Manhunt 2 "Suspended," Pushed out of July

Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive has "temporarily suspended" the release of its controversial game Manhunt 2 (PS2, Wii, PSP), which this week was Rated "Adults Only" by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. The game will no longer ship July 10 as originally planned; a new release projection has not been given.

In a statement issued today, Take-Two expressed its confidence in the game, which but did not give any indication as to its planned course of action. "We continue to stand behind this extraordinary game," reads the statement. "We believe in freedom of creative expression, as well as responsible marketing, both of which are essential to our business of making great entertainment."

The rating refusal on the part of the BBFC effectively bans Manhunt 2 from sale entirely in the UK. The ESRB's AO rating does not legally preclude the game from being sold, but serves as de facto retail death, with console companies Sony and Nintendo forbidding AO-rated games on their systems and major retailers refusing to sell AO-rated products.

Take-Two is expected to appeal the ESRB's decision or resubmit a modified version of the game for reclassification.