December 10th, 2007, 19:17 Posted By: Shrygue
Following the British Board of Film Classification's rejection of Rockstar's controversial horror sequel Manhunt 2, the Video Appeals Committee has ruled in favour of the publisher's right to release the game in the UK, with a majority vote of four to three.
Previously, the BBFC had rejected both uncut and reworked submissions of the game for certification, effectively banning the game from sale in this country. Speaking to IGN, a Rockstar spokesperson was unable to confirm which version we can expect to see in stores if and when the title finally receives its long-awaited UK release. However, despite Rockstar's successful appeal, it's still possible the BBFC may decide to appeal the VAC's verdict, although the organization intends to review the full report before taking any further action.
Following news of the victory, Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick commented, "We are committed to making great interactive entertainment, while also marketing our products responsibly and supporting an effective rating system. We are pleased that the decision of the VAC has recognised that Manhunt 2 is well within the bounds established by other 18+ rated entertainment".
Meanwhile, David Cooke, director of the BBFC noted, "The BBFC twice rejected Manhunt 2 for its focus on varied and cumulative killings. We recognise that rejection is a very serious step, in which the desire of publishers to market their games, and that of gamers to buy them, must be balanced against the public interest, including the full range of possible harm risks to vulnerable individuals and to any children who may be wrongly exposed to such games. Such balancing judgements are inevitably complex and multi-faceted, and are made only after very careful consideration of the contents of a work. We played Manhunt 2 for well over 30 hours prior to our decision.
"The Board recognises that the available research findings on the effects of video games (including positive as well as harmful effects) are varied and contested. But we continue to believe that a broad approach to the possible risks is needed, which goes beyond purely behavioural harm, and which also takes account of other possible effects on the sensibilities and attitudes of individuals."
Cooke also revealed, "The BBFC will carefully study the judgement by the Video Appeals Committee when it becomes available."
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