Rockstar 'disappointed' by UK ban

Manhunt 2 developer responds to the BBFC's decision to refuse classification for the game in the UK.

Manhunt 2 yesterday became the second video game in UK history to be banned by the region's rating board, the British Board of Film Classification. The reasons given were that the game was "brutal" and featured "unremitting bleakness" and "casual sadism."

The Irish Film Censor's Office followed suit, and soon after the BBFC's statement, announced that it too would be banning the title in the Republic of Ireland, due to the "gross, unrelenting, and gratuitous violence."

Rockstar Games responded today with an official statement saying that it was "disappointed" by the BBFC's decision, and it "emphatically disagreed" with the ban.

The statement read, "Manhunt 2 is an entertainment experience for fans of psychological thrillers and horror. The subject matter of this game is in line with other mainstream entertainment choices for adult consumers."

The company continued that it believed all products should be rated to "allow the public to make informed choices." While Rockstar stated that it would of course respect the decision and the difference in opinion, "We hope they will also consider the opinions of the adult gamers for whom this product is intended."

The statement continued, "The stories in modern video games are as diverse as the stories in books, film and television. The adult consumers who would play this game fully understand that it is fictional interactive entertainment and nothing more."

In the United States, Manhunt 2 has been given an Adults Only rating. Although not an outright ban, the label would mean that the game would not be sold at many major American retailers, such as Wal-Mart, since they choose not to stock AO-rated games. Take-Two told GameSpot that it would be "exploring its options" regarding the rating.

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288 comments
DeNiRo_69
DeNiRo_69

this game will still come out dont get to disapointed guys lol in the mean time feel free to hunt and stalk and kill ppl in the real world while we wait.... :) *grabs his buzzsaw*

zz1234v2
zz1234v2

I don't get why things like Saw III don't get this kinda crap i mean those are real people portrayed as dieing in the most gruesome, jacked up, and all around wrong ways of dieing. I mean this is a poligonic figure someone made up its not like its actually happening.

pinthepimp
pinthepimp

Saw Trilogy was excellent..Manhunt 2 seems to be more structured then the original..more point to the violence if you know what I mean. Take a look at Scarface for instance..you have to use different types of swearing to further your game experience, seems a little crude to me. I'll settle for RE4 on Wii til Rockstar tone down the content in Manhunt..As for it not being released on Xbox360/PS3, i think Take Two are trying to appeal to the largest audience (i'll bet the Wii has more users then Xbox360 by Christmas '07.) And you don't need flashy visuals to tell a story..(look at God of War II) and if it was on X360/PS3 that would give the BBFC even more reason to ban it..the gore would really look life like! As for who creates what sort of game/film/entertainment medium and who listens to it...it's upto them isn't it ? I've always believed in a rating system for games the same that movies currently have, make sure the parents are aware (Many parents still don't understand content of some games is as bad or worse then some films.) and enforce those standards. I think 'M' for mature is a little low for this title to be honest, no-one under the age of 18 should play it. I think Nintendo's statement of 'Any games developer that wants to develop for our Console is welcome to do so, whatever the content, within reason' missed some people's attention. Or words close to that effect. Godfather is on Wii, RE4 is on Wii from 30/06 (UK) Nintendo realise to make money they need to attract the adult demograph not just kids. For everyone moanin about this being violent, then don't play it. Go play tiddlywinks or watch the News about the atrocities in afghanistan or elsewhere in the world, I'm sure you'll find it's not any less brutal.

gronmonster
gronmonster

good ridance to a sadistic game...what sorta twisted indivdual wanted to create a game of this nature?...same to the saw trilogy etc......there must be something serious wrong with these people to want to create 'entertainment' like this. I can't see how anyone can defend it.

j0eyb
j0eyb

CLeRKSfan4life @ j0eyb "i think this game would of been beter suited to xbox 360 n ps3 i mean the wii is basicly a kids console n its hardly a kids game." First off, the Wii is not a kids console and the reason games like Manhunt 2 are being released for the Wii prove this. "I don't agree with the ban seeing though its so hard to buy 18 games if your under age" Also, this statement is pretty much false. I've been buying games myself since I was around 12 - 13 and around this age I was buying games like Doom, Duke Nukem, GTA 3, etc and never once got asked about my age. I've only been refused a game with an 18 rating once (can't remember which game). It is now they got new rules i bought gta VC and SA when they came out n i was no way 18 but now i look 18 they wouldn't let me buy saints row so my friend tryed who is 21 and he had ID but they still wouldnt because it wasn't good enough proof lol its becaue if they get caught selling to under age they get fined and its not the shop its the person who solt it you

