Rockstar appeals UK Manhunt 2 ban

Company makes an eleventh-hour appeal to the Video Appeals Committee to get the game's British ban overturned.

When Manhunt 2 was sent to the British Board of Film and Video Classification, it received the dubious honour of becoming one of only two video games that the body had refused to give a rating to, effectively banning the title within the UK. Reasons given included the "sustained and cumulative casual sadism" of the game, along with its "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone."

The BBFC announced its decision with a statement on June 19, which gave Rockstar Games six weeks to lodge an appeal against the decision. For a long time, the company was "reviewing its options," but has finally decided that it will be fighting the ban.

A statement from Rockstar simply read, "Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. confirmed today that Rockstar Games has appealed the British Board of Film Classification decision that prohibited the release of any version of Manhunt 2 in Britain." Take-Two Interactive is Rockstar's parent company.

A spokesperson for the BBFC confirmed that the company had lodged an appeal, but said that since it was now a legal process, no further comment could be made.

What will happen next is the VAC's chairman of appeals, John Woods, will pick a selection of people to sit on the panel and vote as to whether the ban should be overturned and the game issued a certificate.

The BBFC spokesperson said she could not give any indication of how long the appeals process might take in this case, but that a statement would be issued once a panel selection had been made and a date set.

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225 comments
cheeselab
cheeselab

i cant believe people could think of banning this game i mean if manhunt 1 was allowed to hit the streets why would they consider banning this from what ive seen in the screenshots manhunt 1 has more explicit content ie. severing heads i thought manhunt 1 was a great game and the sequel shoud be allowed to be released in the uk

xboxobie
xboxobie

No doubt Rockstar will have mentioned to the BBFC that they have cut certain aspects from the game (now receiving a M (Mature) Ratin in North America. This will no doubt mean the BBFC will be forced to at least re-look at the title. And hopefully give it an 18 Rating in the UK. Bottom line is, If people dont want there kids playing this, they should step out and make sure there kids dont gt hold of a copy, It shouldnt ruin the experience for adults.

TehPickle
TehPickle

theKSMM: I think you missed my point. I was referring to the non-release in the US on the grounds that the game recieved an AO rating. Which the big 3 consider unsuitable. My hypothesis was entirely that: hypothetical. An 18 rating is OK for release, yet the exact same game on the exact same console but with a AO rating is not? US censors aren't prohibiting the release, Sony and Nintendo are. They deem it unsuitable for release on their system in a similar vein to pornography. But over in the UK (assuming hypothetically once again) that it does get released. it IS suitable for their system? I wasn't talking about market shares or anything of the sort. To my original point: Am I the only person that sees the double-standard there? It's either suitable for their system or it isn't. To coin a phrase, Sony and Nintendo are "cutting their nose off to spite their face"

Blood_Diamond
Blood_Diamond

Finally... I've been watching this game since it was first announced back in the early parts of this year and when i heard that it'll be getting the ban i was blown away i was look forward to brutally murder some computer sprites... I use games as a stress release when work and things are getting to me and chopping some one up with a blunt chainsaw (manhunt 1) just made all the stress melt away. When this comes out i will have a new release ahhhhhh :D Long live violent video games \m/

theKSMM
theKSMM

To TehPickle: Furthermore, this decision isn't being made by Sony or Nintendo. It's being made by the British ratings board. They don't have the same concerns over market share and the like as the console manufacturers.

oonnoo
oonnoo

Nope, many rules for many cultures. The UK and America have very different cultures despite enjoying much of the same media entertainment.

TehPickle
TehPickle

It would be interesting to see how this affects the US release if the UK ban does get overturned. It would seem somewhat hypocritical of Sony, Nintendo et al to not allow the games release in the US on the grounds that "we don't allow third party AO rated games on our system" when it has been released in other countries. It's still the exact same gory, violent game whichever way you care to slice it. Their stance of taking the moral high ground would seem somewhat arbitrary. One rule for all right? Right......? Edit: Oh and my apologies to people for referring you all to "ban this sick filth," my bad, I got it wrong. "ban the sadist videos" is what I meant.

daztaru
daztaru

"Come one people, part of living in a free country is that you have to put up with the things that we find distasteful in order to get the things you want. If we allow this to be censored, where is it going to stop?" couldnt agree more, i think its stupid they dont ban film like saw and hostle? y ban a game which resembles the same times of tone and violence

Draggunof
Draggunof

Carmageddon was the other game that went to court for this problem. Hope Manhunt 2 wins like Carmageddon did. Good luck, Rockstar Games. I really had fun with the original Manhunt.

silvok
silvok

game stop (the store not this site) has this game on a list that states it will be released on the first of october.....is this true...anyone care to comment on the and let me know if there is any truth to that...??...

