Manhunt 2 Leak Came From PlayStation Europe Employee

October 22, 2007 -
Who leaked Manhunt 2, a game so violent that it is banned in Britain, to the Internet?

After following up on available clues GamePolitics has learned that the leak came from PlayStation Europe.

Last week GP reported on a panicky Sky News piece which saw impending doom in the leak of the early PS2 build of the controversial game.

The leak itself wasn't news to the video game community, having been widely reported in September. However, its backstory was. Beyond the original cracking claim by the mysterious Team Slonik, no one was saying much about how the controversial game found its way onto the Net.

That's what made the otherwise sensationalist Sky News report interesting. It doled out a previously unheard-of morsel of information concerning the leak:
[Rockstar] accepts the game was leaked onto the web by an employee of a different company who had access to the preview copy. That person has been sacked.

Yet Sky News didn't say which Rockstar partner was involved. From New Zealand's TV3 we've located a video version of the report, which offers a few more clues. These come near the end of the segment. The Sky News reporter interviews an unnamed gentleman who says:
[The leak] was an illegal criminal activity on the part of an employee of a company that happened to have access to the code. That person, without naming names, has been sacked and proceedings are taking place.

GamePolitics has now learned that the leak came directly from PlayStation Europe. Here's a statement from Manhunt 2 publisher Take-Two Interactive:
Take-Two Interactive has confirmed that a former employee of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has acknowledged his responsibility for the unauthorized online distribution of an unrated play-test version of Manhunt 2 submitted for the European PAL PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.

...and that's all we could squeeze out of T2. Still unknown is the employee's name, how he managed to rip off the Manhunt 2 code, and what sort of legal action may be pending against him.


@Adam the Great:

Don't you think the price difference between the PS3 and the GBA may have something to do with the disparity in units sold?

[...] O site GamePolitics pesquisou as pistas disponíveis e descobriu que todas levavam à Sony européia. [...]

[Rockstar] accepts the game was leaked onto the web by an employee of a different company who had access to the preview copy. That person has been sacked....

Additionally, the people who sacked that employee were also themselves sacked. The game will continue to be produced in an entirely different method at great cost to Rockstar.

Crap, you got here before I did, I was going to do the same joke.

Kind of stupid to risk your job over a game, in my opinion. Unless secretly he's a double agent, and this was all a part of his plan.


LOL... we gonna see that everytime they mention the employee getting 'sacked'? :P

Sadly I think politians are still going to blame the evil game industry for leaking on perpouse or something


Where's my llama Manhunt 2?

You win the thread, sir/madam.

I still see this as a win for freedom of speech and am very grateful that this unnamed employee took a hit for the team, so to speak. Stick it to the man!

See, I don't think anyone likes Sony anymore. Some days, I seriously ask myself questions about why I bought a PS3.

Those questions go away pretty fast though.


i suspect they'll go away even faster in 25 days when Assasin's Creed comes out.

Actually, since we're on the topic (ish), I'm waiting for MoH: Airborne.

And Bladestorm. Gotta love the Hundred Years War.

Glad the guy got sacked. Leaking games when you work in the games industry is about as bad as it gets. Anyone did that at our place, and they would be lucky to have a friend left in the building.

@BlackIce, Leftie,

"And Bladestorm. Gotta love the Hundred Years War. "

Oh yes. Played the demo for ages yesterday, cant wait for release on the 2nd. :D


Did you fight for the French or the English?

@Kentonio - I more or less said the exact same thing in the last MH2 story involving the "sacked" employee. Leaking a game is among the worst betrayals and insults, right up there with slapping someone in the crotch with their own dead dog.

I am not prone to violence, so I would not encourage my game dev team to hurt another person over leaked software (though I'm sure we would all like to). However, as I said in the last story, he's lucky to have ONLY been sacked. I'm glad to see now that proceedings are under way and hopefully some criminal penalties stick.

Good job with the sleuth work, Dennis!

At least he's being punished for it.

But OH SNAP! The country JT had so much respect for with its rating system doing this?

*waits for him to cry 'Slow-Motion British Revolution'*

So much for JT's claims to have leaked the game. ;)

But I am glad that this guy got canned. (we've said "sacked" enough). I hope this sets an example to others who want to do the same things.

Ugh, another stupid act from Sony. Why am I not suprised.


I find it hilarious that all of you whom are normally strongly against censorship are acting as though the Manhunt 2 leak is a bad thing. You're all such hypocrites. This just goes to show that banning things only makes the situation worse. It wouldn't have been illegally leaked if Sony allowed the game to be sold on their console with an AO rating. Honestly just release the damn thing because somebody is going to end up leaking it anyway and what’s THAT gonna cost ya? Wouldn't it be more financially sensible for them to just allow AO games on their console and encourage retailers to stock AO games, rather than forcing developers to censor their games and encourage behaviour such as this? I'm sure so many people whom would have purchased the game have now gone "nah forget it, I got the uncut version for free, so what’s the point in buying the censored version?".

