The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) has this week refused to divulge the reason behind the firm's decision to re-rate Manhunt 2, despite recent remands from California State Senator Leland Yee.
Rockstar’s controversial title was originally issued an AO (Adults Only) rating back in June of this year, effectively banning the game from release in North America. The ESRB has since announced that it has re-issued the game with an M (Mature) rating, allowing it to be sold to consumers of ages 17 and over. The new rating includes the descriptors, "Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content and Use of Drugs."
However, Yee, a strong opposer to the handling of mature-rated content in North America last week demanded the company disclose it’s reasoning behind the re-rating.
"The ESRB and Rockstar should end this game of secrecy by immediately unveiling what content has been changed to grant the new rating and what correspondence occurred between the ESRB and Rockstar to come to this conclusion," said Yee.
Despite this, ESRB President, Patricia Vance later responded: "Publishers submit game content to the ESRB on a confidential basis," adding, "It is simply not our place to reveal specific details about the content we have reviewed, particularly when it involves a product yet to be released.
“What can be said is that the changes that were made to the game, including the depictions themselves and the context in which those depictions were presented, were sufficient to warrant the assignment of an M (Mature 17+) rating by our raters."
Manhunt 2 will now go on sale in North America for PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and Nintendo Wii from October 31.