Rockstar appeals Manhunt 2 ban

Written by Joe Martin

August 2, 2007 // 10:15 a.m.

Tags: #ao #appeal #ban #bbfc #esrb #manhunt #manhunt-2 #mcv #rating #rockstar #sony #take-two

You remember Manhunt 2, right? It was all over the news a few weeks ago and there were more bit-tech forum threads about it than you could threateningly shake a meat cleaver at.

The controversy around the game started long ago, with Jack Thompson being usually vocal over his concerns that the game was nothing more than a murder simulator. The Wii version of the game was especially noteworthy for forcing players to mimic the actions of the on-screen character as he murders innocents.

When it got around to ratings time the game was unsurprisingly refused certification (which prevented the game going on sale) in the UK by the BBFC, who cited "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone...sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged" as the main cause.

Other rating bodies soon followed and the ESRB gave the game an AO rating, which essentially meant it would not be available for sale in the US. Sony and Nintendo both backed away from the deal, not wanting an AO title on either the Wii or the PS3 and the game was finally left without a platform. Distribution was suspended and that was that.

For a bit.

Now, almost six weeks later, Rockstar Games is officially appealing against the original BBFC ban according to GI.biz.

The Video Appeals Committee will now hold a hearing between Rockstar and the BBFC and the committee itself will view the game and oversee the proceedings.

A Rockstar spokesperson told GI.biz: "Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. confirmed today that Rockstar Games has appealed the BBFC decision that prohibited the release of any version of Manhunt 2 in Britain."

There's no word just yet on whether Rockstar is also appealing the AO rating issued by the ESRB and the BBFC is refusing to comment on the issue while the appeal is open.

Think the game should see a release after all, or is the BBFC right to keep it off the streets? Let us know what you think in the forums. 
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