Italy's communications minister has asked the U.S. distributor of the violent video game "Manhunt 2" to cancel its planned Italian release.
Communications Minister Paolo Gentiloni also asked the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, which groups European videogame producers, to take the matter up at its June 26 meeting in Brussels, and the issue was added to the agenda, a statement from Gentiloni's office said.
"More than violent, the game in question is cruel and sadistic, with a squalid environment and a continuous, insistent encouragement to violence and murder," Gentiloni said in a statement.
Already, Britain and Ireland have banned the game because of concerns about its violent content. It depicts the escape of an amnesiac scientist and a psychotic killer from an asylum and their subsequent killing spree.
Italian law does not allow the ministry to impose a ban on the game's sale, said Gentiloni spokesman Sergio Bruno. As a result, the ministry has asked "Manhunt 2's" publisher and distributor, Take Two Interactive Software Inc., to cancel the planned July 13 Italian release.
Take Two has said it was determined to bring the title to market regardless of criticism.