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Sony, Nintendo forbid AO-rated Manhunt 2

Console makers confirm policies preventing licensed third parties from releasing Adults Only games on their systems, effectively banning the Rockstar title.

When Take-Two Interactive yesterday confirmed that the Entertainment Software Rating Board handed down a rating of AO for Adults Only for Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2 on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Nintendo Wii, the publisher said it was exploring its options.

GameSpot has confirmed with Nintendo and Sony that one of those options, which would be to accept the ESRB's judgment and release the game with the AO rating, isn't an option at all. Both companies forbid licensed third-party publishers from releasing games rated AO for Adults Only on their various hardware platforms. Though Manhunt 2 isn't slated for any of Microsoft's systems, the company has also confirmed that it does not allow AO-rated titles on the Xbox or Xbox 360.

The sole exception to this rule was in 2005 when the already released Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was retroactively rated AO, at which point retailers pulled it from shelves and Take-Two suspended production of the game.

"It's currently our policy not to allow the playback of AO-rated content on our systems," a Sony spokesperson told GameSpot.

Nintendo's official line was much the same. "Games made for Nintendo systems enjoy a broad variety of styles, genres, and ratings," a representative told GameSpot. "These are some of the reasons our Wii and Nintendo DS systems appeal to such a broad range of people. But as with books, television, and movies, different content is meant for different audiences. That's why the ESRB provides ratings to help consumers understand the content of a game before they purchase it. As stated on Nintendo.com, Nintendo does not allow any AO-rated content on its systems."

Take-Two's most readily available alternatives are to appeal the ESRB's AO rating or to modify the game. As of press time, a Rockstar Games representative had not responded to GameSpot's inquiry about how either move would impact the game's scheduled July 10 release date.

1838 Comments

  • chuckman1

    Posted Dec 7, 2009 8:13 pm PT

    So where's the uncensored pc version?

  • Death_Link31

    Posted Sep 29, 2008 2:30 pm PT

    I for one think that sony, microsoft,and nintendo made a smart move. Porn is already all over the internet so why contaminate are games as well.

  • aja1-6

    Posted Dec 27, 2007 2:42 am PT

    Interesting topic, but I don't really like clogging up pages with a bunch of rambling, so if you want to hear my opinion, check out my blog.

  • Phinnigan

    Posted Dec 23, 2007 12:18 pm PT

    So with Microsoft not allowing AO games either, that leaves the PC for such releases.

    I didn't even know anybody paid any attention to things like an ESRB or PEGI rating... Crazy people.

  • jojoforpres

    Posted Dec 22, 2007 4:22 pm PT

    This is exactly why I won't buy the sequel to a game I loved. I have a policy that I don't buy any games that have to be "re-worked" (CENSORED.) for release on Sony or Nintendo systems. I am reminded of the sequel to a certain BMX game that I didn't get for the same reason. The uncensored version of that game was released on Microsoft's first console, right beside the censored versions for the two hypocrite companies. What kind of violence are they even upset over? I've been playing video games since I was a little child; and over that time I have seen some of the most gruesome deaths, the most disgusting bodily fluids, and even a few virtual nipples. WTF!? I'd be willing to bet it's not even that bad. That this is all a political move by the ESRB...

  • KIM7813

    Posted Oct 31, 2007 7:21 pm PT

    This coming from a company that wants to shed it's kiddie image and include everyone...

    The phrase "wimpy, wimpy, wimpy" comes to mind.

  • juggleJUGGLER

    Posted Oct 29, 2007 5:31 pm PT

    they have no balls

  • fienno123

    Posted Oct 29, 2007 12:34 pm PT

    why is it games bannned and not movies? it seems there are loads and i mean milions of 18+ movies, they dont get banned. just games

  • matt_dangelo

    Posted Oct 22, 2007 6:10 pm PT

    interesting....can you go too far..is it possible, what does the game do that is so bad someon explain plz. i mean really, dont take it seriously..its a game

  • Cloud551

    Posted Sep 18, 2007 5:31 pm PT

    Jack Thompson strikes again...

  • Coect

    Posted Sep 11, 2007 8:32 pm PT

    If AO is banned why do they even have the rating ? They should just label it BANNED or something. It's idiotic to have a rating that you can't use anyway.

  • salohcinborje

    Posted Sep 4, 2007 10:36 pm PT

    This is Hypocrisy on Nintendo's part as they used to run a Love Hotel.. which if you don't know is an hourly hotel were usualy teenagers go to have sex.

