This just in from Take Two Interactive, publisher of the embattled Manhunt 2:
The ESRB has issued an initial rating of AO (Adults Only) for Manhunt 2.
We believe the process of rating videogames is to help people make informed entertainment choices and not to limit them.
Manhunt 2 was created for mature audiences and we strongly believe it should receive an M (Mature) rating, aligning it with similar content created in other forms of media. We are exploring our options with regard to the rating of Manhunt 2.
Beyond that, T2 isn’t talking. It is unknown exactly when the AO was assigned to Manhunt 2, but it would have to have been less than 30 days ago, based on earlier comments by ESRB president Patricia Vance.
GP: For a video game publisher, the economic impact of an AO rating cannot be overstated. It means that major retailers like Wal-mart, which by itself accounts for about 25% of retail games sales, will not carry Manhunt 2. There is an appeal process available to game pubilshers who wish to dispute rating assignments.