Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
28 June 2007
Manhunt 2 rating, Rockstar presumptions
From a post on My Strategyinformer, found via Game | Life, you can read an email response purportedly from Rockstar about Manhunt 2. The bit that struck me:
The game was developed as a horror experience, and to be an M rated title, aligning it with similar horror content created in other forms of media. Unlike many other people, we do not think video games should be singled out for special treatment from the authorities.
That's inconsistent logic, I think. If the game is intended to be M rated, then you go by the guidelines for M rated games. As I've said before, it's not like Rockstar was unfamiliar with the system in which it lives. So it should know that you don't, for example, look at what R rated movies are doing and design your game to look like them. Movies are held to a different standard. That's just the reality of it.

Which, of course, is what they're getting at in the second sentence. They don't like the discrepancies between movies and games. (Or at least they're saying they dont' like it. See last paragraph.) But isn't developing a full-scale game a huge risk to take just in the service of challenging the game rating system? Why not do it with something small intended for Xbox Live Arcade, WiiWare, or the PlayStation Store? Maybe the idea is to use the weight of a full-scale game to shock people into changing the system, but it smells a bit more like inciting a riot than arguing your case in court.

I believe Ruffin speculated to me when he visited last week that Rockstar has a toned down version of the game waiting in the wings that they can just burn to a disc and produce if they don't get an M rating with the current version. Perhaps they've come to grips with the problems posed by the ESRB and the Jack Thompsons of the world and decided that it's better to use its enemies as guerrilla promotion than try to reason with them.

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--Matt Matthews at 22:49
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