Mandalore_15
Mandalore_15

Come one people, part of living in a free country is that you have to put up with the things that we find distasteful in order to get the things you want. If we allow this to be censored, where is it going to stop?

dryden555
dryden555

"sustained and cumulative casual sadism" of the game, along with its "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone." If that is what the game is about, no thanks.

tonyfutter
tonyfutter

i hope it gets rated cos its gonna b 1 of the best games on the wii apart from the mario titles

LordLeckie
LordLeckie

i hope that it gets through, i just sold my PS2 so i cant play it but i loved the original hope that this comes out just to prove we dont live in a world a censoring ignorants. bah im tempted to go to rapture and join the splicers.

AnalogOdyssey
AnalogOdyssey

whatever its just a videogame play it or dont play it....

spikedwraith
spikedwraith

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

EternalFire00
EternalFire00

"Hopefully the lift the ban on Manhunt 2 in the UK and allow it for PS2 since its already established as a console mainly for mature gamers. The wii's version however should remain banned because its viewed as a children's console. " You are a dumbass. It doesn't matter which system it comes out on. The game is the only thing on review and what system it is on does not factor into that. And if it does come out on the Wii, I guess that means it's not a kid's system anymore.

bublinec
bublinec

This is just stupid bannning manhunt 2 it is rated mature if coss it will have violence

Jsef64
Jsef64

"british, british politicians, anti videogames, anti violence, odd, old people, generation gap," um, lol? Plenty of 'old' people play video games. What's wrong with anti-violence? What generation gap?! And stop blaming the 'british government' for the anti-videogame hype! When will the stereotypes end?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

agturboninja
agturboninja

british, british politicians, anti videogames, anti violence, odd, old people, generation gap,

oonnoo
oonnoo

Ninjasam: The Master Chief won't use a paintball gun, the flood don't have protective eyewear! but seriously, the only reason 'big games' like Halo and God of War don't get banned is because they are 'big games'.They have mass appeal because most people want enough violence to make the story exciting/realistic whereas the brutal, sadistic violence of Manhunt appeals to a much smaller fanbase.

oonnoo
oonnoo

The BBFC wont look at the publics perception of which console is more mature (and personally I would say that PS2 is regarded as a more universal console, rather than mature). It is entirely possible it'll be Carmageddon all over again and we'll just have to wait a while until other media catch up with the "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone" and what is currently regarded as unaccectable will not be so harshly judged.

xElite_GameRx
xElite_GameRx

I also enjoyed renting the first manhunt and I'll rent the second manhunt also on PS2. Hopefully the lift the ban on Manhunt 2 in the UK and allow it for PS2 since its already established as a console mainly for mature gamers. The wii's version however should remain banned because its viewed as a children's console.

J-Rod1871
J-Rod1871

ninjasam: I for one enjoyed the first Manhunt and thought it was one of the first games to get the stealth formula down correctly, and that it also had some of THE best shooting sequences because of it's targeting system and cover system. Did you even play it for more than ten minutes?

Jsef64
Jsef64

Just to clarify...Only one other game in the UK has EVER been banned...that was Carmageddon which was later fully released, uncensored here in the UK... Other countries only have banned games because they portray their culture in a bad light. So before you get on your high horses and blaming the govt. for banning 'every ****ing game' just keep in mind that this is the first. And to be honest with you, the first manhunt sucked and manhunt 2 just looks like more of the same.

Agreb91
Agreb91

Hopefully Britian can get this game moving and than that will help the ESRB re-rate it M not AO.

mgmeek
mgmeek

well said TehPickle!

ninjasam
ninjasam

Ugh! if only! This game could have sparked a gamers revolution, an angered gamers alliance if you will, to get video games to have the same rules as movies or books! I can get books with nude picks, and adult content, at the Brooklyn public library, and yadda yadda you know the rest....... BUT THIS GAME SUCKS If it was halo 3 getting banned, or killzone or metal gear solid! Or the one that would make the most news! GOD OF WAR 3! THEN WE WOULD SEE RESULTS! BUT NO! its this terrible game with terrible gameplay, terrible story, and no depth! That is also an extremely repetitive game! It is a shame that Manhunt is going to be considering mark of where game rating goes, someone should have asked this in the youtube debate to Hillary Clinton. Hope she isn't our next president, otherwise we might be seeing master chief with a paint ball gun, and Kratos with foam bats so watch out guys