SilentHillX
SilentHillX

-guitarded_zombi You are correct indeed.

cyberkap-JL_QGJ
cyberkap-JL_QGJ

Unfortunately, this all is being blown out of proportion. The meat of the problem is fools who complain about these games and children, while the only TRUE line of defence is the parent not letting their child play it. I know lots of parents who let their kids do anything and will buy them violent games rated M when the child is like only 8, which of course most children of that age are not mentally prepared for viewing of such content. I could write a book about all of this crap, but I'll just say this. People in general are stupid. That's really the answer to a lot of questions. And for those who just complain because it is what it is, they don't have to play it and anyone who is an adult shouldn't be affected by this game mentally, unless they are already mentally unstable, which this still shouldn't change their capability to cruely murder someone and if they were going to do something as dispicable they would probably have done so or planned to do so even if they did not play this game. Talk about a run on sentence.

guitarded_zombi
guitarded_zombi

I heard one of their reasons was how the killings were pushing the boundaries of sadism....well...the saw trilogy? the hostel films? Sadism cowers in the corner of satans rectum on those films. In terms of being fair and just this decision is pathetic.

V-Nine
V-Nine

Wonder if this will prompt a game where you hunt down censors.

dan-man2
dan-man2

I'm not gonna lose sleep over this, the first manhunt wasn't even that good

mrvic87
mrvic87

goddessakasha They have that attitude because this kind of media is available in other formats. There isn't anything wrong with a game rated "AO". So the hell what!! It is intended for adults, not kids. It is the parents' responsibility to prevent their kids from purchasing this game. Rockstar should not edit anything to please console makers. Console makers are simply violating Rockstars' right to freedom of art!!! Since there isn't much of an audience for AO rated games, their sales figures would dramatically be impacted and thus, Rockstar won't release an AO rated game in the future. All this talk about AO games having no place on consoles is just BS!!! If you want to play family oriented games, or games with mild humor or violence, that is your preference. Other gamers should have that same right to play games to their own preferences.

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

its banned in the UK, was never banned in the US, just got a AO rating

El_Esbirro
El_Esbirro

So...now it's AO rating...it's fine cuz this game i assume it's pretty gruesome, but the fact that now to buy the game, i have to go thru a whole "quest for entertainment" sort of deal, makes it kinda tedious and painfull...for my pocket in this case. So i will play the waiting game and hopefully this game will fall somehow on a used game bin, i will get it for $9. Yes, i know the game is on AO rating, so probably chances are the game won't be released or the game will be on limited edtion...but hope is the last thing anyone should loose. On the ban issue...well Rockstar is always pushing the envelope and it was a matter of time for something like this to happen. Rockstar must find a way to make the great action games they make, but tone it down a little bit on the violence part. I believe that could work. Now banning it for the children, it's ok....but to ban the game even for adults, it's kinda goofy. Adults are capable of making their own decisions. Unless you are actually a psychokiller, then please indeed stay away from this game before you go in a frantic dillusional rage. For the rest of us, who are not under that category, we should have all the rights to play that game. Rockstar try and work something out for your violent games, the banning dudes..hey we are GROWN UPS! we can handle it.

GonzoGuy
GonzoGuy

This kind of startled me too. I expected it to be banned in the US first. UK generally has more nudity, foul language, and generally mature themes in their entertainment. Or is it the violence? Hmmm?

Andron666
Andron666

Oh, the frigging humanity ;) Why the harsh reactions to Rockstar's games ? Why didn't anyone complain about games like The Suffering, Condemned and so on. It smacks of politics all the way....

goddessakasha
goddessakasha

You know, I'm really sick of Rockstar and their "Ohnoes we're banned, why??" attitude. They make these heavily heavily controversial games, what do they expect? Suck it up and deal with it, that's what happens when you make games like this!!! Stop trying to play the video game martyr.

