While the U.K. ban on Manhunt 2 ultimately failed, it certainly wasn’t for a lack of trying on the part of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).
The content rating organization fought tooth and nail for the better part of a year to keep Rockstar’s game from being sold. Some say the campaign may have tarnished the organization’s credibility.
Said Darren Waters, editor of BBC News’ technology index:
The grudging nature of the BBFC’s statement, that it now has “no alternative” but to grant the title a certificate, coupled with the fact the body went to the High Court, twice rejected the game itself and tried to overturn the original judgment of the VAC leaves the organisation with its credibility bruised.
TechDigest’s Jonathan Weinberg weighs in with his thoughts:
The argument here is not whether Manhunt 2 is bloody, brutal, sick or whatever superlative people want to choose. What it shows is that the current certification system the Government can’t wait to get involved in is not worth the paper it is written on.
With the BBFC’s value under scrutiny and alleged consumer confusion over UK games that sport two rating certificates, one from the BBFC and one from the European rating body PEGI, could the British rating board’s future be in jeopardy? Waters suspects that could be the case as early as next week:
Dr Tanya Byron is expected to deliver her report into video games, violence and children [on March 27th] and I understand she favours handing the job to PEGI. The BBFC’s dogged fight to ban Manhunt 2, even though industry figures lined up to defend the title, might come back to haunt it.
-Reporting from San Diego, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen