Following a Video Appeals Committee decision to allow Rockstar's appeal of the British Board of Film Classification's Manhunt 2
ratings rejection, BBFC director David Cooke has stated the Board will consider its position, saying it will "carefully study the judgement by the Video Appeals Committee when it becomes available."
Following the BBFC's refusal to issue
a rating on the game, Rockstar announced it would appeal
the decision; it later suspended the appeal pending the BBFC's consideration of a revised version of the game, which was then also rejected
Reiterating that its rejection of Manhunt 2
hinged on the game's focus on "varied and cumulative killings," Cooke nonetheless recognized that the decision to reject was a serious one, requiring the balance of the needs of publishers and gamers with the public interest.
Added Cooke, "Such balancing judgements are inevitably complex and multi-faceted, and are made only after very careful consideration of the contents of a work. We played Manhunt 2
for well over 30 hours prior to our decision."
He concluded, "The Board recognizes that the available research findings on the effects of video games (including positive as well as harmful effects) are varied and contested. But we continue to believe that a broad approach to the possible risks is needed, which goes beyond purely behavioral harm, and which also takes account of other possible effects on the sensibilities and attitudes of individuals.”