Manhunt 2 has been denied by the British Board of Film Classification for a second time. You might recall that Manhut 2 was originally slapped with an AO rating in the US, effectively banning it since stores won’t sell AO rated games and Sony, Microsoft & Nintendo don’t allow them on their systems. In Britain, the game was denied classification, therefore making it illegal. It was denied due to it’s “unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone” in the UK. The Irish Film Censor’s Office followed suit afterwards, and basically Rockstar and Take-Two bit off more than they could chew.
So the game was revised some, and re-submitted. In the US it passed, and Manhunt 2 received and M for Mature rating.
However the BBFC has now rejected even the revised version of Manhunt 2. The BBFC director David Cooke said, “The impact of the revisions on the bleakness and callousness of tone, or the essential nature of the gameplay, is clearly insufficient. There has been a reduction in the visual detail in some of the ‘execution kills,’ but in others, they retain their original visceral and casually sadistic nature,” and stated that the changes that were made to the game “did not go far enough.”
Cooke added that the board had made suggestions for further changes to the game, but these were ignored. The title has been rejected on two platforms — presumably the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii, although a PlayStation Portable version is also planned. Rockstar has the right to appeal this decision alongside its appeal against the original ban.
So far Rockstar has yet to comment on whether they will appeal it again or not. — Via GS
Update October 9th: A Rockstar representative just let us know that they “are continuing to appeal the British Board of Film Classification’s (BBFC) decision to deny the edited version of “Manhunt 2” an 18+ certificate and thereby ban its release in the United Kingdom. The changes necessary in order to publish the game in Britain are unacceptable to us and represent a setback for video games. The BBFC allows adults the freedom to decide for themselves when it comes to horror in movies and we think adults should be similarly allowed to decide for themselves when it comes to horror in video games, such as Manhunt 2.“