BBFC taking Manhunt 2 decision to High Court

[UPDATE] British ratings body will apply for a judicial review to prevent the game from being released after losing the recent appeal, Rockstar "disappointed."

Manhunt 2 was originally meant to be released on July 13, but the game was instead refused a classification by the British Board of Film Classification back in June. Rockstar Games released an amended version of the game to the organisation, and that edited version was also refused a certificate.

In October, the company announced it would be appealing the ban after the second version of the game was approved for release in the US and Canada with an M for Mature rating.

At the end of November, the case was heard by the Video Appeals Committee. The VAC ruled in favour of Rockstar and stated that the decision to reject the game should be overturned.

At that point it looked as if the saga had ended and the game would get a release for the holidays. However, today the BBFC has announced that the story will be going on for some time yet. The ratings board has decided to apply for a judicial review of the VAC's decision to overturn the ban, and will be taking the matter to the High Court. The BBFC is also seeking to keep the game off of store shelves while the judicial review is underway.

A statement from the BBFC read, "The BBFC is contesting the VAC judgement because, in the Board's view, it is based on an approach to harm which is an incorrect interpretation of the Video Recordings Act. The VAC judgement, if allowed to stand, would have fundamental implications with regard to all the Board's decisions, including those turning upon questions of unacceptable levels of violence."

[UPDATE] Take-Two's chairman Strauss Zelnick has issued a statement saying, "We are disappointed that the BBFC has decided to appeal its own Video Appeals Committee's judgment in favor of an 18-plus certificate for Manhunt 2. We believe the VAC decision was correct and do not understand the BBFC's decision to expend further public resources to censor a game that contains content well within the bounds established by the BBFC's 18-plus ratings certification."

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Discussion

260 comments
DaDude253
DaDude253

i thinks its plain **** unfair look at postal 2 realeased with a M rating but beacuase its controvourcial they just wanna pick on it :[

bublinec
bublinec

te bbfc should just give up the game is out just deal they have lost

KraHicks
KraHicks

I got the M rated game for the PSP when I was in the States last week. It's not even that gruesome! It's way too hyped up. It's a good game but it's not this horrendously monstrous game that will make you lose your mind and go on a killing spree..Like that would happen anyway.. And I agree with Diduseeasign & Weemanrulez..Crazy people are gonna do crazy s**t wether or not they play violent games. Stupid mental people ruin s**t for everyone when they don't take accountability for their insane actions. As Dr. Phil would say - " Own it! "

Diduseeasign
Diduseeasign

I have to agree with weemanrulez. If you don't know the difference between right and wrong then there is something seriously wrong with you. Its down to the individual, not the game. Its not to blame for anyones state of mind in the first place.

Weemanrulez
Weemanrulez

The way the BBFC put this game across is that if you play this game you will become a vicious murdering psychopath go on a killing spree opening fire with a 12 gauge pump action in a downtown area killing 13 civilians then captured later put on death row while spending the rest of your days until your lethal injection in a padded cell then you are executed! Not likely to happen ! only a genuine mental headcase would do that. Like everyone keeps saying BBFC are giving the go ahead for films like saw etc.. what is the big problem with manhunt2 ! if you ask me manhunt2 might aswell be rated 15 especially after all the doctoring to the game :- numerous "over-violent" scenes removed and blurring effects have dampened the whole raw aggresive brutal edge that it would have had. It still is a decent game but this cake has lost it's cherry.

WeWerePirates
WeWerePirates

I agree GTA should be banned. It's done real harm to society, I can hardly go on a jaunt to the blue dot and collect the yellow dots without seeing half a dozen people killing red dots. We should get to the more innocent basics of games like shooting aliens in the head and disembowelling mythical beasts.

delta3074
delta3074

personally i think that hostel and saw should have been banned, and so should man hunt and gta should be banned as well ,because you should not glorify pointless violence to someone of any age and killing police officers is morally wrong, thanks to games like gta every body sees the police as being the bad guys, its the criminals who are the bad guys, it ain't cool to be a criminal and there ain't no such thing as a heroic criminal.Rockstar only produce these games cos they can't produce any game of a high technical quality and they can't innovate and the only reason there games sell is through controversy (how long can you keep the same boring franchise rolling) get a life rockstar and make a decent game instead of churning out the same boring games for all the mindless casual gamers out there.

KingKoop
KingKoop

Wouldn't be surprised if R* just stopped releasing games in the EU :| Thanks BBFC....

Dawn_Patrol
Dawn_Patrol

It is like the SAW movies only in video game form. Yet they are allowed to go passed the BBFC idiots with the OK nod. It's pathetic so it is. Just because video games are the new entertainment media for the new millenium they attack them. It was like videos back in the 1980's with that idiot Mary Whitehouse attacking video tapes, well, movies. She crusaded against them and got LOADS of them banned. All because people are showing an interest in it. If people ignored it, they would not bother banning stuff. Stupid init but that's how their tiny minds work.

