ESRB Stand by Manhunt 2’s M Rating
The ESRB today responded to the wave of criticism that has been aired over the past week in particular regarding Manhunt 2 and its AO-turned-M rating. Through a hack, PSP owners could see an uncensored version of the kills in Manhunt 2, which many thought should warrant the original AO warning since this content was only covered up, not removed (and was believed to be the only change Rockstar made).
A statement released by the ESRB stated, “Our investigation indicates that the game‘s publisher disclosed to the ESRB all pertinent content in the authorized Mature-rated version of Manhunt 2 now available in stores, and complied with our guidelines on full disclosure of content.”
And while the game has been hacked to remove said filters, the ESRB believes they don’t “fully restore the product to the version that originally received an AO rating, nor is this a matter of unlocking content.”
ESRB president Patricia Vance was asked about the situation and how it compared with the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Hot Coffee incident.
“Manhunt 2′s rating makes it unmistakable that the game is intended for an older audience. The unauthorized hacking into the code of this game doesn’t change that basic fact.”
She went on to explain how the content revealed in San Andreas was not shared with the ESRB, while Manhunt 2’s content was, and the difference in accessibility they both presented.
It’s good to see the ESRB stand by their decision, but you’d be quite mistaken to believe the public outcry is finished with.