It’s not just sick and twisted horror movies that are hurting. The July 10th release of the reputedly cruel and sadistic “Manhunt 2″ is being temporarily suspended because of a ratings setback in the United States and a ban in Britain and Ireland. The New York-based video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. said today it needed time to “review its options” after the U.S. video game industry’s self-regulating board gave a preliminary version of “Manhunt 2″ its most stringent ”Adults Only” (AO) rating. News reports say that pretty much dooms sales. Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart won’t stock AO games. And Nintendo’s and Sony’s policies bar AO content on their systems. (It wasn’t planned for Microsoft’s Xbox 360.) Rockstar has 30 days to appeal the rating or change the game. The game’s content depicts the escape of an amnesiac scientist and a psychotic killer from an asylum and their subsequent killing spree. Talk about disgusting: in the Wii version, the console’s motion-sensitive remote is waved around to control a virtual murder weapon. Today’s suspension was a setback for creator Rockstar Games, which came under fire for its Grand Theft Auto series of bank robberies, assassinations, drug-dealing, pimping, etc. Take-Two earlier this year underwent a shareholder coup that ousted its CEO and nearly all of its board. The times they are a-changin’.
Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.