If GTA4 faces a similar situation, there could potentially be enough backlash to prompt some sort of re-evaluation of the system itself. However, I don't anticipate GTA4 going down that path in the first place. (Perhaps unfortunately.)
Rockstar got kicked in the nuts and they're hurting. The silly talk about them doing this deliberately to provoke a reaction is wish fulfillment. We're not talking about Pepsico or IBM here - Rockstar could find itself shutdown in a matter of months and it won't make even the slightest ripple in the market. Making a game which is banned outright in the UK (W T F?)and effectively banned in the US is a retarded decision for a company which has to keep its investor's happy. GTA4 will be cushions and safety swings after this or they don't exist anymore.
For what it's worth I think the decision to ban Manhunt 2 in the UK is completely wrong. I have no desire to play the game and had nothing to do with the first one either but a game is a game is a game. These aren't murder simulators or we should be banning kids from playing cops and robbers or whatever the equivalent is today.
In the UK it's compulsory for a game to get a rating and that rating represents a legally binding age limit that a retailer can be heavily fined for breaking. Banning a game outright is just pandering to the attention whores in the media and I hope whoever came up with that decision gets fucked out of the BBFC ASAP.
And finally, as everybody knows serial killers are inspired by the Beatles not by video games. Ban music.
EDIT: oh and if the "National Institute on Media and the Family" hadn't issued a press release condemning Manhunt 2 they wouldn't exactly be doing their jobs now would they? More to the point, who the fuck are the National Institute on Media and the Family and have you even heard of them before now? Is it one angry guy posting self righteous hatemail in his underwear? Or two? This comment was edited on Jun 23, 02:05.