GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

January 9, 2009 -

No surprise here.

The British Board of Film Classification has assigned an 18 rating to the upcoming Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars.

No edits to the game were required, although the BBFC issued warnings that GTA Chinatown Wars "contains very strong language and drug references".

The game is scheduled for a March 20th release in the UK.

UPDATE: GameSpot notes that the 18 rating assigned to GTA Chinatown Wars is the first ever assigned to a DS game by the BBFC. The game's rating for the North American market is not yet listed on the website of the ESRB.


Comments

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

I don't like shooting down ideas without offering solutions

evden eve nakliyat evden eve nakliye evden eve nakliyeci evden eve

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

They would keep the polititions and congress happy.

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Thats because sex isn't seen as the ultimate evil like it is here in America.

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

And it's worth remembering that too as everyone seems quick to castigate the BBFC over Manhunt 2 (which was also restricted by the ERSB), yet it remains one of the most sensible certification agencies in the world over games (it accepts that sexual content is allowed in games and that sex does not mean an instant 18).

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

The ESRB did not restrict the game; it only rated it Adults Only (granted, that has a near-ban effect).  The BBFC actually refused to rate Manhunt 2.

Subtle difference to be sure but an important one nonetheless.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

In the retail world the AO rating is pretty much a ban though. No stores will carry it and no console makers will allow it on their systems.

 "No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Very true.  An AO game could be sold online for the PC but that's about it.

The difference between the ESRB and BBFC is the former's AO rating is not intended to ban a title (although the ESRB seems to bury its head in the sand about the fact that it pretty much does).  The BBFC has an 18 rating the legally can't be sold to minors but can still refuse to rate a game for the sole purpose of banning it.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

But it's the fact that the ERSB know that an AO rating is pretty much a ban, and use the rating as a get out clause to avoid any controversy over censorship, it's called "having your cake and eating it". The did it with both GTA: SA and Manhunt 2.

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Are you insinuating that the ESRB is deliberately using the AO rating to create a de facto ban on certain games?  I hope not.  There IS no controversy over censorship with the ESRB, because it's not their fault that retailers won't carry AO-rated games.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

I'm not insinuating, I'm saying that they do. It would be ignorant to say that they have no idea of what the consequences will be, and they base their decisions on knowing what outcome a certain rating would give.

There have been arguments that the ERSB rate many games at M instead of AO so that they can get sold in the shops, I would be partially inclined to agree, but the ERSB really only uses AO for games that contain PG rated and above sexual content (the exceptions being Thrill Kill and Manhunt 2).

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

"...they base their decisions on knowing what outcome a certain rating would give."

That's incredibly presumptuous.  Of course they know what the ramifications are, but they ultimately base their decisions on the game's content.  Look up their criteria for rating games Adult-Only, and then think of how many games sold in the U.S. truly fell under that category.  There just aren't that many, so how can you make that assumption with a sample size that small?

Not only that, but how would the ESRB directly benefit from creating a virtua-ban on certain games?

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

I'd say it's possible the ESRB could be pulling out the AO now and then just to say to the public, "See?  We're not afraid to use our highest rating!"  On the other hand, I don't entirely disagree with Manhunt 2 earning an Adults Only rating.

I don't believe the ESRB ever uses the AO to willfully (almost) ban certain titles nor do I believe it occasionally assigns an M to make sure a game hits stores.  There's no benefit to the ESRB either way.

I've spoken to some ESRB folks a couple times and I truly get the sense that it sees the ramifications of an AO rating entirely outside its control.  Which is true but on the other hand, as you said, the ESRB knows what those ramifications are.  Knowing that, why would it knowingly circumvent its own mission statement (helping consumers make informed purchasing decisions) by continuing the use of a rating that gives the consumers no choice?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Because it's not their fault the AO rating creates a no-choice situation.  They have a set criteria for rating games, and they have to follow their own rules.  The alternative is people like Lieberman jumping back into the fray.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

That's true; it's not the ESRB's fault.  Still, the continued use of the AO rating does circumvent the ESRB's own mission statement and I think it should do something to correct that.  For example, change the name of the AO rating.  Something as simple as that might work.  Or, simply get rid of the AO rating and create additional content descriptors to substitute.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

I think that would've worked prior to any controversy.  Now, since retailers are gun-shy about stocking AO games, I believe they'd just refuse to carry games with the replacement rating, or ones with specific content descriptors.

I'd also be willing to bet critics will accuse the big bad corporate-funded ESRB of trying to muddle the situation just to sell more "torture porn" to the kiddies.

I don't like shooting down ideas without offering solutions, but I don't believe the problem is as big as some people think.  There are tons of great games out there for the playing, and it's not like you unequivocally CAN'T get your hands on an AO game if you really want one.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

I unequivocally CAN'T get my hands on a copy of the AO rated version of Manhunt 2.

