"While ‘Manhunt 2’ was given a ‘Mature’ rating by the ESRB, we received additional information that players can potentially view previously filtered content by altering the game code. As a result, we have decided not to carry the game."
The news about how to get to the Adult Only content of the game came up last week, on November 1. According to a group of Russian hackers, users can unlock the respective content by simply modifying two configuration files found inside the ISO file. The process can only be done on a homebrew-enabled PSP.
Four days later the ESRB would come up with a statement on its own (after all, all the eyes in the industry was on the ratings organization). ESRB’s decision raised many eye brows, as it was the first time in quite a while when the body would back the game instead of changing the rating.
At the time, ESRB President Patricia Vance said:
"we do not believe these modifications fully restore the product to the version that originally received an AO rating, nor is this a matter of unlocking content. Our investigation indicates that the game’s publisher disclosed to the ESRB all pertinent content in the authorized Mature-rated version of Manhunt 2 now available in stores, and complied with our guidelines on full disclosure of content."
Either way, the Manhunt 2 scandal seems to be escalating once again. In a way, it’s rather comical: at first retailers wouldn’t touch the game because of its Adult Only rating. Now the game has the accepted Mature rating, is backed by the ESRB and still gets thrown out of shops.