NazzyQ
NazzyQ

"Manhunt 2 yesterday became the second video game in UK history to be banned by the region's rating board" What was the 1st game to get banned? Just curious....

aaronavery
aaronavery

ttys0- Im with you on this one British Board of Film Classification 3 Soho Square London W1D 3HD Damn them!

stevenj05
stevenj05

i hope it stays AO cause i want it to be more gruesome then the first....the kills were awesome....

Meecha
Meecha

"movies = passive involvement games = active involvement I know it might be a difficult concept for you to understand" not when the book that became a film called 'the collective' had a cult following that consisted of mass murderers dont remember manhunt having that

ttys0
ttys0

Who are these imbeciles who are self-ordained with 'the power' to decide that a game (yes, a GAME) is unsuitable for the public's consumption? They go under the name of BBFC and pretend to do the country a good service. I suppose they have to justify their existence now and again, and the computer game market is where they point their guns these days. We would be better off without them, allowing game players to make their own decisions. Join me and voice your complaint to the following address: British Board of Film Classification 3 Soho Square London W1D 3HD Damn them!

maverick_razor
maverick_razor

Behlazur, You are quite right I have not played the game, but neither have you. I do know the storyline and agree on paper that it sounds extremely interesting, however the question is how much is the story driving the action. The BBFC seem to think that the entire setting is just a vehicle for the game's violence. Considering they are one of the few who have actually played the game and given their liberal attitudes in the past, (this is only the second game they have ever refused to rate, the other been Carmageddon), I would have to put my faith in them.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

I bet Rockstar's shareholders aren't too impressed right now

Meecha
Meecha

"oOo_GH0ST_oOo im glad this game is banned, manhunt the bigest pile of crap, i couldnt even play it, it was soooo bad and distastful and im a BIG horror fan, but this was taken a little to far me thinks" In other words, you where rubbish at it

adam2987
adam2987

We should be able to make up our own minds about the game!

gandalf_storm
gandalf_storm

its not coming to the states now either unless i misunderstood the other post, sony any nintendo forbid AO only games, cant believe its much worse then the original, doesnt stop parents still buying it thought for their little kids :)

neoplazma
neoplazma

I don;t agree with cencorship fullstop. Its only there to stop the government being scared we're gonna chop everyone's heads of :p

Solid_RAG
Solid_RAG

/point /laugh hahahaha glad I live in the states

Lilac_Benjie
Lilac_Benjie

I live in the UK, but I will be in the states on the day that this game is released, so I'll pick up a copy then. ^_^

lanista
lanista

"Zamille I agree with an AO rating in the States, but in the UK (where I live), the games should be rated 18. If I wan't to play a game in the comfort of my own home (not affecting anyone else, put that there after reading some comments on here) I should be able to. Does the BBFC think that only their employees can distinguish between fiction/fantasy with reality?" The problem is that many people here are arguing they feel capable of making a decision about whether the game is okay for them. Some of those same people could then also decide it's okay for them to decide that say 15 year olds can play the game, and so the age restriction is bypassed. A lot of people seem to find no fault with their own actions, and even blame others as an excuse, and so crimes and violent crimes are on the increase. Unlike Germany (such as with the beheadings in Ninja Gaiden), it's quite rare to find the UK objecting to material, so it must be fairly severe. That said, these days the trend is towards a more conservative stance. They analyse a LOT of material, so have more experience in comparing and making those kind of decisions. Remember the 'snuff' movies of the 1980s? Some people also find 'happy slapping' a bit of a joke too, even though innocent people are killed...

Ghetto_ninja
Ghetto_ninja

Well I am sure everyone that mocked the UK over their banning of Manhunt 2 is feeling pretty dumb right now(me included in fact don't even read my post).

Easystepping
Easystepping

I feel that this is wrong because it also relates to the kingdom hearts Japan and US problem. Just because people are in other countries doesnt mean they shouldnt have the same games as us.

