Further to my post last June about various countries banning the controversial computer game Manhunt II, matters have not stood still. Soon after the various bans, Rockstar made some changes to the gameplay. In the US, these tweaks were sufficient to reduce its classification from an Adults Only (AO) rating to a Mature (M) rating, allowing it to be bought by anyone aged 17 or more. Then Rockstar reapplied to the BBFC in the UK, but, in October, they upheld their June decision not to certify (in effect, to ban) the game (see The Register).
But that has not proved to be the end of the story; this week, the BBFC’s Video Appeals Committee has allowed Rockstar’s appeal against the ban in the UK – by the slimmest of margins, on a vote of 4 to 3 (BBC | The Register | Daily Telegraph). The effect of the appeal is that the BBFC must consider the game again, and if it does nothing, then it will be released with an 18 certificate.
So far as Ireland goes, I’m not aware whether Rockstar has brought an appeal against IFCO‘s original ban on Manhunt II or whether they submitted the revised version of the game for classification, but if they succeed in releasing a version of the game in the UK, can Ireland be far behind?