Rockstar still ‘proud’ of Manhunt 2

Rockstar still ‘proud’ of Manhunt 2
by Cian Ginty

Rockstar, the developer of Manhunt 2, is continuing to defend the computer game saying it is ‘proud’ of the title even after its supply was restricted in Ireland.

Importation was seen as a possible circulation of the ban, but a spokesman at the Revenue Commissioners in Dublin confirmed to ENN that Customs officers could seize and destroy any copy of the game if it was published elsewhere and imported.

Seemingly unfazed by the negative reaction to the now-infamous game, a message posted on the Rockstar website and sent via e-mail to gamers who contacted the firm after the bans in Ireland and the UK, said: “We wanted to thank everyone who has taken the time to contact us about Manhunt 2.”

The statement refers to how the game was “effectively banned around much of the world” after a probation order was made by the Irish Film Censor’s Office, along with similar moves by the censor in the UK, and the ratings board in the US.

In the US, the game was rated Adults Only (AO), which Sony and Nintendo disallow on the Wii and PlayStation games consoles. And while no release was planned on the Xbox, Microsoft has said the same policy applies to its consoles. Few mainstream US retailers stock AO rated games.

For its part Rockstar compares the game to similar content in other forms of media. “We are very proud of Manhunt 2 and believe it builds on what the team accomplished with the first title in the series. The game was developed as a horror experience, and to be an M rated title, aligning it with similar horror content created in other forms of media. Unlike many other people, we do not think video games should be singled out for special treatment from the authorities.”

This is a notion the Irish Film Censor has already dismissed. “There 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,” the Irish censor noted when placing the probation order on the game.

The head censor, John Kelleher, told RTE’s Morning Ireland that the violence in Manhunt 2 is “really bad, it is unrelenting, it’s almost the entire duration of the game”, adding, “there is no context other then killing.”

While Rockstar has postponed the original 10 July release, the firm appears undeterred and unlikely to give up, ending its new statement saying it hopes to have more information for fans soon, and again thinking fans for “all of your messages of support”.

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