If there is one question we are continually asked that I wish I could answer
it would be ‘when is Manhunt 2 out in the UK/Europe’. I get asked
it so much that I no longer even respond to emails, not because I can’t
be bothered, but because I simply have no idea.
The results of Rockstars appeal to the Video Appeals Committee were made public
on the 14th of March, which will be 11 weeks this coming Friday, almost three
months ago and there is still no indication as to when the game may be released.
By comparison Manhunt 2 was released 9 weeks after being given an M rating
in North America, if a similar time schedule was applied to a UK release that
would mean UK consumers would have been able to buy the game over a week ago.
Flicking through UK based videogame magazines reveals no advertisements, previews
or forthcoming scheduling for the game.
Asking in store the best they can offer is ‘I heard it is now clear for
release’ and when calling the retailer helpline they tell you that they
don’t have the game scheduled for release.
Looking on the websites of popular UK based videogame retailers shows that
most are not even listing the game as existing little lone showing placeholder
dates. The ones that do list the game have it with a placeholder date of the
end of August.
Rockstar have not issued any word on the game since it was cleared for released,
even then all that was said was that they would market the game responsibly.
Realistically they haven’t even confirmed to be releasing the game now,
though you have got to figure that they didn’t go through all that just
for morals sake.
I have asked a few people within Rockstar and got no response.
To put it simple, I have tried every single revenue of information I can think
of and come back no wiser for it.
Supposing Rockstar were to announce the games release date, we would likely
be looking at least another 2 months before it was available. It takes time
for retailers to place their orders and for any sort of marketing campaign to
kick in, magazines would ideally need to run some form of word on the release
date at least an issue in advance, then if you take into consideration review
time that puts it 6-8 week out from when the magazine first has to be pieced
together since most publications operate at least an issue ahead of the current
Then there is the question, will there be marketing? In North America Rockstar
didn’t even bother to air a TV spot for the game.
Many of the larger European publications actually reviewed Manhunt 2 prior
to the game being refused classification, to a very positive reception at that
with NGamer giving it 92%, Games Master 88% , PSM3 83% and PLAY 82% to mention
but a few.
The other publications seemingly turned their back on the game once the media
circus surrounding the game kicked into high gear. So will those remaining publications
actually review it? If they do there is a great chance they will be overtly
negative and what about those that have reviewed it already? To what purpose
would they have to even show the game? Why preview what you have reviewed? If
they were to re-review it now it would surely score substantially lower than
it did last year, they will be playing a ‘toned down’ game that
is in reality more than a year old.
Realistically you have got to wonder should Rockstar market the game would
it even do any good. If you look at the retail space as it is then it is pretty
much clogged full of Grand Theft Auto IV and Nintendo. With Wii Fit and Mario
Kart Wii doing as well as they are and Super Smash Bros. Brawl ready for a UK
release at the end of June you have got to figure that product advertisement
space in store is rather tight. Rockstar themselves plan on releasing Midnight
Club: Los Angeles in September and you can bet that is going to have a big push
behind it, all of this leaves very little room for Manhunt 2.
Then there is the fact that the PlayStation 2 is getting on and the PSP isn’t
exactly a software pusher, in my opinion the best bet for Manhunt 2 would be
to push it primarily as a Nintendo Wii title or advertise the fact that it is
backwards compatible with the PlayStation 3, Eidos pulled a similar stunt last
year with Tomb Raider Anniversary and it seemed to pay off for them.
We have heard rumblings of other Manhunt centric happenings but have been unable
to validate them so it is probably best not to mention the specifics at this
But the point is at the moment there is absolutely nothing happening with Manhunt
2 or any sort of indication as to when the rest of the world can expect to buy
Hopefully we can get word on the issue soon; if it isn’t coming then
it would be nice to at least know.