'Manhunt 2' vid game release on hold

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Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. said Thursday it was temporarily suspending the release of the violent video game "Manhunt 2" because of an ongoing ratings controversy in the United States and a ban in Britain and Ireland.

The New York-based company said in a statement that it needed time to "reviews its options" but would "continue to stand behind this extraordinary game."

"We believe in freedom of creative expression, as well as responsible marketing, both of which are essential to our business of making great entertainment," the company said.

"Manhunt 2," had previously been scheduled for a July 10 release in the United States on both Nintendo Co.'s Wii and the PlayStation 2 by Sony Corp.

But critics said they were concerned with the game's content, which depicts the escape of an amnesiac scientist and a psychotic killer from an asylum and their subsequent killing spree. In the Wii version, the console's motion-sensitive remote is waved around to control a virtual murder weapon.

The suspension was a setback for creator Rockstar Games, which has come under fire for its popular "Grand Theft Auto" series of urban crime games, and Take-Two, which earlier this year underwent a shareholder coup that ousted its chief executive and nearly all of its board.
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