Back in June 2007, the BBFC refused the UK distribution of the notorious videogame, Manhunt 2, unless substantial changes were made to remove the apparent 'bleakness and callousness of tone' within the game. Despite some changes being made, the BBFC rejected the revised version of Manhunt 2 in October 2007 and it looked as though the game wouldn't see the light of day in the UK.
Rockstar then appealed against the rejection and won the right to have the decision reconsidered.
The Video Appeals Committee has now reconsidered the appeal in the light of the High Court’s directions on the law but has decided, again by a majority of four to three, to allow the appeal on the basis that Manhunt 2 should be given an ‘18’ certificate.
David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said: “As I have said previously, we never take rejection decisions lightly, and they always involve a complex balance of considerations. We twice rejected Manhunt 2, and then pursued a judicial review challenge, because we considered, after exceptionally thorough examination, that it posed a real potential harm risk. However, the Video Appeals Committee has again exercised its independent scrutiny. It is now clear, in the light of this decision, and our legal advice, that we have no alternative but to issue an ‘18’ certificate to the game.”
Let the skull smashing commence.