Rockstar Games
Rockstar blurred out some of the nasty bits in its original "Manhunt 2" to get a "mature" rating. But Target announced Wednesday it would pull the product from its shelves.
updated 11/8/2007 12:29:59 PM ET 2007-11-08T17:29:59

Target Corp. said Wednesday it has pulled the "Manhunt 2" video game from its stores due to particularly gruesome content that can be unlocked by hackers.

In "Manhunt 2," by Rockstar Games, two prisoners go on a bloody rampage after escaping from a secret asylum for the criminally insane. Players take the escapees' point of view.

The game is rated "mature" by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, whose ratings cover a series of levels from "early childhood" through "adults only."

The original version of "Manhunt 2" was gruesome enough to earn an "adults only" rating so Rockstar blurred out some of the nasty bits and got the rating lowered to "mature" before it went on sale on Halloween.

Like many retailers, Target sells video games and software rated "mature," which are deemed suitable for players ages 17 and older, but doesn't stock "adults only" games.

"Target strives to provide merchandise that will appeal to a wide variety of guests," the Minneapolis-based retailer said in a prepared statement. "We also want guests to be comfortable with the purchasing decisions they make at Target."

It took hackers about 24 hours to figure out how to un-blur the imagery on the version of the game for PlayStation Portables, though only on PSPs that have been illegally modified.

Officials with Rockstar Games did not immediately return messages seeking comment Wednesday about Target's decision.

Two years ago, after hackers found a hidden sex scene in "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," the ratings board slapped an "adults only" rating on it.

Ratings board President Patricia Vance said the board is standing behind "Manhunt 2's" "mature" rating, noting the difficulty of unlocking the offending content.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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