  • RedShadowDragon

    Posted Aug 27, 2007 2:07 pm PT

    I would bet millions that both companies would change their mind if there was suddenly a ton of AO games being released for xbox360 or pc exclusively & MS was getting 100% of the market for these games, making millions for themselves. It's all about competition & the bottom line. Only going to see AO games in the future if game developers start making them, when it proves to be a valuable market, then they will become accepted.

  • ignoman

    Posted Aug 26, 2007 10:24 pm PT

    They should keep it AO. We need to revive the video game underground and soon we'll have the best gaming in decades

  • Gvaz

    Posted Aug 25, 2007 9:18 am PT

    tycoonmike:

    so buisness knows whats best for buisness then right? this is retarded, if the users want the ao rating game just raise the price and sell also a dumbed down one.

    citizens > businesses.

  • I_am_Ante

    Posted Aug 10, 2007 5:04 pm PT

    What...? Are these guys mentally challenged or something? Why would they not want an AO rated game on their platforms? Sure, the parents' organizations and such wouldn't like it, but they don't like anything, it seems... What's the hassle?

  • Dagamemonkey

    Posted Aug 7, 2007 7:20 pm PT

    The first Manhunt was extremely vicious and violent and it they should just allow Manhunt 2 to come out as AO. I can forsee a great number of games being released that are AO, so why prolong the battle? It will come eventually.

  • Reaper1117

    Posted Jul 28, 2007 9:08 am PT

    Well, the game will probaly just lose some weapons this is actually more work for the programmers.

    @ crash-kart
    seriously dude, you need to relax, your the kind of person I'm worried about getting thier hands on this kind of games, your taking this game like a gift from god or whatever you believe in.

  • Crash-Kart

    Posted Jul 22, 2007 4:33 pm PT

    yea lets modify the game we can have no blood no kills no shooting hey lets just make them play **** ping pong!!!

  • Crash-Kart

    Posted Jul 22, 2007 4:33 pm PT

    yea lets modify the game we can have no blood no kills no shooting hey lets just make them play **** ping pong!!!

  • zhevox

    Posted Jul 21, 2007 10:34 am PT

    lol, this should be interesting

  • samthesolidman

    Posted Jul 20, 2007 2:51 pm PT

    saints row AO? it rhymes but that does make it so.....Jonjo

  • schepterbrowser

    Posted Jul 20, 2007 10:26 am PT

    did you find it hecticaphotheosis??

  • jonjonsilver

    Posted Jul 17, 2007 8:31 pm PT

    I thimk that ESRB made a damn good decision with the AO rating on Manhunt 2. I think Saints Row should also be rated AO.

  • nick2shy

    Posted Jul 16, 2007 5:22 pm PT

    If some guy kills someone after playing a game HE WAS F***ED UP TO BEGIN WITH, If games could make you kill I would be a psycho by now...or maybe I am...let me ask my this kid whose head I just cut up...no answer...

    (The Following paragraph is spoken in eric cartman's voice)
    By the way has anyone just took some pliers and tore a guys balls off with one huge pull and laughed while he is bleeding and yelling in pain and then hit him in the head with his own balls?he he.

  • Saikin_X

    Posted Jul 11, 2007 5:48 pm PT

    I was just realizing this... there's but a minor difference between M and AO... why not just get rid of M altogether? Because there's a single year between the age difference. There's not a lot of difference between the two ratings anyway. You could have one full on depiction of nudity, in an entire game, and that'll make it AO. You could have a nearly-nude model in a game, with nothing but a skimpy bikini, and it's M, because it's just "suggesting" nudity.

    How immature can these companies get? I mean really, if the only way you can get these AO games is through company sites, what's the point? Someone should open a chain of video game stores that sells all types of games, from EC to AO, obviously separating them by like, aisles. Makes it alot easier for business if you can sell the games that people want without having to do it yourself.

  • mjc0961

    Posted Jul 11, 2007 8:01 am PT

    Newave, it also says that Microsoft won't publish an AO rated game.

    This is crap. That's what the rating system is for. Instead of an AO rating, why don't we just let the ESRB ban the game instead if nobody will use the AO rating?

  • Newave

    Posted Jul 9, 2007 10:44 pm PT

    And people wonder why I've been boycotting Nintendo for decades!? Now I was unaware that SONY was as low as Nintendo on this point but now that I know they are of course also boycotted, no exceptions made just because I wanted a PS3 and lots of games for it. Sh't like this is just not acceptable, they're as bad as EA in my eyes now.. And EA STILL hasn't released Thrill Kill..

  • Fotwenty420

    Posted Jul 9, 2007 9:51 am PT

    Cause we all know it is Video games that kill, not guns.