Kyran87
Kyran87

Why bother! If a game looks scary to somebody they won't buy it! It's like banning the Saw movies because they're afraid that children under 18 will buy it. That's their own damn fault if they do!

Pazy160
Pazy160

Someone tell these people that no one would have played Manhunt 2 (most wouldent even have heard of it) have they not tried so hard to ban it. Youve just shot yourself in the foot, again and again. If the game is banned people will import it/download it to see what the fuss about, if its unbanned people will buy it to see what the fuss is about.

V-Nine
V-Nine

...wow what a drag out...

Miss_Wacy
Miss_Wacy

BBFC said movies like saw and hostel arent a threat bcos theres no violence all the way thru it

jaymib
jaymib

For god sake, BBFC get A LIFE!!! You going to spend all your money on a game that should be out by now and will be out one day anyway because you have no REAL reason to ban the game. Save time and just drop this whole thing before you get in too a big hole!!! Like you are holding back gamers for the actions of stupid people who have kids who buy any game that they kids tell them too. Why don't you spend the money on trying to Teach people to READ what 18 means!!!

sun_spirit
sun_spirit

Oh for God's sake! Why won't they just let it go? Movies like Saw and Hostel are allowed to be viewed, games aren't much different. BBFC! You're really giving yourself a really bad name here!

razu_gamer
razu_gamer

They just won't give up *head explodes*

Miss_Wacy
Miss_Wacy

its bcos BBFC are ignorant and a bunch of old arses, they need to drop the ones from the video nasties era from back in the 80s, and get people that are with todays times

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

You dont need to be a gamer to know the BBFC will fail.

Moxi
Moxi

What's seriously p***ing me off is that the BBC has given this 'story' coverage on the main news repeatedly. I'm all for passing around information but exactly how is it beneficial to a parent concerned about children buying unsuitable games to hear at lunchtime and then at 6pm about this 'brutal gorefest'. So it's a banned game that's had it's ban lifted and still has a few fans (and a few opposers). Great. Don't keep shoving it in my face ffs.

I'm just not really interested in this game as i've seen the trailers and didn't really rate the first one and i think Rockstar know full well that they've made a game for a 'hardcore' of folks who like their games a bit grittier and bloodier that gta. They've also managed to get the largest amount of free advertising i've ever known possible. As gamers i felt we kinda lost interest (i saw manhunt occupy the top spot on gamespot charts for about 2-3 days?).

I mean i expect to read of these decisions on gamespot and am glad to be in the know but the non-gaming market, those who watch the tv news for a complete round-up of what's going on, those who have a quick browse on a 'worldwide' news site evey day, those people who probably never even considered that they might take an interest n games are also being bombarded. And it's Just. Before. Christmas.

At the time of writing this the tenth link for both "manhunt" and "manhunt 2" on a google search is the bbc, who if i'm not mistaken cater to some of the heaviest traffic of news sites (all ages too. i.e the very people who 'shouldn't be taking an active interest in this farce). It's like a parents swearing really loudly and often in front of their kids. And then being surprised when the kid swears back.

Maybe i've just missed the couple of million pass from rockstar to the bbc for f**kloads of hype and ads. Just release that damn game already. Then maybe we can buy/not buy it, talk about it for a few months and get on with waiting for GTA4 or go back to hearing that *real* people have been *killed* in *real life* by someone who never owned a console or a pc or watched tv.

/rant

EDIT: I forgot to add that the game just does'nt hold my interest but i know others who will love it because IT IS A GAME.

anton10000
anton10000

The BBFC just can't take it, *dun dun dun* they might be wrong!

Kezuya
Kezuya

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

e1337prodigy
e1337prodigy

BBFC should create a new rating of 21. Some people here in the UK aged under 21 are immature and are the main reason why ratings were first invented. Maybe BBFC should hire Jack Thompson lol

Colsworl
Colsworl

If the BBFC wins the case they will become greedy and try to censor more games. Therefore we have to support R* and Take2 because if we don't the next game we see being banned could be the likes of GOW3 or Gears 2. This won't just effect Manhunt but the future of censorship in the games industry.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

i am a 27 year old man who lives in the uk who are the bbfc to tell me what i can and can't see i should be able to make my own choice

diablobasher
diablobasher

"in the Board's view, it is based on an approach to harm which is an incorrect interpretation of the Video Recordings Act" Thats rich coming from the BBFC seeing as they gained their power through misinterpretation and loophole to begin with. You lost, accept the fact that we can view whatever content we wish to and leave us alone.

Caddy
Caddy moderator

This is becoming the story that never goes away. Its becoming a tug of war and I feel sorry for the people who just want to play this game now.

shivadee_basic
shivadee_basic

There isnt anything wrong with Manhunt 2 imo. However their target demographic was wayyyyyyy off. with only just over 100k units sold for the Wii....(which is HARDLY breaking even on profits) its pretty clear that if the game is good or not, people that own a Wii are not buying it. The level of violence should not be restricted. No one says anything with SAW or when Hate Rap or Death Metal is sung. The videogame industry is a "new" form of multimedia so this kind of garbage is expected.

