Take-Two has confirmed the Entertainment Software Ratings Board gave both the PS2 and Wii versions of Manhunt 2 a preliminary rating of Adults Only, which would essentially bar it from all of the Wal-Marts and Targets of the world.
It's been reported that the rating has come in the wake of a campaign spearheaded by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood to get the Wii version of the game an AO rating. The Campaign asked people to send an email to the ESRB's Patricia Vance and requesting the game be rated Adults Only, essentially comparing it to an X or unrated movie, because of the "unprecedented combination of video game violence and the interactive Wii platform." There was no mention of court rulings or if it was even taken into consideration as we had mentioned before.
I'd like to mention that a mature rating means 17 or older, while an AO means 18 or older. An M rating is acceptable, whilst an AO is not? Will the future hold "XXX AND AO GAME" shops? What is so wrong with AO?
Kotaku: An Adults Only rated game is akin to NC-17, I believe, for movies. Do you think it's fair to say that an AO rated game is essentially obscene?
ESRB president Patricia Vance: An Adults Only rating does not mean the game qualifies as being "obscene." And as confirmed on the MPAA website, nor does an NC-17 rating.
There's only been 23 games that have ever been given an AO rating in ESRB history. Thus, if Manhunt 2's AO rating sticks, it will be the twenty-fourth title to receive such a rating and the first ever console title, not including the Hot Coffee edition of GTA San Andreas. Others with such prestigious honour include Playboy the Mansion: Private Party (which is obvious why), the director's cut of Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy (which received the rating for Blood, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol, and Violence), and Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Uncut and Uncensored (which received the rating for everything).
The game may or may not be re-worked, singling out Take-Two and costing over a million dollars, possibly hurting sales, and of course, pushing the release date.
I say they should just release the d--n thing. People should learn to restrict their own kids.