Could Gamestop start stocking AO titles?

It makes me laugh how GameStop will sell unboxed, scratched up, stained-to-Hell discs in its stores, yet pretends to have enough class not to stock Adult-Only games. Indeed, the AO-rating is almost a defacto ban in the United States, with console platforms shunning them and nearly every retail store refusing to accept such wares.

GameStop, practically America’s only retail game store, was among those who refused AO games, but that might change in the future now that EB Games is part of the GameStop hive. EB, unlike GameStop, stocked AO games, and it seems that GameStop could follow this custom itself, according to the chain’s senior merchandising VP, Bob McKenzie. It’s becoming a possibility that GameStop will now stock AO titles on a case-by-case basis, a sign that the AO-rating might become a less dreaded prospect in the future.

McKenzie was asked if this could have meant the uncut version of Manhunt 2 appearing on store shelves had GameStop’s policy been different. “In this situation, I’m glad that they went back, reworked it, and it will be M rated,” McKenzie answered. “I can’t say that we would have supported it at AO, and I can’t say that we won’t.”

Of course, that wouldn’t have made a blind bit of difference to Manhunt 2, given that Sony and Nintendo would have blocked it anyway. That said, if GameStop relaxes, who knows what the future of AO titles could hold? Should it become less of a death-knell for games, we might see some real boundaries explored by developers. Either that or it would be brainless titties and violence … whatever works.

[Thanks to Justin]

James Stephanie Sterling