BioHzrdSco
BioHzrdSco

Its a came come on.....why dont movies like Saw get banned from the pics !!!!!!

chico129
chico129

Oh come on, this is pathetic, it was allowed in the US and Canada with the second version, it wasn't approved in the UK, it was then approved by law-suit in the UK, and now they are trying to ban it AGAIN? For Christs sake, the whole reason it's being released is because they lost, why would they bother going for it again?

midn8t
midn8t

this game isnt any more bloody then gears of war or any othere game to be honest, I dont see big deal. also I mean in reospect to movies this game is probly less gory of all entertainment. if there going to try to start censorshiping games they should start with movies frist. aliens, jason, ur average silly slasher flick, has more gore and blood then this game. on top of that note I thought future plotic pupets and jack A*& where trying to push free trade, my idea of free trade is open trade no resecrtions..

Neo1O1
Neo1O1

In other news, pregnant woman is killed; thousands more die in Iraq; the AIDS epidemic in Africa kills another million; Earth loses another layer of its atmosphere.

DonutTrooper
DonutTrooper

I hope I'm not the only one who sees what's at work here. This is not just about Manhunt, or Rockstar, or any game or developer. This is about two distinct battles, and this is the turning point for one. If the BBFC is to lose this case in its entirety, then it would mean they would be less able to ban or censor the next big gory game. It would also have them lose credibility after a downfall like that (Gerstmann firing, anyone?) If Rockstar was to lose this case, it would not only empower the BBFC's right to censor/ban games, it would also spark a torch with the ESRB, developers, and overzealous politicians alike. It would mean more games would start to be censored, and at this point me might as well live in Soviet Russia. Thank you for listening to my rant, I've said enough.

tyzwain
tyzwain

Maybe MasterChief that us in the UK dont have the game? Its a Gamespot UK report anyway.

MasterChief725
MasterChief725

wow, gamespot always reports on everything atari and manhunt 2. Jeez guys, i think we have seen enough manhunt, until manhunt 3!

NA3D
NA3D

Take-Two needs to tell them to take 2, then punch them in the face with a one, two, haha.

meconate
meconate

Ive played the hell out of this game... Yes i have a Homebrewed PSP, get over it. All i can say is, it doesnt suprise me that this game has been banned, nevertheless, it's a game, games don't kill people, people kill people.

ParadiseToast
ParadiseToast

Meh... these kids ruin everything for us. com'on guys let us enjoy a decent game for once, and let the daddies and the mommies do the goddamn thinking. its not our fault that they fail in their jobs.

RageSet
RageSet

Sounds like someone (or more) in the BBFC is being "paid off". I do feel sorry for all the gamers that won't be playing it and I feel very sorry for the gamers here in the US that are playing it now; I can not and will not purchase any product that is censored.

RockaWuzHur
RockaWuzHur

Why is the BBFC so focused on Manhunt 2? There are plenty of even more violent (and awsome) games coming out!

steven141
steven141

Wow what a great way to spend taxpayers money..........

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

If the grounds for Judicial Review are denied then that will be the end of it. The BBFC would not be able to take it any further.

02sfraser
02sfraser

this is pathetic. if the game is rated 18 then only adults can buy it and if kids get ahold of it, its the parents fault. seriously they are just bitter about defeat and should let mahunt 2 get released. Also there censoring "No More Heroes" which is total rubbish. who knows if us Brits will ever get GTA 4

AriotUK
AriotUK

"Oh for f**k's sake! This makes me ashamed to be a Brit. BBFC should STFU and GTFO! Now they are wasting public money trying to seek revenge for defeat and a bruised ego. Accept it BBFC, you LOST. Justice and common sense prevailed!" and... "LEAVE ROCKSTAR ALONE NEXT GRAND THEFT AUTO WILL BE BANNED BECAUSE YOU CAN KNOCK DOWN SOME OLD LADY AND KICK THE GUTS OUT OFF HER PLEASE LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE FOR CHRIST SAKE" are two very good reasons for keeping this game banned.

jakman2004
jakman2004

the bbfc are just being kids now and trying to save themselves the humiliation of the game actually going on sale. tosspots

moocow21
moocow21

It seems like this is more of an issue of pride for the BBFC now.

HXCDEW
HXCDEW

Oh for f**k's sake! This makes me ashamed to be a Brit. BBFC should STFU and GTFO! Now they are wasting public money trying to seek revenge for defeat and a bruised ego. Accept it BBFC, you LOST. Justice and common sense prevailed!

kurnlklank
kurnlklank

LEAVE ROCKSTAR ALONE NEXT GRAND THEFT AUTO WILL BE BANNED BECAUSE YOU CAN KNOCK DOWN SOME OLD LADY AND KICK THE GUTS OUT OFF HER PLEASE LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE FOR CHRIST SAKE