Following the lead of developer Rockstar, Manhunt 2 publisher Take Two has come out in support of the game in light of restrictions on its sale in England, America, Ireland and likely bans in Australia and Germany. Take Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick said in a statement that the game's content "fits squarely within the horror genre" and "is in line with other mainstream entertainment choices for adult consumers."
A fine enough defense, but Zelnick went even farther in support of the game, saying it "brings a unique, formerly unheard of cinematic quality to interactive entertainment, and is also a fine piece of art."
We haven't played the latest Manhunt game so we can't really judge it on its artistic merits just yet. That being said, the whole idea of games as art is a pretty thorny subject as it is. Throw it in with the "do game cause violence?" debate currently raging around Manhunt 2 and you've got a perfect storm of controversy liable to melt message board servers the world over.
Which is, of course, what Take Two probably wants right now. Remember that 2 Live Crew's "As Nasty as They Wanna Be" went on to sell over two million copies due in part to the controversy over its racy lyrics. If Manhunt 2 is eventually released for sale, in any form, you can bet all the controversy surrounding it will only make it more desirable to its potential audience.