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Why Manhunt 3 Will Never Happen
Rockstar had a very difficult time releasing “Manhunt 2” in 2007 due to its extreme violence, which prompted the ESRB to give it an AO rating, making it difficult to sell the game in stores or publish it on any platforms. The game caused so much trouble for Rockstar that it’s unlikely that the company would ever revisit the series.
Tepid Reception
“Manhunt 2” currently holds a 67/100 on Metacritic, signifying "mixed or average" reviews, and as IGN noted, "Manhunt 2 isn't the tour de force title that will grab your attention and keep you there like the first one did." With a much weaker reception than its predecessor, “Manhunt 2” might’ve ended the chances of “Manhunt 3.”
Why bother?
Rockstar has probably recognized that it can make (and save) a lot more money sticking to the parameters of an M rating given the massive sales success of its M-rated “Grand Theft Auto 5” and “Red Dead Redemption 2.” If the company isn’t willing to rock the boat or cross the line, “Manhunt 3” doesn’t really have a reason to exist.
“Manhunt” consists of levels that must be completed in order to progress to the next, not leaving much room for the game's protagonist to stray from the designated path. This linear approach isn't as popular with gamers anymore, as EA CFO Blake Jorgensen shared that "people don't like" linear games “as much today as they did [...] ten years ago."
Internal Strife
Jeff Williams, a web producer at Rockstar at the time, wrote in a now-deleted blog post, “It may sound surprising, but there was almost a mutiny at the company over [Manhunt]. [...] Most of us at Rockstar Games wanted no part of it." With employees dissenting over the first installments, Rockstar may not want to chance more internal strife.