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."

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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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