Take-Two Interactive has announced the temporary "shelving" of the upcoming Rockstar release Manhunt 2.
The decision follows bans on the sale of the game in the U.K. and Ireland, as well as an Adults Only rating in North America that will keep it off the shelves of most major retailers. Sony and Nintendo have also stated that, due to its AO rating, they will not approve the game for sale on their PlayStation and Wii consoles.
In a statement, the company said, "Take-Two Interactive Software has temporarily suspended plans to distribute Manhunt 2 for the Wii or PlayStation platforms while it reviews its options with regard to the recent decisions made by the BBFC and ESRB. We continue to stand behind this extraordinary game. We believe in freedom of creative expression, as well as responsible marketing, both of which are essential to our business of making great entertainment."
Manhunt 2, developed by Rockstar, is only the third game in the history of the ESRB to receive an AO rating for violent content: The first, Thrill Kill, was never released, while the second, The Punisher, was modified to qualify for a Mature rating instead. The company has a 30-day window from the time the ESRB rating is issued to either modify and resubmit the game for a friendlier classification, or to appeal the decision; neither Take-Two nor Rockstar have commented on which course of action they will pursue.