Rockstar Games has won its appeal against the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)’s decision to refuse classification to Manhunt 2 in the UK. As was widespread covered in the media in past months, the BBFC and Rockstar disagreed on Manhunt 2’s effective banning and thus Rockstar appealed. Now the Video Appeals Committee decided by four votes to three in favor of Rockstar.
David Cooke, director of the BBFC, said: “The BBFC twice rejected Manhunt 2 for its focus on varied and cumulative killings. We recognize 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 individuals 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,” quotes Gamesindustry.
While I don’t care much for the game, I’m glad the banning was reversed. It’s like UK consumers were being told by the BBFC they can’t think for themselves and then it’s assumed it might be shown (or sold?) to underage kids? I mean, what does the game’s publisher have to do with that, that’s what ratings and rating warnings are for. While I understand games give more control, in this game the actions and resulting storyline are as linear as a movie, so I wonder why it is that these rating board people don’t have a problem allowing horror movies into the UK.