The British Board of Film Classification (BCCF) have ruled that Manhunt 2, the second version of the game from Rockstar Games, has been banned in its current form from sale or rental in the UK.
Originally scheduled for release during July 2007, the BCCF today made it pretty clear that they really didn’t like it – at all. David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said, “Rejecting a work is a very serious action and one which we do not take lightly. Where possible we try to consider cuts or, in the case of games, modifications which remove the material which contravenes the Board’s published Guidelines. In the case of Manhunt 2 this has not been possible. Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing. There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game.”
History of banning games
To date, no games have been banned in the UK by the BCCF. The only one to get close was Carmageddon back in 1997, but this was released after an appeal to the Video Appeals Committee suggested changes that could be made, such as the addition of parental locks.
The original Manhunt was classified as ’18’ in 2003, but the BCCF said this “was already at the very top end of what the Board judged to be acceptable at that category.”
No UK Manhunt 2?
This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the end of the line for a UK released of Manhunt 2, as they can also go through the appeals procedure,
The other option is to make content changes to the game, but given the comments from the BCCF, it would appear to be pretty difficult cutting out the offending material.
All of this leads us wondering if there’s any cuts that they could make to make it releaseable.
As with anything that is labelled banned, it’s highly likely that Manuhunt 2 will not only become the most talked about game, but the most desired.