Report: Sega Cooperating with BBFC to Avoid Manhunt 2-like Ban in U.K.

Given the pre-release backlash from media watchdogs over the level of violence depicted in Sega’s upcoming Wii title Madworld, publisher Sega is said to be in touch with officials of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and Pan-European Gaming Information system (PEGI) in an effort to head off the type of outright ban imposed on Rockstar Games’ controversial Manhunt 2 last year.

Nintendic reports on the dialogue between Sega and the ratings bodies. Of particular significance is the BBFC. The organization was behind the Manhunt 2 ban, which was later overturned by Britain’s High Court. More recently government officials have indicated that their preference is to turn the U.K.’s game rating chores over to the BBFC. The British game industry, however, would prefer PEGI.

Nintendic quotes Sega exec  David Corless:

Yes, [Madworld’s] violent. We don’t try to hide that, but as publishers, we see it as a fantasy game – it’s fantasy violence. It’s over the top. It’s cartoony. We also take the violence very seriously. We are working with the age rating boards, with PEGI and with BBFC. We’re not at the end of the game’s development, but we’re working with them now to make sure that we don’t go over the top. The game has been banned in Germany; there’s no getting around that unfortunately. But we are taking it seriously and we’re going to make sure that this game is rated for the appropriate audience.

 

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45 comments

  1. TBoneTony ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Considering that it took Rockstar all this time with Manhunt 2, it seemes that the entire Videogame Industry is becomming gutless and really REALLY afraid of causing controversy.

     

    in the end, no matter how hard to try, you will ALWAYS find people who are offended.

     

    When I make games, I will know what to do and what not to do, and know that I am the only one who decides what I will have in my games regardless of any ratings body trying to censor me.

     

    Being in Australia is hard enough….

     

    But it is important to know where to stand sometimes than to be afraid of the BBFC banning your game.

     

    SEGA are just too afraid to make mistakes because it would mean a loss of money that they can’t afford to resubmit a game to the BBFC a second time.

     

     

  2. davc4 says:

    Doesnt this happen anyway,  Developers/Publishers working with the ratings board to see where their title will fit in and how to ensure it gets the rating they want.
    It’s just more public this time.

  3. shadaik says:

    And indeed, it has not been banned, Sega is wrong here. It is not possible for anything to be banned in Germany before release. They could be denied an age rating, but it has not been banned yet – that would be against the German constitution that clearly says that banning can only happen after first publishment.

  4. Anonymous says:

    At least they aren’t going to censor the U. S. version unless you have to rip off a guy’s testicles like in Manhunt 2.

  5. Dark Sovereign says:

    THERE IS NO ENTITY IN THE UNITED STATES WHO CENSORS VIDEO GAMES! JESUS CHRIST, WHY DO I HAVE TO KEEP POUNDING THAT OUT?!

  6. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Yeah, it’s a shitty deal for the industry, but eventually enough game players would get pissed off enough that they’d stop buying, and with the boycot method they’d get pissed off at the Government for denying them their games. It’ll never happen though. The Game industry is a bussiness above all else.

     

    -Entertainment isn’t the reason the world sucks. It’s the reason we know the world sucks. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard researchers Larry Kutner&Cheryl Olson

  7. BlindJustice15 says:

    They shouldn’t HAVE to cooperate with them. To me, this is more than a video game issue. It’s a human rights issue. Someone needs to go to the UN about the whole censorship issue and convince them to add excessive censorship as a crime against humanity punishable by at least some time in prison for the perpetrators, or expulsion from the UN if it’s bad enough, *cough* Germany *cough*.

  8. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Doesn’t SEGA understand that this doesn’t work? YOU CAN NOT REASON WITH THESE TYPES OF PEOPLE. They want everything to be portrayed all pleasant and cheerfull, but when that’s what you give ’em, they bitch about "misrepresenting" things. They will always find something to bitch about. Always. Honestly, I hope they cut the game up and it gets banned anyway, just so they learn not to reason with the kinds of people who spend their time looking for anything to cry about.

     

    Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. HOLD THE LINE. DO NOT BUDGE.

     

    Dumbasses…

     

    -Entertainment isn’t the reason the world sucks. It’s the reason we know the world sucks. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard researchers Larry Kutner&Cheryl Olson

  9. Matthew says:

    The “highest common tolerance” approach doesn’t work. Suppose the games industry shuts out the US for the sexual censorship, Germany for banning nazi references, China for anything that disagrees with the party line, the UK and Australia for protesting violent content… That doesn’t leave a lot of sales.

  10. DaveC says:

    "We’re not at the end of the game’s development, but we’re working with them now to make sure that we don’t go over the top."

    That is a perfect example of a chilling effect.  Textbook.

  11. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    SEGA, you have dissapointed me again…ehh…

    The entire game industry should refuse to release games or consoles to the UK and Australia until this shit stops…in the end, they (UK and Australia) will be better off.

     

    -Entertainment isn’t the reason the world sucks. It’s the reason we know the world sucks. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block & Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, by Harvard researchers Larry Kutner&Cheryl Olson

  12. Geoff ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Interesting how the game is already banned in Germany when it hasn’t even been finished yet.  That can’t bode well for German gamers.  What’s next, they’ll ban a game based on the title alone before any screenshots are released?

