This morning, Rockstar Games got the latest in a string of bad news for its controversial horror game Manhunt 2. After presenting an edited version of the game to the British Board of Film Classification, Rockstar learnt that the new version was also refused a rating, meaning that both it and the original are still banned in the UK.
The company has had better luck across the pond, where the Entertainment Software Ratings Board granted the edited version of the game an M for Mature rating, meaning that it could be sold to anyone aged 17 and over. Manhunt 2 is now due for release in North America on October 31.
As for why the edits weren't to the BBFC's liking, the board stated that the "reduction in visual detail in some of the execution kills" was still not enough to bring the title in line with an 18 rating. The director of the BBFC, David Cooke, also said the organisation had suggested further changes to the game be made, although some requests were ignored.
Rockstar responded with a statement shortly after the announcement, stating that it would also be appealing this decision, and that the extra changes it was requested to make were "unacceptable." The statement is as follows, "We are continuing to appeal the BBFC's decision to deny the edited version of Manhunt 2 an 18 certificate and thereby ban its release in the United Kingdom."
Rockstar slammed what it painted as BBFC hypocrisy regarding video games and movies, focusing on the argument that many consider the game to be no worse than recently 18-rated "torture" movies, including Hostel and Saw III. Its statement said, "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."