TehPickle
TehPickle

Enthasius-- I agree with what you say, I worked in video game retail for 3 years and I lost count of the amount of times I sold a GTA (or any number of 18 rated games, GTA is not the only one, although it is often the scapegoat) to an adult for them to just pass it on to little Timmy right before my eyes. It's disgusting really, but I was powerless to do anything about it, other than shoot the consumers some very dirty looks. I would concurr that more powers need to be made available to restrict sales of innapropriate material (games, films, whatever) to adults if it will knowingly be handed down to a minor, in the same way as alcohol. That however does not give the BBFC the right to base their ratings on irrisponsible parenting, which they don't anyway.... I object to commenters like Twinny2 and their misguided (and overly sarcastic) belief that the BBFC rate media on what could potentially get into the hands of minors, if that was the case we'd revert back to "the stone age" of the video nasties, in which laws we're *Very nearly* passed to prevent *anything* that wasn't suitable for an entire family to be viewed. We would literally all be forced to watch Mary Poppins and nobody in the UK would even know what The Terminator was. I kid you all not, it was very close to becoming a reality. Watch a documentary called Ban This Sick Filth, which I believe you can find on youtube to see for yourself what the politicians, and in turn, the BBFC are capable of, and how closed mined they were/are. Edit: Ban The Sadist Videos, not Ban This Sick Filth. Apologies. The BBFC does not exist to make choices for us, it exists to make guidances for people to make their own informed decisions. The minute it stops acting this way and prohibits us from viewing or playing what we so choose under the delusion they're "doing us a favour," they've stopped doing their job properly and have become somewhat fascist. What's more, their idea of "disturbing" isn't necessarily mine. A case in point I made in a previous news article of the ongoing Manhunt 2 debacle was Silent Hill 1. That is hands down the most disturbing game I've ever played. Hitting the nurses on the head with a metal bar and continuing to do so while they writhe on the floor screaming in agony has left a real lasting impression on me, I don't think it's something I'll ever forget. The first game didn't even recieve a 15 rating. Manhunt 1: Violent? yes. Memorable? Not particularly. Disturbing? I believe my lack of memory of the game just about says it all. But wether Manhunt 2 turns out to be crap or not is irrelevant in the point I'm trying to make. I like being scared and shocked, (though admitedly it doesn't happen very often) and I abhorr the BBFC for trying to tell me that a game of ALL things is too scary or shocking for me.

Enthasius
Enthasius

Hate to say it, but I can see why The Board is......ugh......don't want to say it.... . . 'necessary' I work in retail, and I've always believed that adults should be given the right to buy whatever games they want, and kids able to access games given the right age designation....however, times are different now. The amount of times I've seen games being bought by parents for their kids, games like Grand Theft Auto for ten year olds. We're given the capacity in my store to simply disallow people to buy alcohol if we're able to tell if it's being given to kids, but not so DVD's or games. Since these games frequently DO end up in the hands of kids, and statistics do start showing this, things like the BBFC have to exist to stop kids getting this by simply banning games. It sucks, I know, but I for one would prefer it if all games were released, but me, as a retail employee, be given the right to deny sales if I have confidence that the products sold will be given to minors of inappropriate age, be it alcohol, games, DVD's or music. I'm sure many of you don't agree with me, and that a lot of people would rather just have any game be purchasable by anyone, but what you have to realise is a lot of kids nowadays are morons who attack, mug and scare people for fun, and vandalise property (at least in the U.K), and that if every one of these kids were able to access violent games, it wouldn't matter what level of influence these games offer....there'd be huge government interjections that would lead to draconian laws more fierce than even now.

TehPickle
TehPickle

x-2tha-z said: "The simple fact is adults have the right to be able to decide what they can or can't handle in a video game." Apparently we don't. "This board that's going to be assembled and vote don't have the right to decide what's ok for the adults of an entire country." Apparenly they do, wether we like it or not. I just hope they make the right decision and let common sense prevail. If not, well, there's not a great deal we can do about it other than contine to moan, which gets us nowhere unfortunately. I'm sick to death of being patronised by the nanny-state that is the UK

boozak
boozak

Great considering how Rockstar actually know what they're talking about this shouldnt be a too hard task to redirect this game back to the shelves. :)

