The second version of Manhunt 2 rejected by The British Board Of Film Classification this week was identical to that granted a Mature rating by US ratings board the ESRB in August, MCV can reveal.
The edited title is set for release over the Atlantic in October, but was shunned by the censor as Rockstar’s changes ‘had not gone far enough’.
Meanwhile, the BBFC has hit out at Rockstar’s claims that it treats adult DVD releases more favourably than violent video games.
After seeing the revised version of Manhunt 2 rejected, the GTA publisher sent out a statement citing the difference in ‘freedom’ enjoyed by ‘horror films’ and video games.
But BBFC spokesperson Sue Clark has defended the body’s position. She told MCV:
We don’t differentiate how harsh we are on DVD or video games – we have a duty to both under the Video Recordings Act.
If we were more tough on games than any other medium, don’t you think we’d be banning far more titles? Manhunt 2 is the second game we have rejected in 23 years. I’d hardly call that draconian.
DVD companies don’t complain when we reject their products. The creator of the Struggle In Bondage didn’t get up in arms.
Manhunt 2 went beyond our guidelines when it came to gross violence and we had a public duty to reject it.”
Rockstar’s last hope to get the game released in the UK now rests with the Video Appeals Committee, which is expected to hear the publisher’s plea later this year.