You're right, though.  My solutions might not work.  But one thing I'm sure of is that something needs to change.  Some game creators are being forced to censor themselves in order to avoid a certain rating.  That's not right.  It's not fair to the creators and it's not fair to the consumers.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Yes the AO rating is supposed to be an uncensored rating yet you can't get your hands on those games. The ERSB is in a position where it can impose an AO rating and then say that it's not its fault that retailers and game companies refuse to carry the rating, yet at the same time it offers no solution to this issue. Ths retailers and games companies won't change their attitude to the AO rating and it seems ironic that the games companies who refuse to release AO don't want their games given the rating because they will have to ban the game themselves.

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

You know what's really ironic?

Major companies like Sony, MS, and Nintendo claiming they have games for gamers of all ages while at the same time refusing to license adult rated titles.

Okay, so that's less ironic and more hypocritical but still...

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

1) Why is it their responsibility to offer a solution when it's not their fault in the first place?

2) You still haven't given a reason why the ESRB would deliberately use the AO rating to censor games.

3) It's the ESRB, not the ERSB.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

I don't know why people assume that just because the BBFC wouldn't pass Manhunt 2, that they are going to start banning other games. The BBFC unlike the ERSB has never forced any cuts to be made to any GTA game, it had no problem with the mild sex game called Hot Coffee, which the ERSB had.

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

With the release of Chinatown Wars, expect a certain ex-attorney to have his 2 useless cents.

When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Look 3 posts above yours, he already has >.<

"Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson'll justify it in the end." - nightwng2000

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Where is the violence in the BBFC rating??? :P Or since its 2D and the graphics not as realistic as the 360 an PS3 not warrent that???

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

This doesn't seem news worthy. Must be a slow day. Although i did notice that the rating wasn't due to the violence but only the bad language and drug references. Seems odd.

 "No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

A Jack Thompson post about blocking the sale of GTA to kids in a thread connected to a story about age restrictions on games which informs you of my video game bill to age restrict the sale of games is "off topic?"  Are you on crystal meth, or what?  Jack Thompson 

AE:  If you had anything to say other than "I'm going to introduce a constitutionally bulletproof bill!  Can you guess in which state?" I'd leave it stand.

As I've said before: "If you have details on a new bit of video game legislation please don't hesitate to forward it to GP."

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Wait, that was Jack? Holy shit. 

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Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

"Are you on crystal meth, or what?"

Classy, but of course, thats typical Jack Thompson for you.

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Well, since this is about the British release, yes, your american law has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand.

You just can't stop, can you Jack? You stayed away for a couple weeks, but you just had to come back, just once, huh? You should see someone about your addiction to this website.

David Gagnon, Mature Adult, and You're Not.

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Wait, that was jack? ooooh that explains the 10+ posts

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Jack fought the law and the law won.

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

does your bill take effect in Britian? Didn't think so.

my video game bill to age restrict the sale of games

including E-rated games? That's why your bill will fail

oh, and Blagojevich shared your opinions about GTA. Way to support those who supported you

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

AE:  Off topic.  I've also deleted the other nine off topic posts.

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

nine others wow, this guy must really hate Blagoavich

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

AE:  Off topic.

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

AE:  Off Topic

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Nothing to see here folks, move along.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Didin't Dementium and Touch the Dead come out in the UK? Those should be 18c...

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

 Well, at least they didn't just randomly ban this Rockstar title for no discernable reason. Maybe the BBFC are finally learning.

/b

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Why is this news worthy? A quick look on Wiki and all the GTAs (including the first two) were 18s. Is it the first DS game to be 18 rated or was it to be banned or something?

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Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

>Is it the first DS game to be 18 rated

Yes, certainly as far as the BBFC is concerned, anyway- can't speak for other ratings boards.

/b

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Were RE 1 and Dementium: The Ward not released in Europe?

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can't do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Yes (well Resi is, Dementium is released at the end of March), both were rated 15 by the BBFC

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Ahh, thanks. That does make it news worthy.

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Add a marker to the start of your signature.

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A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

In answer to your questions: NO and No.

Although with regards to it being banned there was the usual token moaning by concerned parents about it, but that isn;t news when it's a GTA game.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

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Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

What a non-story. 'Game to be released'. Wow.

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Hmmm...

Why do you feel that an official govt. rating assigned to a GTA game isn't worth mentioning?

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

GTA gets rated at 18? Just like every GTA mainstream game or spin off since the original GTA?

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

GTA Advance was given a T rating.

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XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HMiste | EYE. HAVE. YOU.

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Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Grand Theft Auto Advance was rated Mature.

There were a few T rated GTAs:

Grand Theft Auto (Palm Pilot), Grand Theft Auto 2 (Game Boy Color), Grand Theft Auto 2 (Playstation)

All three titles predate GP.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: GTA Chinatown Wars Rated 18 For British Market

Over here, it's M, which is the equivalent of T. So I assumed it was T...

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