buzz for this game before its launch - much more than it would've otherwise enjoyed, especially considering how the original underachieved. It's also only being released on PS2, Wii and PSP, so a lot of gamers wouldn't give it a second glance next to the latest PS3 and 360 titles otherwise.

I know. If this game could find some way of being released(And escaping the AO touch of death), it has potential to do really great sales. Which would be great for Nintendo as they need an m-rated and non-Nintendo game to sell really well.

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I'm honestly disgusted by this, mainly for the point raised by ragernok. This is the the first time a game has been banned in the UK since 1997 (which was overturned on appeal). Surely if it is a MATURE title, it should not be in the hands of someone under 18 anyway. It isn't the fault of the game company (Rockstar) but whoever gets a hold of the game when they aren't old enough.

Granted, I could say "Goldeneye was bought for me before I was 15 (the game's rating) and I haven't shot up the neighbourhood" but the fault of mature games reaching the immature is *enitrely* the fault of the retail staff that sells it and the consumer that wants it, either for themselves or their offspring.

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I have a feeling this is RockStar putting over the top violence in, just to see how much they can leave in. If you put way too much in, and they say you have to get rid of some. You take out some to show an effort, and leave in more than you would have if you just went for an M rating to start with because they would have still made them take out some of it. I also think this is an experiment for GTA IV. RockStar are geniuses if that's true.

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Release of 'Manhunt 2' game suspended

By MATT SLAGLE, AP Technology Writer

Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. said Thursday it was temporarily suspending the release of the violent title "Manhunt 2" because of an ongoing ratings controversy in the United States and a ban in Britain and Ireland.

The New York-based company said in a statement that it needed time to "reviews its options" but would "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," the company said.

"Manhunt 2," had been scheduled for a July 10 release in the United States on both Nintendo Co.'s Wii and the PlayStation 2 from Sony Corp.

But critics said they were concerned with the game's content, which depicts the escape of an amnesiac scientist and a psychotic killer from an asylum and their subsequent killing spree. In the Wii version, the console's motion-sensitive remote is waved around to control a virtual murder weapon.

The suspension was a setback for creator Rockstar Games, which has come under fire for its popular "Grand Theft Auto" series of urban crime games, and Take-Two, which earlier this year underwent a shareholder coup that ousted its chief executive and nearly all of its board.

A spokesman for Rockstar said he was unable to comment on the suspension. Earlier Thursday, Take-Two had issued a statement saying it was determined to bring the title to market regardless of criticism.

In the United States, the video game industry's self-regulated ratings board gave a preliminary version of "Manhunt 2" an "adults only" rating instead of the more lenient, and far more popular, "mature" rating for ages 17 and up.

Slapping "Manhunt 2" with the Entertainment Software Rating Board's most stringent rating would likely doom sales. Large retailers including Best Buy Co., Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. won't stock AO-rated games.

At the same time, Nintendo and Sony said their policies bar any AO-rated content on their systems. Microsoft Corp. has a similar policy, but "Manhunt 2" wasn't planned for its Xbox 360. There are no such restrictions on games for personal computers.

Rockstar was given 30 days after receiving the ESRB's suggested rating to present an appeal or make changes to the game. On Thursday evening, the official Web site for "Manhunt 2" still said "coming July 2007."

After Britain and Ireland banned the game Tuesday, Italian Communications Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Thursday that he would seek to have the sale of the game canceled there as well. In a statement he called the game "cruel and sadistic, with a squalid environment and a continuous, insistent encouragement to violence and murder."

Rockstar and Take-Two have long been a focal point for debate over the effect of video-game violence on children.

Rockstar's "Grand Theft Auto" series features characters who develop underworld careers through bank robberies, assassinations, drug-dealing, pimping and other crime. Two years ago, Rockstar was forced to replace its first edition of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" after a hacker discovered a password-protected game inside it that involved a sexual encounter.

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That actual press release from the BBFC is really well written and shows they have at least thought about it, not like some of the crap politicians spew out when talking about the same topic. I don't agree with them, but at least they are conducting themselves in a mature manner (apart from their actual stance), which is refreshing to see.

On a side note though, hasn't one of the long standing arguments to not band violence been that any video game isn't realistic? With the Wii mote, this argument becomes less valid, as you are getting the feeling of slashing someones guts, decapitating them, etc. Of course the argument to that is that it allows you to get it out of your system in a game environment, so it is a good thing :)

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  • 1 month later...
Manhunt 2 Falls off Take 2's Radar

The controversial game is absent from any of the publisher's release lists.

by Daemon Hatfield

August 2, 2007 - As part of its revised revenue and earnings guidance for fiscal 2007, Take-Two has announced the delayed Manhunt 2 has been completely removed from its current fiscal year schedule, ended October 31. What's more, the game does not appear on the company's fiscal 2008 line-up.

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I still say they did it on purpose to see how much they could get away with for GTAIV. Manhunt was a crappy game.

But it was a crappy game with loads of potential. Metal Gear Solid with a horror theme. Improve the controls and the fighting engine and you have a classic.

I still think it will be released after they tone it down.

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  • 3 weeks later...
After Manhunt 2 received the AO rating, Take-Two suspended the release of the title while it "explored its options." In a recent conference call, Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick promised shareholders and journalists that the title would be released.

Today, he gets his wish, as Rockstar Games announced that a "modified version" of Manhunt 2 has received an M for Mature rating for ages 17 and over, and will be released on the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, and Wii in North America on October 31.

The company did not comment on what had been cut from the title in order to achieve the lower rating. The ESRB assigned the following content descriptors to Manhunt 2: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, and Use of Drugs.;picks;title;4

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
Manhunt 2 Refused Classification In Britain AGAIN

We recognise that the distributor has made changes to the game, but we do not consider that these go far enough to address our concerns about the original version.

The impact of the revisions on the bleakness and callousness of tone, or the essential nature of the gameplay, is clearly insufficient.

There has been a reduction in the visual detail in some of the 'execution kills', but in others they retain their original visceral and casually sadistic nature.

We did make suggestions for further changes to the game, but the distributor has chosen not to make them, and as a result we have rejected the game on both platforms. The decision on whether or not an appeal goes ahead lies with the distributor.

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The original Manhunt was originally blamed for inspiring a murder in my hometown, so a lot of Jack Thompson-style misinformation has surrounded the series and has subsequently been worked into news bulletins covering this story. Still, see if you can spot the glaring flaw in the mother's argument from the wikipedia article.

Warren Leblanc (b. 1987- ) was the murderer and former friend of 14 year old Stefan Pakeerah in Leicester, England.

The murder took place in February 2004. It was said that he had killed Stefan by stabbing him with a claw hammer, a method of execution identical to that shown in the video game Manhunt. Stefan's mother Giselle Pakeerah claimed[1] that Leblanc had been 'obsessed' with the game, after Leblanc pleaded guilty in court. However, Leblanc was not found to be in possession of the game, although, despite it having an 18+ rating, a copy of the game was found in Stefan's room.[2]

The police denied any such link between the game and the murder however,[3] citing drug-related robbery as the motive. The presiding judge also placed sole responsibility with Leblanc in his summing up after sentencing him to a life sentence.[4]


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  • 2 weeks later...
The only thing the original Manhunt inspired me to do was to make sure I checked the reviews before buying an over hyped game.


After I rented it, I was glad I did. Because a $6 rental is less wasted money than a $20 purchase.

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