This also shows the ESRB and ratings boards around the world that regulation is better than banning. Now it’s far to easy for absolutely anyone to get a hold of the game. Yeah real nice. Banning has in reality, inadvertently promoted the game and forced it to be leaked, thereby creating a black market accessible to absolutely anyone. This is exactly what happened with Thrill Kill back in the day. People just don’t learn. I’m glad it was leaked, it’s about someone grew some balls and stood up for what they believe in, even if it means breaking the law. I can understand people being pissed off had he leaked some big blockbuster just to get it out to a few people early and look cool, but this? Come on get off your soapbox.

I can't say I care to much about the subject, but it did make me think about one thing. We, on this side of the atlantic tend to hear allot about differences over in Europe. Things like the BBFC's manhunt2 ban, and the germans' fairly active use of the banhammer. I'm beginning to wonder if there's an undercurrent of popular support we don't hear much about. I wonder if there are europeans who resent the ban. English gamers who want to play the unedited version. Otherwise, why risk your job and potentially your career? Don't they have stricter labor laws over there? I got the impression that it's a pain in the tail to get a job in Europe, but the payoff is it's considerably harder to get fired. If that's true it makes even less sense to stick your neck out for a marginal game based on its shock value.

Put simply, I wonder if there's popular support over there we just don't hear much about.


@ Dave

even if it means breaking the law

That is where you fail. Very few people (if any) support illegal acts such as piracy. We do want more consumer rights, such as AO games on consoles, removal of the DMCA and DRM. What we don't want are people "sticking it to the man" by committing acts of piracy.

This leak was done illegally. Take Two owns the rights to the game and the right to distribute it in whatever way they wish. This act violated that right. This person stole a copy of the game and distributed it contrary to the IP owners wishes. That is a crime. We don't condone criminal activity here.

The proper way of going about this is to voice our displeasure to the console manufacturers about their AO stance. We also vote with our wallet. Many people here have already stated that they will not buy this game because it is not the real game. Others say they will buy it just to annoy JT and other critics. Still others will never buy the game regardless of the version. Each person has their own way of handling this situation.

Again, criminal activity is not the way to solve this issue and no amount of it will make us raise a person up as a hero.

I speak of myself. I know that there are some who may dissagree and others who agree.

thanx to the guy at sony who leaked it i now have my own uncut copy of manhunt 2 good suff

I want Metal Gear Solid 4. That's why I bought a PS3.

Oh, and for the blu-ray.

And because they're going to remake Final Fantasy VII for it.

[...] Manhunt 2 Leak Came From PlayStation Europe Employee [Game Politics] [...]

@Dave - While this sounds like a horrible PSA funded by a major conglomerate, you forget that leaking the software affects everyone involved in the game development, right down to the individual programmer.

If you have any idea of how things work in software development, it only takes one idiot to screw the pudding for everyone else. While we're at it, take a look at the larger picture that is making the news: "Controversial game banned in country reaches the hands of minors for free via illegal distribution." Wow, that really makes the industry look good.

Those involved in the creation of video games have enough hardship and stress to deal with, and one guy performing an illegal act isn't a revolutionary. Do you see hundreds of other Sony or R* employees following in his wake?

No, because he's thieving douche bag.

If you can't tell, I'm one of those agreeing with Knight.


It wouldn’t have been illegally leaked if Sony allowed the game to be sold on their console with an AO rating.

I hate to call you naive, but you're naive. It could have been leaked for piracy reasons anyway. We don't know t the employee's motivations. It could have been a "pre-release" copy that pirates sometimes crave, or it could have been because of the AO situation.

We don't know. But I do know that games get pirated from pre-release copies by employees all the time.
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

[...] Enlace: Manhunt 2 Leak Came From PlayStation Europe Employee Escrito a las 17:32 | Envia esta nota por correo electrónico Por Paola Mejia | Lee más de: Consolas, General, Noticias, Playstation 2, Sony Otros blogs que comentan acerca de esta anotación [...]


Perfectly done. I support and agree with everything you said. No matter how much the censorship of MH2 sucks, it's all legal by current standards. Leaking the game was NOT.

I know I'd be ROYALLY pissed if someone leaked a project I was working on, under any circumstances.

[...] Link [...]

It's not like it was the full version of the game. Uncut? Perhaps. I have personally played this version, and it's far from complete. It's 'playable' in the sense that you can actually start the game up and run around doing stuff, but other than that, there's no storyline, almost zero dialogue, shoddy controls, etc.