Psyclown
Psyclown

IMO this is just downright facist. I can''t stand it anymore that all the big organisations are opposing their will on us all. If this keeps going on I'm afraid it will only get worse in the next ten years. Freedom doesn't exist anymore.

danpc
danpc

i enjoyed the first one (though i wouldn't say the game was amazing or anything), i think it's a shame they have banned this, but dont worry you'll be ale to get your hands on it easy enough

TehPickle
TehPickle

I also don't believe any of this nonsense of "passive" and "active" involvement in entertainment that folks like bonafidetk (a little further down the comments) are trying to peddle so sarcastically. If that was considered true justification for Manhunt being vilefied like it is, then where the hell do you draw the line? Any game featuring any violence what-so-ever? Like I keep trying to say, an individuals concept of "going too far" is entirely subject to personal opinion. I honestly can't believe - and I can't believe I'm using this term - "REAL gamer" can agree with that "scientific" clap-trap. Haven't we all been staunch defenders of this artform for years? Haven't we all been trying to tell our parents that GTA is *just* a game? That Mortal Kombat is *just* a game? That Carmageddon is *just* a game? It should all be taken with a mound of salt. Manhunt is no way, shape or form different - irrespective of the subject matter.

TehPickle
TehPickle

oOo_GH0ST_oOo How can a self-proclaimed "BIG horror fan" say when any form of fictitious horror is going too far? It's all subjective to personal opinion. To be glad of something being banned just because YOU don't like it is terribly narrow-minded.

oOo_GH0ST_oOo
oOo_GH0ST_oOo

im glad this game is banned, manhunt the bigest pile of crap, i couldnt even play it, it was soooo bad and distastful and im a BIG horror fan, but this was taken a little to far me thinks

tresdizzle
tresdizzle

I feel u j0eyb, but the next gen graphics would look so realistic that the ESRB and friends would have a massive heart attack!

tresdizzle
tresdizzle

So Murpheus007 I guess you dont watch any horror or action films huh? Do you let your kids play M rated games? The point is M rated means mature so if your children are mentally retarded or have known social(sociopath) issues they shouldnt even play T rated games, until they obtain proper counceling. Hell they probably shouldnt watch the cartoon network either. I think if rockstar came out with their own Viva Pinate critics would still try to veto them out of existance. Stop hatin on Rockstar they rock!

deth420
deth420

Rockstar needs to make alot of sweet games and tell the uk to go f**k themselves and refuse to ship or sell any to them

carrierj1
carrierj1

I'm going to let the BBFC discern fantasy from reality up close and personal!

rynmls
rynmls

cmon man, don't be such a wussy

dark_rage864
dark_rage864

Who agrees: Ok they banned manhunt 2 in the UK but this is very stupid because we know that kids ain't going to play but bad things did happen in the first game when real murders came by the influence of the game. But who really gives a damn! it's there lives and we ain't going to go to our next door neighbours and stab them to death unless if mental issues lol. I think the BBFC should bring OUT another rating after (18) or something like 18X or 18R to make the game very restricted towards people who are younger.

Behlazur
Behlazur

maverick_razor "I think the majority of people here are missing the point. The BBFC have not banned this game for its gratuitous violence, but for the fact that is doesn't have any real context, no raison d'etre, aside from a drtive towards endless violence. This lack of any real emotional of social connection between game and reality is the reason they have done this. It worries me that a large number of people seem to believe that this kind of entertainment does not come with any caveats." How do you know it's real? Did you play the game? The story of the game is known: A guinea-pig from a secret scientific project is sent in an asylum for years, and tries to escape during a riot, concerned about his own sanity. Now WTF do you mean with "it doesn't have a context, a raison d'etre"? The story is brilliant, a la Silent Hill (or Jacob's Ladder, if you want a non-videogame example): Danny questions his sanity, the reality of what's happening to him, the intentions of his captors, etc. The game does have a context, and it is this context that drives the game's violence: you don't know if you're playing as a demented psychopath or simply as someone who tries to save his own skin. And those are things you can know only from the trailers and press releases, and it looks damn brilliant. So the arguments of the BBFC (and those of the ESRB as well, for that matter) fall flat.

Depresso
Depresso

You don't become a classic just because you're banned ! For that you've got to be good too. And the Wii is a console for everybody but due to the innovative control you won't find easy ports from the xbox and ps3, the really good games have to be exclusive and if they were ports I wished they'd leave them alone and playable like the others instead of forcing the new controls to us.

The_Holydevil
The_Holydevil

abs - there is no point in starting a patition, this is the goverment, not some spineless developer who will easily be swayed.

Zamille
Zamille

I agree with an AO rating in the States, but in the UK (where I live), the games should be rated 18. If I wan't to play a game in the comfort of my own home (not affecting anyone else, put that there after reading some comments on here) I should be able to. Does the BBFC think that only their employees can distinguish between fiction/fantasy with reality?