British gamers with an urge to play Manhunt 2 will now have their chance.
As reported by The Guardian, a ban placed on Rockstar’s gory sequel last summer has been lifted by the Video Appeals Committee (VAC). The game was originally refused classification – essentially, banned – by the British Board of Film and Literature Classification on June 19th of last year. At the same time, the ESRB slapped an Adults Only rating on Manhunt 2, negating its viability as a commercial product in the United States.
In October the BBFC also rejected a toned-down version of the game, although the edited edition was able to gain a M (17 and older) rating from the ESRB for the U.S. market.
In December, Rockstar won its appeal before the VAC, but the BBFC appealed that decision to England’s High Court. The Court ruled that the VAC should reconsider the issue. That has now taken place and the VAC’s decision means Manhunt 2 can be sold in the U.K. with an 18+ rating. Addressing the decision, a Rockstar statement read in part:
We are pleased that the VAC has reaffirmed its decision recognising that Manhunt 2 is well within the bounds established by other 18+ rated entertainment.
Lawrence Abramson, an attorney who represented Rockstar during the legal proceedings, added:
The [BBFC] system works in films, but the gameplaying experience is different.