Rockstar Games has put the release of Manhunt 2 on hold after widespread protest at the game's content.
The title was effectively banned by the British Board of Film Censors after the organisation refused to give it a classification owing to the extreme levels of violence in the game.
The Irish Film Censor's Office soon followed suit, and Manhunt 2 has received an 'Adults Only' rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board in America. Sony and Nintendo have said that they will not offer the game on their consoles.
Take2 Interactive, the owner of Rockstar Games, said in a statement that it has " temporarily suspended plans to distribute Manhunt 2 for the Wii or PlayStation platforms while it reviews its options with regard to the recent decisions by the BBFC and ESRB".
"We continue to stand behind this extraordinary game," the statement added. "We believe in freedom of creative expression, as well as responsible marketing, both of which are essential to our business of making great entertainment."
As the content of Manhunt 2 has become more widely known, other countries are now expected to join the ban. But Take2 Interactive is standing by its decision to produce the game, calling it a "piece of art".
"We firmly believe that parents and consumers, once informed as to the nature of any entertainment product, should be able to make their own choices," said Strauss Zelnick, chairman of Take2 Interactive.
"I have reviewed Manhunt 2 myself. It fits squarely within the horror genre and was intended to do so. It brings a unique, formerly unheard-of cinematic quality to interactive entertainment. It is also a fine piece of art. I stand behind it fully."
Rockstar games pulls Manhunt 2
By Iain Thomson on Jun 25, 2007 10:28AM