Rockstar Defends Manhunt 2 as Art

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

Earlier this week, the British Board of Film Classification rejected Rockstar’s forthcoming Manhunt 2 video game for its “unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying.” Although Rockstar can appeal the ruling—and potentially alte the game’s content to get a more favorable ruling—for now the decision means that Manhunt 2 cannot be offered for sale or rental in the United Kingdom.

Although Rockstar hasn’t yet publicized any plans to appeal the ruling, new Take-Two Interactive chairman Strauss Zelnick has said in a statement that Manhunt 2 has the full support of the company and that consumers should be able to decide for themselves whether the game has any merit. “The Rockstar team has come up with a game that fits squarely within the horror genre and was intended to do so,” Mr Zelnick said in a statement. “It brings a unique, formerly unheard of cinematic quality to interactive entertainment, and is also a fine piece of art.”

Rockstar Games is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive; Zelnick was installed as chairman of the company following a shareholder revolt in late March which saw the company’s investors throw out Take-Two’s previous management team.

In the United States, Manhunt 2 is currently classified as Adult Only, although the game isn’t scheduled to be released until July 29. Rockstar developed the game for the Sony PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii; neither company permits sale of Adult Only titles for their consoles. Similarly, many leading game retailers—such as U.S. giant Wal-Mart, which accounts for nearly a quarter of U.S. game sales—refuse to carry Adult Only titles.

“The stories in modern video games are as diverse as the stories in books, film and television. The adult consumers who would play this game fully understand that it is fictional interactive entertainment and nothing more,” Rockstar continued in its statement. “While we respect the authority of the classification board and will abide by the rules, we emphatically disagree with this particular decision.”

A ban on Manhunt 2 is not expected to have a significant impact on Rockstar’s bottom line, although the company would certainly incur a smaller loss—and maybe even earn some money—it were to re-tool the game to achieve a less-restrictive rating. However, Take-Two’s already jittery investors have to be wondering what the company is doing, and would no doubt prefer the developer focus on making games with broad appeal which sell millions of copies, rather than fine pieces of “art” nobody can buy.

Rockstar also develops the Grand Theft Auto franchise, which has itself been the source of considerable controversy for its content. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas had to be withdrawn from the market—costing Take-Two millions of dollars and embroiling them in an FTC investigation—when it was found to have shipped with explicit sexual content which could be enabled via a third-party tool.

Gaming

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is endearing and wonderfully weird

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is as magically weird as I remembered. The super cute art style fits Koholint Island so well, and Nintendo improved multiple, critical mechanics.
Computing

Don’t call it retro. Atari’s VCS is a modern console for PC gamers

You might think the Atari VCS is another retro console like the Nintendo SNES Classic or Sega Genesis Mini. You'd be wrong. Atari's VCS is actually a modern console that runs PC hardware. Yes, it can play Atari games, but it does much more.
Gaming

Call of Duty: Mobile is the best shooter I’ve played on a smartphone

Call of Duty: Mobile attempts to put the franchise's tight gameplay in the palm of your hand. It's largely successful, thanks to precise controls and attractive graphics. The game arrives on iOS and Android later this year.
Gaming

The PlayStation Network is back up. Here’s the latest on the PSN outage

Sony's PlayStation Network is back online after going down for several hours on Thursday afternoon, annoying legions of gamers right in the middle of E3. Here's the latest on the outage
Cars

Tesla screens may support YouTube with next software update

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today at E3 that the infotainment screens will support YouTube video streaming very soon. This most likely lines up with the latest software update that is expected later this year.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for June 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Florida’s autonomous vehicle law, E3 updates, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including Florida allowing fully autonomous vehicles on the road, Atari’s new gaming system, E3 updates, high-speed rail, and more.
Gaming

Niantic Labs sues hackers who help players cheat in Pokémon Go

Niantic Labs has filed a lawsuit against Global++, who is said to be behind the hacked versions of Pokémon Go and Ingress. The legal action comes as the developer is preparing to launch Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Gaming

How Epic Games almost made the mistake of ending Fortnite

Former Epic Games production director Rod Fergusson said that he would have canceled Fortnite if he stayed with the developer. The game only started soaring in popularity when the Battle Royale mode was released a few months after launch.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Gaming

New Nintendo Switch models in production and coming soon?

The rumored two new Nintendo Switch models have already reportedly entered production. Some of the components were moved out of China and into Southeast Asia, as Nintendo looks to limit the impact of proposed tariffs.
Gaming

Square Enix has no clue how many episodes Final Fantasy VII Remake will take

The initial release of the Final Fantasy VII Remake on March 3, 2020 will feature the part of the adventure that takes place in Midgar. Square Enix has no idea on how many episodes it will take to tell the full story of the original RPG.
Gaming

Nintendo 3DS nowhere to be seen at E3 2019, but apparently not yet dead

The Nintendo 3DS was missing at E3 2019, but it appears that support for the console will continue. No first-party games are planned for the device, but it offers a collection of titles that may still attract both old and new players.