The first ripple effects of the recent Manhunt 2 rating ordeal are coming to light. In a recent interview with CVG, the game’s senior producer, Constantine Hantzopoulos, noted that several features had already been removed from the game to ensure that it did not suffer Manhunt 2’s fate.
Several of the brutal aspects of Condemned 2 were too graphic for the ESRB, and Hantzopoulos metioned that Monolith has been working very closely with the ESRB to ensure that the game receives the M rating. He also said that this was a direct result of the Manhunt 2 rating.
An example of what we cut would be putting someone’s head in a vice. That was too much, you know. There are also some decapitations we’ve lost. But this is more Sin City than it is real world and we want people to know that this is not a real world.
Manhunt kind of takes place in a real world where you’re killing prisoners and people. This is a sensitive subject and we’ll pull back if we need to. If someone says we can’t that, we’ll pull back a little. We’re actually in pretty good shape. Putting someone in a dumpster is comical, it’s funny. But putting someone through a TV set…
Whether this is an isolated incident or a new trend isn’t know as of yet, but it certainly sets a dangerous precedent. Will we see more developers toning down the content in their games in order to placate the ESRB and game violence activists like Jack Thompson and the NIMF? What do you think the legacy of the Manhunt 2 rating will be?