Are you looking forward to playing Manhunt 2 when it launches at the end of the month?
Don’t hold your breath if you reside in the UK.
As has been widely reported, in June the British Board of Film Classification banned the original version of Manhunt 2 from UK shores.
Publisher Rockstar initially said it planned to appeal the ban, but instead submitted an edited version of the controversial game in hopes of obtaining clearance to sell Manhunt 2 to those 18 and older.
While the editing approach succeeded in North America, where Manhunt 2 was downgraded from a sales-killing AO (Adults Only) rating to a more marketable (M) Mature, such is not the case across the Atlantic. There the BBFC has once again rejected the game.
Said BBFC Director David Cooke:
We recognise that the distributor has made changes to the game, but we do not consider that these go far enough to address our concerns about the original version. The impact of the revisions on the bleakness and callousness of tone, or the essential nature of the gameplay, is clearly insufficient. There has been a reduction in the visual detail in some of the ‘execution kills’, but in others they retain their original visceral and casually sadistic nature.
We did make suggestions for further changes to the game, but the distributor has chosen not to make them, and as a result we have rejected the game on both platforms. The decision on whether or not an appeal goes ahead lies with the distributor.
So what will Rockstar do now?
Editing the game further could make playing Manhunt 2 as pointless as watching the sanitized-for-television version of Friday the 13th.
Gamespot has Rockstar’s reaction:
We are continuing to appeal the BBFC’s decision to deny the edited version of Manhunt 2 an 18 certificate and thereby ban its release in the United Kingdom.
The changes necessary in order to publish the game in Britain are unacceptable to us and represent a setback for video games. The BBFC allows adults the freedom to decide for themselves when it comes to horror in movies and we think adults should be similarly allowed to decide for themselves when it comes to horror in video games, such as Manhunt 2.
-Reporting from San Diego, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen