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BBFC: Resource claims are "nonsense"

Ratings board tells <emph>GamesIndustry.biz</emph> that concerns over workload are unfounded and clarifies title count

The BBFC has responded to industry concerns over whether or not it can handle the increased workload that the Byron Review recommendations would lead to, dismissing them as "nonsense".

In the report, published yesterday, Tanya Byron recommended that the statutory rating age be reduced to 12, with the BBFC taking responsibility for all titles rated '12', '15' and '18'.

But speaking to GamesIndustry.biz the BBFC has strongly defended its ability to take on the extra classification work.

"We're very touched at the BBFC about how concerned people are about us and our resources," said a spokesperson. "It's nice to know people are worried, but the fact of the matter is that we'll have no problem dealing with it."

There was also some clarification over the number of titles that the BBFC would need to work on, with the body rating 258 videogame titles in 2007.

"At the most, if we take the 12-plus and 16-plus games from PEGI it's about 500 games [per year]," the spokesperson went on.

"We classified, last year, about 17,000 works [including films], and that's gone from 7500 in 2000. The film industry wasn't concerned about our ability to cope with the huge influx of work - they just assumed that we would, and we did.

"Not only can we cope, but we've improved our turnaround times. Most of the games, particularly at the '12' end can be looked at in a couple of hours, because we get all the cheat codes, and all the things we need to get through the games quite quickly - and that's not much different from watching a DVD.

"When they moved from video to DVD - and think how much more material you can get on a DVD than a video - nobody from the industry debated about whether we'd be able to cope. This is a red herring, it's nonsense."

The Byron proposals have been accepted by the government, but still need to go through a period of public consultation before they become definite, and one of the issues that needs more discussion is the procedure for games that are on the cusp of a '12' rating.

"That's something that we're going to have to work through - at the moment this is still some way off," said the spokesperson. "As far as I know the government isn't expecting much to happen before the Autumn [following the consultation period], so there's plenty of time to work these issues out."

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