The Church of England may sue electronics giant Sony in the latest video game-related row, reports the BBC. The Church claims that the PlayStation maker did not obtain proper permission to use the interior of Manchester Cathedral in its first-person PS3 shooter Resistance: Fall of Man.
The game is set in an alternative 1950s where World War II never happened, and follows army ranger Nathan Hale as he fights against an invasion by alien creatures called Chimeras. The game is set in the UK, the last European stronghold against the Chimeran invasion. One of the scenes involves Hale battling against the aliens inside Manchester Cathedral.
The Church is demanding that Sony apologises and removes the game in its current form from store shelves, or face legal action.
Bishop of Manchester Nigel McCulloch said, "For a global manufacturer to re-create one of our great cathedrals with photo-realistic quality and then encourage people to have gun battles in the building is beyond belief and highly irresponsible." The Bishop added that in light of Manchester's gun crime problems, the scene was especially inappropriate. The church even went as far as to call Sony's actions "desecration" according to a report in The Sunday Times.
Sony said in a statement that it was taking the Church's concerns very seriously, and would be contacting cathedral authorities today to discuss their concerns. The statement read, "Resistance: Fall of Man is a fantasy science fiction game and is not based on reality. We believe we have sought and received all permissions necessary for the creation of the game."
Sony's UK head of PR, David Wilson, added in an interview with The Sunday Times, "It is game-created footage, it is not video or photography. It is entertainment, like Doctor Who or any other science fiction." A recent episode of Doctor Who, "The Lazarus Experiment," featured a climactic battle in Somerset's Wells Cathedral.