The ESRB decided that they are giving Manhunt 2 an Adults Only rating.
Kotaku is reporting that Take-Two confirmed that the ESRB has given Manhunt 2 an Adults Only rating. The rating is not Wii specific, as the PS2 version received the same.
This announcement comes hot on the heels of a recent announcement that the game will be banned all together in the UK. Much criticism has surrounded the game in the US up to this point, from people calling for a boycott of Wendy's because they were promoting the Wii in general, to groups campaigning to have the Wii version receive the AO rating specifically because the Wii controls made it even more interactive.
Take-Two has three options at this point. They can release the game with the AO rating and have most large chains not carry it because the rating is usually associated with pornography. They can clean the game up and resubmit it for a new rating. Lastly, they can appeal the decision and try their luck. If the rating sticks, Manhunt 2 will be the first game to be given the rating based solely on the violence level.
The differences between the two ratings based on their description is small. The ESRB describes and M rated game as follows...
"Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language."
While an AO game is described like this...
"Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity."
It should follow that Manhunt 2 falls into the category of "prolonged scenes of intense violence." and apparently it is the first game ever to reach that level.