Eurogamer caught up with Take-Two Interactive CEO Ben Feder for a wide-ranging interview which is now available on the site.
While much of the conversation deals with various T2 games, Feder did touch upon the Manhunt 2 controversy and the notion of government censorship of games:
We firmly believe that games are art. A), we have the right to produce art. B), the consumer should have the right to make their own choices, providing the labelling on the package is clear about the content of the game.
Apart from that, I don’t think it’s the role of governments to determine what you or any of your readers can, or should, buy. They should be able to make their own choices. Government has no role in that at all…
Asked whether the interactive nature of games requires them to be viewed apart from, say, movies, Feder said:
It’s not a difference with distinction… It’s as if to say art as a painting is different than art as a sculpture. For sure they’re different art forms and they use different mediums, but they’re art nonetheless – they’re forms of expression.
That, at least in the United States, is something that’s guaranteed by the constitution, and in democracies in Western Europe there are very similar concepts about the ability for individuals to express themselves. If you stifle that, then society and the economy pay a pretty heavy toll.
Of particular interest given the ongoing RapeLay controversy, Feder was asked whether T2 might theoretically permit edgy developer Rockstar to create a game featuring sexual violence or abuse of children, Feder commented:
Look, I suppose there’s a line somewhere. I don’t think we’ve even come close to it. At the end of the day, we’re also a commercial enterprise and we do intend to turn a profit with our games. That, in and of itself, provides a certain boundary beyond which we won’t go.
I suppose there are more lines [beyond] which we’d be uncomfortable, but I don’t think any of our games in the past, or any of our games that I’ve seen in development, come even close to that.