Online have posted an interview with Rockstar Games Vice President Dan Houser.
Almost immediately the banning of Manhunt 2 is brought up, marking one of the few times where one of the Houser’s actually addresses the issue.
Manhunt 2 was not a good situation. When a game gets banned, it means we’re not doing our first job, of making the investors back their money.
A pretty grim, if not factual, comment to make, but there is more:
Look, video games are a popular and easy enemy. It’s all part and parcel of doing something that’s not been done before. One of the things that’s always been exciting is the feeling of being in at the birth of a new medium, but of course the history of technology-driven art from the printing press onwards has been of people fighting against that stuff.
It feels at last like we’re moving on from that debate. The audience
is getting past 30 so it all becomes a bit silly. That’s not to say
that all games are for all people; we’ve never said that. GTA has always
been rated 18 and we’ve always been very happy with that.
Nevertheless, we do get frustrated when video games are singled out and movies are given a free pass. Manhunt 2 was banned in the same week that Saw was released. The arguments become quite ludicrous quite quickly when people argue that games are somehow more dangerous than full-motion video.
Within Rockstar, sometimes we feel that some of our games get singled out and held up as pariahs. All we want to do is tell a story with rounded characters.
Like GoodFellas, which is a key film for us, our rounded characters happen to be criminals.
I’m not sure there is anything to take away from these comments beyond Rockstar was also bummed out about what happened to Manhunt 2.