Take-Two Criticizes AO Ratings

In the midst of the Manhunt 2 rating fiasco, Take-Two management questioned the point of having an "adults only" rating when it effectively bars a console game from release.

During a conference call today, Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick said that the firm is "evaluating its options" regarding the release of the "adults only" rated Manhunt 2.

"We're determined to bring Manhunt 2 to the consumers for which it was intended, and to do so in a responsible fashion," he stated.

The Entertainment Software Rating Board recently gave the game an "AO" rating because of intense violence. Many large retailers don't carry games with an AO rating, and console manufacturers don't allow such rated games on their machines.

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Legionaire20054024d ago (Edited 4024d ago )

“In that instance, one has to ask oneself what’s the purpose of a rating if it in fact means that a title cannot be released?" Nice quote from Rockstar Games, but it will remain a rhetorical question until the issue is address!!!! Rockstar want to make this game for gamers as it was original intended, so if you gamers want this game unedited sign this online petition which already has over 4000 people who signed it.


Eclipticus4024d ago

They are correct, in their qoute. what is the point of a rating that cant and wont be allowed. AO basically means banishment. Which is stupid and pointless for non mandatory product. the Same with theaters, Theaters can play unrated movies, but many wont. You can still find screesn to play them then.
but consoles wont let AO games play on their machines.
Like they said, the retailers are doing right... I pikced up two games today and the guy behind the counter said i can still pre-order it, cause in the end it will be knowcked down to M. but i have to be 18 to pre-order it, but once it comes out only 17 to buy it.
honestly, and this question has been raised before on this site, whats one year. 17 and 18? i understand 18 and 21. 17 and 21 makes sense. but 18 and 17.
But in the end, I think this hurts the Gaming World. If compaines, Manufactorers, retailers and Gamers of all ages, want the VideoGame personae to be taken seriously, and not to be viewed as a Childs market. This game needs to be released as AO. Let the gamer figure out how to buy it, If retailers dont want to TopShelf it, or be steadfast in checking ID. but as the middleman between developers/publishers, and consumers, that is their right, not to carry it.
But there are thousands of thousands of mature over the age of 18 gamers, that deserve this game and would buy it, with the AO.

GiantFoamFinger4024d ago

While AO rating may effectively mean banishment, it has no legal bearing, right? Isn't the ESRB a voluntary system? In that case, the only banishment that happens is the market itself banishing the game. Sure, my definition of "market" includes console manufacturers and retailers, but those groups certainly are not government regulators - they are market forces.

If Take2 doesn't like being "banished" for creating their AO-rated Manhunt 2, then they should look in the mirror. Alternatively, they could blame the secondary forces for making their lives difficult: console makers and retailers. But since those are their customers, they don't want to point the finger at them. So the easy whipping-boy remains the ESRB. Wah.

Console makers and retailers are the primary ones who are creating the "banished" status for AO games. If Take 2 and the "mature" gamers out there really believe what they are selling about "games being art" and "taking the gaming medium seriously by not being seen as for children" then I recommend selling it to the console makers and retailers. But we all know those folks aren't buying.