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

The simple fact is adults have the right to be able to decide what they can or can't handle in a video game. This board that's going to be assembled and vote don't have the right to decide what's ok for the adults of an entire country. They should give Manhunt 2 a rating and let the public decide themselves if they want to play it. If people are worried about kids playing it they should do some parenting and not buy their kid the game. They could also use the parental lock feature on the console to stop games like Manhunt 2 even being playable. Some extra info for the Americans saying we ban everything, when the Hot Coffee thing hit no-one here in the UK cared. San Andreas wasn't taken off shelves and re-rated like it was in the US, Indigo Prophecy was un-censored here in the UK but the US version had the sex scenes removed, one last thing, AN AO RATING IS AS GOOD AS A BAN.

deshields538
deshields538

@ctg897: You have no idea how much we ban stuff dude. In fact this is the first game that has been banned here in ten years.

lamprey263
lamprey263

Porkinz; "Why does the esrb have an AO rating when stores refuse to carry it?" Good question. What I don't understand is why stores refuse to carry AO games. Gaming demographics have changed quite a bit since the stories when I was a kid about how angry mothers changed the face of gaming. Currently, as the ESA shows, 92% of computer game buyers and 80% of console game buyers are over 18 years of age. 86% of of kids who play games have parent permission when playing a game, 91% say their parents are present during purchases. Does the retail industry really think that parents are going to cause a massive boycott because Jack Thompson will go on Fox News and tell parents not to hit up GameCrazy or EB Games? Maybe Walmart might be intimidated, but anybody out to make money should see this policy has to be thought over.

MilkyJoe1
MilkyJoe1

Well its a good thing i dont like manhunt cos if this were a game i was looking forward to id be extremly pissed

lamprey263
lamprey263

Our Lady of Uncensored Violent Unwholesome Entertainment, pray for us :P

agg4000
agg4000

How come I can buy it on Amazon

Bakahashi
Bakahashi

Personally I could care care less if the game doesn't make it to British shores. The game never appealed to me. Looks like a B-Horror movie version of GTA without the fun or cars. That's just my opinion.

dryden555
dryden555

The game wont be any good if Manhunt 1 was any indication -- sorry to rain on the "we want our extra violent snuff videogame right now" parade.

reverendyates
reverendyates

lowenergycycle: You are right. I'm incapable of knowing the difference between reality and a video game. I'm not capable of forming my own opinion. I'm sure glad there is a group of people to tell me what i should and should not watch, read, play, or listen to. God bless censorship. Thinking for myself is too much work.

Micropanic
Micropanic

@Twinnie2: I would of had much more respect for your post, if you could of let off the abuse but then you don't know how to get your point across without making fun of other people right? *Now awaiting more verbal abuse* "The BBFC know damn well that people younger than 18 are gonna end up playing it" - So the rest of us have to suffer for other peoples retarded acts? I still find it odd that the people I know who played violent video games before they were 18 still progressed well in school, and most of them are now in University. The people who really do get affected in a bad way by video games, are so far and few between that it doesn't warrant to ban any game. I expect the kids who do get their hands on Manhunt 2 will play it, say "cool", "wow" and "wicked" (or whatever else they say now) when they see some gorey bit and then they'll reluctantly go to bed, get up and go to school... basically carrying on with their daily routine.

macabre190788
macabre190788

Rock on Rockstar. Manhunt 2, GTA 4 and L.A. Noire are all gonna be great.

diablobasher
diablobasher

PelekotansDream: The BBFC is neither a critic nor an opiion former, they are 'supposed to be' an impartial informer. However they take it upon themselves to censor, which should never have happened.

ctg867
ctg867

****ing UK. They ban everything. Democracy FTW. If Saw 3 and Hostel 2 can be rated R, which is 17+. Just like a M rating, which is also 17+, which makes them equivalents, then Manhunt 2 should absolutely be rated M, not AO, and not be ****ing banned anywhere. Pushing the X button to see a digital representation of somebody choking a guy is the same, if not less gruesome then watching a movie where real people react a scene, set up by a professional director, where one guys chokes another guy. Wild guess, this has to do with every government in the world not knowing **** about video games, so they try to ban it all. Which is why the ESRB is under fire, and this has nothing to do with the game or the content, just with the fact that it's Rockstar. Aka the guys who lost a bunch of money because the government doesn't understand that fact that using a third party device or a mod to alter the content in a game is against the user end agreement, and after that point Rockstar is no longer responsible. This happened with San Andreas and Oblivion.

Porkinz
Porkinz

Why does the esrb have an AO rating when stores refuse to carry it?