    This whole article is a pretty good example of why I dislike the government getting involved with any form of entertainment/art.  It just becomes another "selling point" if you will for when elections roll around.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Then why did they have to not only remove the worst testicle-related executions, but also blur ALL executions and remove several decapitations/head disintigrations? As well as shorten the dentist chair execution to get rid of the tooth pulling.

  14. Dark Sovereign says:

    Uh-huh, testicles. Like, chopping them off. That’s the problem. That would be why Manhunt 2 got the AO rating. Funny thing, the AO rating isn’t a ban. The ESRB has no power other than to issue ratings. The game companies ban AO content on their consoles, not the ESRB. Go see for yourself. The only game that didn’t have a sexual component was a game where you actually gambled.

  15. shady8x says:

    Would these be the authorities searching your house?

    or the ones blocking your entrance to court rooms?(cause you ‘figuratively’ threatened to blow up court houses… with threats of making some explicit pictures come true…)

    or the cyber crimes devision tracking than spam machine which is you? By the way, how did you ever get away with spamming public websites (which are frequented by minors studing law) with pictures of gay porn?

     

    Or are you talking about that crossing guard near your house that always helps feeble minded persons of age across the street, you know the one that helps you…

  16. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    A great planet huh? How many trees have you killed in the process of your fax machine killing spree?

    Also, which authorities? Or are you being vague in the slim hope none of us will find out? I mean, being so proud of it I’m sure you’d be eager to name who you’re supposedly working with.

  17. sortableturnip says:

    This isn’t the real Jack…this is a UK issue and he’s working with the authorities….JT wannabe EPIC FAIL!

  18. E. Zachary Knight says:

    You mean with the authorities in charge of your disbarment, making sure that it goes smoothly and there are minimal interuptions.

    But of course you are a liar and probably consider "working with authorities" to mean spamming the FBI and the Supreme Court with you inane ramblings.

    E. Zachary Knight
    http://www.editorialgames.com
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/okceca
    Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1325674091


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  19. Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    A little algebra problem for you Jack

     

    Jack Thompson + Is this a great "A" or what + B trivial action + time = Failure

     

    Have you ever noticed that everytime you say that that afterwards whatever trival filing or letter you write always ends in failure.  Not often ends in failure.  Always.  Or are you pattern recognition skills that underdeveloped?

  20. JackJackJack says:

    And I’m working with authorities as well.  Is this a great planet or what?  Hooah!  Jack Thompson

  21. Dark Sovereign says:

    The distinction is absent in the United States. The only time state is used is to refer to one of the fifty landmasses composing our nation. In the U.S., anything that makes or orders enforcement of laws is considered either the government itself or an arm of the government.

  22. Gus Tav Too says:

    (Note to the British: I say "government" because the BBFC needs government power to enforce these bans. Without it, threats of refused rating are worthless.)

    Even though you have taken great pains to explain your usage it is, unfortunately, incorrect. The power to enforce the law is not that of Government, but that of the State. The power of the State is exercised through Parliament who enacted the VRA 1984. That is the source of the BBFC’s current responsibility. Once Parliament has enacted legislation it is the responsibility of the Government to ensure it is properly enforced.

    The BBFC’s responsibility to the Govt. is therefore trangential.

  23. Dark Sovereign says:

    See, this is something worth attention. Here we have an honest to God government threatening free expression.

    (Note to the British: I say "government" because the BBFC needs government power to enforce these bans. Without it, threats of refused rating are worthless.)

  24. kurisu7885 (can't log in) says:

    He likes to insert himself into anything that he thinks MIGHT hurt the game industry and by extension Take Two.

    Basically, he’s the guy nobody invites but shows up anyway.

  25. sortableturnip says:

    You know, if they were handing out gold medals for failure, JT would be the Michael Phelps of attorneys.

  26. Father Time says:

    I didn’t notice that. Perhaps this is a case of saying two opposite so that both groups (gamers with bloodlust and censors) will be satisfied. Or maybe they just mean they won’t go over the top in terms of realism, who knows.

  27. NovaBlack says:

    ‘It’s over the top…’

     

    ‘but we’re working with them now to make sure that we don’t go over the top’

     

    wha? its ok because its over the top, but your working with them so you dont go over the top? How can ‘over the top ‘ be both a defence and a thing to avoid in the same sentence. lol im confused.

  28. Father Time says:

    I don’t know, possibly for the same reason you don’t find gta mods that add children (well at least I haven’t found any).

  29. Adaptor ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well, it’s Sega’s fault for buying in to all this nonsense. If you’re making a violent game, make a freaking violent game. Apparently for them sales are more important than freedom of expression. Maybe that’s normal for a publisher but as a designer I would feel a bit cheated when my publisher went out to suck up to ratings organizations and some of my ideas had to go. Especially when it’s a bunch of hypocrites they’re sucking up to..

  30. Dark Sovereign says:

    The ESRB and, to my knowledge, PEGI, have both avoided the situation you’ve described. The AO rating exists almost exclusively for expliticit or near-explicit sexual content.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Games designers do that without rating systems. When was the last time you saw a child in any Grand Theft Auto game?

  32. Anonymous says:

    And that is why the BBFC sucks.  *Shakes head*  Did they ever unban Manhunt 2 over there though, or is it still banned?

  33. Tarosan says:

    I call it artistic myself but fantasy violence will do… unlike the findings of the Daily Mail (Tripe)

     When Life gives you lemons, you find a new god.

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