So yeah, I'll just wait for the retail version to hit the shelves, even if they did have to censor it.

This isn't the first time Sony have leaked something, usually it comes from their TRC testers.

Isn't it about time Dave Bennett got the boot? It would happen to any other QA manager if it was leaked from their own company dammit!

[...] So who was the thief? Gamepolitics investigated and found out that “Take-Two Interactive* has confirmed that a former employee of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has acknowledged his responsibility for the unauthorized online distribution of an unrated play-test version of Manhunt 2 submitted for the European PAL PlayStation 2.” [...]

People insult the person who leaked the game but he is in fact a hero. Thanks to this genius we got to play the game how it was meant to be played. I think it was very brave and courageous of him to have taken the initiative that he did by bringing the game to us.

In a world thats too over-ran by censorship this man took a bold stand. There are many of us who would never have got to play this game had it not been for this persons beautiful act of kindness and respect for those who were upset and angry about being denied the chance to experience this game by censors who wish to dictate what we play.

This man is a diamond and a legend in his own right and fully deserves a lot of respect and praise for his kind and helpful actions and many other people should be very grateful to this guy for giving us the wonderful opportunity to play Manhunt 2.

@ Adam The Great

Thanks to this genius we got to play the game how it was meant to be played.

That would be full of bugs, no sound and incomplete levels? I guess your right then.

But as I said before, performing illegal acts does not make you a hero. Nor is it deserving of respect or praise.

A real hero in this situation would be Take Two porting it to PC with the AO rating. Or the person who finally convinces the console manufacturers to license AO games.

Leaks lead to forced delays and stronger anti-piracy measures. Congratulations.

[...] Take-Two, publisher of the game, released the following statement to GP: Take-Two Interactive has confirmed that a former employee of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has acknowledged his responsibility for the unauthorized online distribution of an unrated play-test version of Manhunt 2 submitted for the European PAL PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. [...]

@ Adam The Great

Also by your logic, the guys who robbed those 20 Gamestops would be heroes because the games they stole and are now selling on ebay allow us to avoid paying the high prices of retail.

Did not have many bugs at all. Other than several cutscenes with no sound (but subtitles helped) and the odd sound delay on the shotgun execution....the sound was pretty much perfect.

Dont know what you mean by incomplete levels....apart from a few flickering objects it all seemed pretty complete to me. Seen worser bugs in other games.

"Seen worser bugs in other games"

Oh dear, stop talking!

This employee is a hero and a champion of freedom of speech. Censorship is always unacceptable. I applaud whoever it was.

It is unfortunate that he did not know how to properly mask his trail.

You rock, "Slonik"!

I agree this man is a total hero and has fully enabled us to overcome censorship that was imposed upon us. I am totally straight and not into men at all but given what this guy has done for us, I really would consider sucking him off if he actually wanted it. Just as a token of my appreciation and on behalf of those that he made very happy that they did not miss out on a great game.

I think I have lost faith in you people. The fact that you are applauding and holding up a criminal as a hero.

There are plenty of legal and more effective ways to solve this problem and/or make a statement.

I hope that Take Two seeks whatever legal action they can against this guy.

I am glad that there are some people who feel the same as I do, unfortunately the ignorance is overbearing.

So they sacked one bad apple at SCEE for leaking a preview copy of Manhunt2. Yet the copy that was leaked is as everyone is saying obviously an early version. Wait a second... lets apply some logic here.

Every game that gets made into PAL version for any Playstation consol has to go through SCEE. Since it is was obviously such an early version of the game, it must have been part of an early submission that took place long before any rating board submission. That's just the natural order of development.

So this SCEE employee must have made his copy of this version of the game long before the ban was in place.

But wait... That can only mean this individual was merely pirating the game for pirating sake, and that this initial act had nothing to do with the banning because it hadn't taken place yet.

I think that's pretty significant because it means as a game developer, you can't have any confidence that any game you submit to SCEE to be put on a Playstation consol isn't just going to end up on the internet.

All I know is that as a game developer I would be mighty pissed off if I entrusted SCEE with source code for any game I'm working on, only to find out they leaked it on the internet.

Good point Xen. Very very good.

I thought of the perfect retaliation for Rockstar Games. Since the PS3 is a load of rubbish that not only got outsold by the Gameboy Advance quite a lot since the PS3 launched and has no decent exclusive games along with being an overpriced piece of trash thats destined for failure......why dont Rockstar Games simply bin the PS3 version of Grand Theft Auto 4? It would be a very good thing to do.

We all know the real reason behind the delay of GTA4 is due to the cruddy messed up PS3 engine not being able to handle the game (which is why they only show Xbox360 screenshots and videos of the game) and add this to the fact that blue-ray is rapidly going down the plug-hole with all the top movie production companies ditching blue-ray in favour of all just adds up to the simple plain truth that the PS3 is a total lost cause.

