Officials from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) have announced that the board has rejected the revised version of Rockstar’s Manhunt 2
, which was recently cleared for release in North America
Officials from publisher and developer Rockstar have indicated that the company has set in motion an appeal to the Video Appeals Committee against the decision, an action that had already been initiated
and then suspended while the revised version was considered for classification.
David Cooke, director of the BBFC said: “We recognize that the distributor has made changes to the game, but we do not consider that these go far enough to address our concerns about the original version.”
“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,” continued Cooke.
“We did make suggestions for further changes to the game, but the distributor has chosen not to make them, and as a result we have rejected the game on both platforms. The decision on whether or not an appeal goes ahead lies with the distributor,” added Cooke.
Although video games are rarely banned in the UK, compared to other PAL territories such as Germany and Australia, the original Manhunt
proved particularly controversial in the UK when it was erroneously linked to the murder of teenager Stefan Pakeerah
. Following tabloid reports of the story, the game was voluntary withdrawn from sale by several UK retail chains.
Rockstar has issued a statement on the ruling, asserting that it will continue to appeal the decision that would see the game effectively banned from UK retail shelves.
"The changes necessary in order to publish the game in Britain are unacceptable to us and represent a setback for videogames," said Rockstar. "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 videogames, such as Manhunt 2