Following yesterday's criticism
from California State Senator Leland Yee calling for transparency and an investigation into Manhunt 2
's new M rating, ESRB president Patricia Vance has isaid simply that context and depiction changes in the game were enough to warrant the rating.
"Upon reviewing the modified version of Manhunt 2
," said Vance in a statement, "the ESRB assigned a rating of M (Mature 17+) with content descriptors for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content and Use of Drugs."
"This is a very clear and firm warning to parents that the game is in no way intended for children. As always, we urge parents to strongly consider the ESRB rating in their decision about whether a game is appropriate for their children," she continued.
However, the board still shied from explicitly listing changes made to the game and protected the privacy of publishers, 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."
Vance also noted that the FTC, the national PTA, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Peter Hart Research were all satisfied with the work the ESRB is doing, adding pointedly, "Rather than publicly second-guessing what is unmistakably a strong warning to parents about the suitability of a particular game for children, which presumably neither Senator Yee nor CCFC have personally reviewed, we feel a more productive tack would be to join us in encouraging parents to take the ratings seriously when buying games for their children."
“It is a parent's rightful place to make choices for their own children," Vance concluded. "The ESRB and console manufacturers provide families with the tools and information to help them do so."