They really should just concentrate purely on the 360 version of GTA4. Sony have done nothing but cost Rockstar Games lots of money. No wonder they decided to bring out all the cool extra downloadable content on the 360 only. The PS3 is just a waste of time and space.

@BlackIce, Leftie,

English of course! :D


Aye, I think its a difficult one to explain to people (as many posts here have shown). We've had stuff going through SCEE in the quite recent past, and if that had been leaked we would have been truly gutted and very angry. Setting aside for a second all the financial implications, I dont want my work to be sent out into the world unfinished and unpolished. All I can think to say to those who are applauding this guy, is think how you would feel if you'd been working on a song, or a story or a picture, and that was shown to the world before you had had time to complete it. All those people not only seeing an unfinished work, but judging you on it, and deciding on its merit based on that. Its a deeply unpleasant precedent and one that hopefully will not be repeated.

[...] While the official Manhunt 2 game had to be put on hold in order to edit it down to an M rating, there has been an unaltered PlayStation 2 version floating around in Europe since summer, as you may know. It’s now been several months since this happened, and after all this time a finger has finally been pointed. The person in question is a employee of Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe. The employee has since been fired. After some prodding from GamePolitics, Take-Two had this to say: “Take-Two Interactive has confirmed that a former employee of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) has acknowledged his responsibility for the unauthorized online distribution of an unrated play-test version of Manhunt 2 submitted for the European PAL PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system.” [...]

[...] -Source GamePolitics [...]

[...] In the DOH files: GamePolitics reports that an ex-employee from Sony Europe has actually leaked the Manhunt 2 preview build for the PS2 to the net (BT and Usenet I’m guessing). [...]
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
PHX Corp although it's a little late, a comic strip on neogaf about the "release it now, patch it later" culture08/30/2015 - 7:37am
Papa MidnightBack to when, RedMade? A week ago? (seriously, though...)08/30/2015 - 1:55am
RedMageOh hey, a news station is trying to scapegoat gaming. That takes me back. - 1:40pm
Big PermA link to TB twitter with Matt Lees in the replies - - 12:16pm
Brad GlasgowWhy would he say the company lies about getting abuse? Oh, because people don't abuse GG?08/29/2015 - 10:38am
Big PermBrad - Matt Lees was also quick to say the company "Gamers Gate" lies about getting abusive messages thinking they were an official GG channel08/29/2015 - 9:11am
Goth_SkunkMGSV: The Phantom Integrity - A Rant by RazörFist. (NSFW on account of language). RazörFist discusses the latest batch of unethical journalist conduct, with a caveat. - - 7:10am
Goth_Skunk@Brad: I can.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkI assume "Stacy" is a pseudonym. After reading what she went through, I would not be one bit surprised if it is.08/29/2015 - 6:13am
Goth_SkunkA Year of #GamerGate: From Neutral To Anti To Neutral To Pro by "Stacy" - - 6:12am
Brad GlasgowI can't believe Matt Lees deleted his positive review of Ethan Carter because Chmielarz is sympathetic to GG.08/29/2015 - 5:30am
Goth_SkunkA GameDev's Year With #GG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by Adrian Chmielarz - - 5:18am
Goth_SkunkDespite not being a fan of fighting games I had to check out that R Mika trailer. Loved it. Still won't buy the game though, on account of Isuckatstreetfighteritis.08/29/2015 - 2:42am
MechaCrashI use a Dynex DX-840 headset, but it's discontinued. :( I wanted a mono headset so I could keep the other ear free for my speakers, but it has the bonus of being very light and comfortable, so you don't notice it.08/29/2015 - 12:41am
Big PermSora - I was just having a slow day at work earlier. Now I'm home with vidya!08/28/2015 - 7:54pm
ZippyDSMleeSora-Chan: Blender is easy compared to 3Dmax :P08/28/2015 - 6:51pm
Sora-Chantime to take up a hobby? maybe messing around in GIMP to make wallpapers? use qCAD to design somethin? open Blender and stare at it for a couple hours trying to figure what does what?08/28/2015 - 6:41pm
Big PermAlso, yes. I've been spamming the shoutbox. I don't have much going on today, don't judge me08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Big PermThanks, but yeah. Not sure I wanna drop that kind of cash :P I don't even mind the sound quality of my krakens, it just hurts to wear em after a couple hours.08/28/2015 - 3:25pm
Sora-Chan@Big Perm: I'm a bit of a fan of the Omega Recon3D headset from SoundBlaster. Though it is a bit expensive.08/28/2015 - 2:36pm

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician