"Our investigation indicates that the game's publisher disclosed to the ESRB all pertinent content in the authorized Mature-rated version of Manhunt 2 now available in stores, and complied with our guidelines on full disclosure of content,” a statement from the body read.
"Manhunt 2's rating makes it unmistakable that the game is intended for an older audience. The unauthorized hacking into the code of this game doesn’t change that basic fact.”
On the subject of the hacked content, the ESRB went on to point out that advanced hackers using the suitable software could do more or less anything that they wanted with the game code – and that such changed could not be foreseen or accounted for.
However, the new scandal has brought about fresh criticism.
California State Senator Leland Yee commented: “Not only should the Adult Only rating immediately be reinstated, but the Federal Trade Commission should investigate Rockstar and the ESRB to determine how this was allowed to happen again.
“Time and time again, the ESRB rating process fails parents. It is unconscionable that the rating board would downgrade Manhunt 2’s rating from AO to M and therefore make the game available to children. The ESRB and Rockstar continuously put profits before children.
“Parents deserve to know what, if any, content was truly removed to receive the downgraded rating. ESRB has refused to publicly disclose whether or not Rockstar divulged that such adult content could still be accessible. As if we needed more evidence, this episode further puts into question the validity of the entire rating system.”