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Manhunt 2 receives UK release

Fri 14 Mar 2008 12:23pm GMT / 8:23am EDT / 5:23am PDT

The Video Appeals Committee has upheld its original decision to accept the appeal made by Rockstar following last year's refusal by the BBFC to grant Manhunt 2 a certificate in the UK.

The Video Appeals Committee has upheld its original decision to accept the appeal made by Rockstar following last year's refusal by the BBFC to grant Manhunt 2 a certificate in the UK.

That means that the game can now go on sale in the UK - nine months after the original rejection by the BBFC last June.

Rockstar subsequently appealed that decision, and at a hearing by the Video Appeals Committee at the end of November saw a four-to-three decision in favour of upholding that appeal.

However, the BBFC then appealed that decision in the High Court, which agreed that the basis for the VAC's decision was flawed, and asked it to reconsider - effectively blocking the title from sale once more.

But today the VAC has announced that the result of its reconsideration on the Manhunt 2 matter is the same as previously - a four-to-three decision in favour of Rockstar.

In view of that the BBFC board has released a statement advising that the game has been rated '18' in the UK, and that further challenges to the VAC's decision will not realistically yield any results.

"As I have said previously, we never take rejection decisions lightly, and they always involve a complex balance of considerations," said David Cooke, BBFC director.

"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."

Manhunt 2 was originally banned in the US, but was later allowed to go on sale with a Mature rating after the developer made some cuts to content - cuts which the BBFC rejected.

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