Nintendo President Says Manhunt 2 is "Not an Image Issue"

Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo PresidentIn a recent interview with Newsweek, Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aime spoke out for the first time on the Manhunt 2 controversy.

In discussing the WiiWare initiative, he said, “Nintendo will not do any screening of ideas. The games have to pass our bug checking process, but that’s the only screening that we’re doing.” Obviously, this brought up the question of just how far Nintendo was willing to let developers go, especially in light of the recent hullabaloo over Manhunt 2. Also something to consider is the effort Nintendo made to court Take-Two to produce games for the Wii. Newsweek wondered if that was a decision that Nintendo regretted, in light of recent events, and if Manhunt 2 was ultimately not in keeping with the image of the Wii.

As far as the WiiWare titles, Fils-Aime said, “The developer is responsible for getting an ESRB rating for their game, just as with our current publisher agreements. We don’t allow AO-rated games on our systems.”

In addressing the Manhunt 2 situation, he commented, “This is not an image issue. Wii welcomes games rated E, T and M. We haven’t approved AO-rated games. I doubt we ever will. What Rockstar has right now is a game rated outside our spectrum, outside any manufacturer’s spectrum.” In response to rumors that, even with content adjustments, Manhunt 2 on the Wii might remain AO rated due to the unique control method, Fils-Aime said, “That’s an issue for the ESRB and Rockstar to work through. And as I understand the ESRB guidelines, the Wii controls should not be an issue.”

I’d have to agree here. I don’t think the image of the consoles has been harmed at all by the situation. If anything, they’ve enhanced their mainstream reputation by standing firm on their policy allowing no AO rated games on their systems. If anyone’s taking a reputation hit on Manhunt 2, it’s Take Two and Rockstar, and it may even enhance their sales in the long run. Only time will tell.

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