Rockstar Successfully Appeals BBFC’s Rejection of Manhunt 2
Way back in June, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) essentially banned Manhunt 2 from the UK when they refused to rate the game. Rockstar decided to appeal the decision to the Video Appeals Committee and also resubmitted the game in early October – this version being the “censored” one. It was rejected again.
Finally, after all these months, the Video Appeals Committee has made a decision, which – while not release just yet – is being said to favor Rockstar by a count of four votes to three.
“The BBFC will carefully study the judgement by the Video Appeals Committee when it becomes available,” said BBFC director David Cooke. He revealed that the BBFC spent “well over 30 hours” playing Manhunt 2 before it rejected the game.
“The BBFC twice rejected Manhunt 2 for its focus on varied and cumulative killings. We recognise that rejection is a very serious step, in which the desire of publishers to market their games, and that of gamers to buy them, must be balanced against the public interest, including the full range of possible harm risks to vulnerable individual and to any children who may be wrongly exposed to such games. Such balancing judgements are inevitably complex and multi-faceted, and are made only after very careful consideration of the contents of a work.”
A BBFC spokesperson, Sue Clark, told GamesIndustry.biz, “There are few options open to us – we can go to the High Court to appeal the decision – but we’ll be making a further statement when we’ve seen the full report.”
Rockstar issued a statement today following the news about the appeal, stating, “We are committed to making great interactive entertainment, while also marketing our products responsibly and supporting an effective rating system. We are pleased that the decision of the VAC has recognised that Manhunt 2 is well within the bounds established by other 18+ rated entertainment.”
So this doesn’t mean the game can be sold yet – the BBFC could very well decide to appeal this decision. While I know the above Penny Arcade comic was posted with a Manhunt 2 story previously, it still brings up an important point – does anyone even want to play Manhunt 2?