    These same politicians screwing us have no problems sending our family members and friends overseas to kill and or die in a stupid unnecessary war. The game console manufacturers are just as much to blame for the current war on video games by not recognizing that they do have an adult player base and there is a market for AO titles, and no reason to not publish them other then the fact that we now live in a society where parents want the government to parent for them. Come on Sony this is supposed to be a NextGen system publish the games let the ESRB rate them accordingly, and let parents take responsibility for what they give their kids access to. How many kids under 17 can afford the damn consoles anyway?

  • Zaphack

    Posted Jul 6, 2007 9:01 am PT

    ESRB can go to hell. I really wanted to get this game! F**K you ESRB

  • d429

    Posted Jul 2, 2007 2:49 pm PT

    i agree. nintendo is only for kids anyways that would change if it went to the wii. im suprised sony isnt leting this game come to the console.

  • DV92Camaro

    Posted Jul 2, 2007 9:04 am PT

    Not good at all. I was plan on picking this game up reguardless if it was good or not. What I don't get...Why allow a AO rating on Sony and Nintendo if they don't allow it? LOL. Might as well not make a AO rating on those 2 systems if they don't allow AO. Why waste your time? LOL. Also they should allow it cause after all it is rated. If your not old enough to buy it then that's your tough luck. If your against AO games then don't purchse it. Easy enough. I thought America gave us choices. I guess not.

  • piekiller99

    Posted Jun 27, 2007 6:05 pm PT

    what i say is f**k ESRB and put it out any way so its violent big deal so is life tell those homos to suck it the f**k up its not like we haven't seen it be for yoy know

  • Thewbacca

    Posted Jun 26, 2007 4:13 am PT

    Although I don't quite agree with what they're doing for Manhunt, I do agree with a policy of not allowing AO games on any of the consoles. I feel Manhunt is not quite bad enough to deserve an AO rating, while Playboy was. Ban that instead.

  • baltimore187

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 7:30 pm PT

    i just find it funny how we can sit back and watch movies like Saw and Hostel and enjoy them for a good movie thrill ride and appreciate it enough to recommend a friend to check it out. We can't play games with similar content and enjoy a good thrill ride on the console that we spend our hard earned money for. These parent groups and parents altogether need to think about things they would let the child watch and play instead of putting fear in these Great companies like Sony, Microsoft and nintendo from releasing games that appeal for older guys like myself. I never had the urge to go out and steal a car, kill a cop, or get a hooker... ok, maybe get a hooker, but that's besides the point. Porn and killing is readily availible to anyone with a computer. I can't speak for everyone, but those people out there that know where I'm going with this understand what I mean. It just seem like yesterday america was crying about a game( Mortal Kombat arcade/ snes and genesis) that raised the bar and added blood and gore in the game. I don't remember anyone going out side snatching off heads pulling out hearts. If a game appeals to adults let it. It's the parents who have to be smart when lettings little jimmy tell them to by him Grand theft auto...I wouldn't buy game with the title "grand theft auto" for my child or chlid. The only thing I see here is a gaming company trying to raise the bar here and give us adults a good thrill ride for our money just get shot down.

  • mars188

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 6:39 pm PT

    i never liked the frist game i thought it was boring. just make a game with xxxx in it and it hits the roof. the game itself can be a real stinker as long as i see that xxxx, i say good job nintendo i dont want to see AO games

  • Glitch-3

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 5:42 pm PT

    Why is there an AO rating available when no company allows AO-rated content on their consoles? (except for the computer but thats not a console)

  • robert32116

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 4:48 pm PT

    "It's currently our policy not to allow the playback of AO-rated content on our systems," a Sony spokesperson told GameSpot. My AO rated pron has been playing on my PS2 for as long as i can remember!!!!!!!!!!!

