Rockstar Games' PlayStation 2, PSP and Wii title Manhunt 2
has officially received an AO rating, according to a tersely worded statement from parent publisher Take-Two, which says the company "strongly believes" an M rating is more appropriate.
According to the emailed statement to multiple media outlets from the firm regarding the sequel, due out in North American on July 11th: "The ESRB has issued an initial rating of AO (Adults Only) for Manhunt 2
The statement continues: "We believe the process of rating videogames is to help people make informed entertainment choices and not to limit them."
It concludes: "Manhunt 2
was created for mature audiences and we strongly believe it should receive an M (Mature) rating, aligning it with similar content created in other forms of media. We are exploring our options with regard to the rating of Manhunt 2
An AO rating for the title means that it could not be sold in the majority of large U.S. retail chains, such as Best Buy, GameStop, or Wal-Mart, which carry M-rated titles but not AO-rated games. Very few titles are rated AO by the ESRB - recent ones have included the PC-only 'unrated versions' of Singles, Playboy The Mansion
, and Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude
The only AO-rated console titles in recent years have been the cancelled Thrill Kill
for PlayStation and the briefly AO-rated Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
, following the 'Hot Coffee' incident.
This announcement follows the denial of a BBFC rating
in the UK for the game, making it illegal for the game to be supplied anywhere in the United Kingdom.