  • somejobro

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 4:33 pm PT

    1)Parents should take more responsiblity.
    2)I grew up playing games and I don't want to murder anyone.
    3)Violence was around before video games.
    4)Freedom of Speech!!!First Amendment!!!
    5)Kids shouldn't be playing these games anyways.
    6)No one says anything about violent movies/TV
    Do any of these sound familiar?That is because every gamer,myself included, has used one of these reasons to defend video games since they first came under fire with Night Trap and Mortal Kombat.As logical and full of common sense as they may seem,we have to accept that these arguments don't work at all.Not even a little.If they did we would not be hearing about regulations and games being banned anymore.Manhunt 2 could be the greatest game of all time.It could have the best controls,the most mind-blowing graphics, a camera to die for, 100 fully upgradeable weapons, and advances in AI 10 years ahead of its time.But to the media,parents,politicians,etc it is just a murder simulator.And none of the arguments I listed in the beginning can do anything to change that perception.And all the fancy graphics and flashy control schemes just make it a more realistic way to kill more realistic virtual people.Manhunt 2 is a lost cause.Let it go.If you want to defend video games, you don't use freakin' Manhunt 2 as your example.Games are an easy target that politicians can use to make an example of to make voters happy because the only people willing to defend them are just crying to each other about how unfair it is.I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is just going to go on and on and get worse until game makers start showing that they're capable of something else besides just upping the violence level of their games.I know you all love violent games,but they're just making things worse.

  • MrSickVisionz

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 4:29 pm PT

    Why are people shocked @ nintendo doing this. They had a tough time with Mortal Kombat, LOL. Besides, this game doesn't fit in with the Wii's image.

    AO is over the top. You can get away with almost anything and still get a M rating. People are acting like the only games we'll be able to play are Barney & Friends. GTA4 will still come out, you can still sell drugs, kills cops and beat prostitutes to death for fun. Halo 3 will still come out and you can sniper shot your best friends from a football field away. Violent gaming hasn't gone anywhere. It hasn't even suffered a major blow. Overly sadistic games (and it really takes alot) have always gotten canned @ the last minute due to public outcry and companies not wanting to sully their name.

  • dybbuk

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 4:28 pm PT

    First they had the issue with GTA, then something about stocks or accounting practices and now this!? These people are just plain stupid!! Its like they are fighting their way to failure. Morons!!

  • halohelldaddy45

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 3:43 pm PT

    I had respect for Nintendo... respect man, but this... sigh this is just stupidity. Now they are doing some bull crap stunt just to make people think they are the good guys... wow Nintendo man, we were like this man!
    Its cool Nintendo, you wanna be a p****? then ill let you... i thought you grew up Nintendo.
    Huh? what about Sony? i could care less what they think!

  • tycoonmike

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 2:36 pm PT

    Aurus- It is NOT censorship! For God's sake, it is anything but censorship. This is the market regulating itself, not some God-forsaken government organization telling us what we can and cannot buy. If it was the latter, then it would be censorship. If you enjoy freedom, then you should support Sony/Nintendo's decision about this game. The market is free to regulate itself, and it should be the only regulating force in economics.

  • AurusRegulus

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 11:49 am PT

    here's a question: why does the AO rating even exist? M is for ages 17 and up, while AO is for ages 18 and up. What kind of difference does ONE YEAR in age make? The ESRB probably just has the AO rating as a method of censorship, much like the MPAA's NC-17 rating. *sarcasm* Ahhh, I love having third parties moralize for me. *end sarcasm* @oblivion437
    Great points, but it would be "corpores", not "corpi". corpus, corporis (n) is third declension. (Sorry, I = Latin nerd)

  • Destroyeron13

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 11:48 am PT

    gatsbythepig

    Sony and N are just giving Xbox more power and money by not allowing AO games.

    Read the review --, 360 doesn't allow AO games either, Manhunt 2 wasn't going to be released on it.

  • gatsbythepig

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 10:46 am PT

    Sony and N are just giving Xbox more power and money by not allowing AO games. I don't want Manhunt2, the first one wasn't even good but it's stupid to not allow games solely based on ratings set up by ESRB.

  • gears6180

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 8:39 am PT

    HAHAHAHAHAHA WiiNut6493 my mom is the same way with violent video games i could barely slide the Hitman series into my collection.

    My dad doesnt care though, he just told me the first sign of influence he sees then my games are gone, so thats where i get all of my M rated games, which sucks because he is in Iraq right now.

  • DanC1989

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 8:21 am PT

    I hope they don't take too long with the cutting of the game.

  • WiiNut6493

    Posted Jun 25, 2007 8:01 am PT

    I am 14 and my mom and dad wouldnt even think about touching this game. if i even asked them for it i would be locked in the basement for life. but a game that is this disturbingly violent dose not need to be realeased anywhere. i mean i know rockstar already has the game finished and is gonna find a way to release. but when some 12 year old kid palys this game, and goes to his friends house with a pair of wirecutters and kills his friend by cutting of his royal jewels....... Jack Thompson is gonna wig big time. and will be all over the news and their will be court battles left and right. and then GTA4 will come out. and then their will be more kids getting this game and finding it cool to run around their house yelling the f word at their mom and dad. and running away from home to join gangs. thats when the gameing industry will die."sob"

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