Speaking at Develop today, Sarassin founder Vincent Scheurer has joined in with the anti-BBFC sentiment and issued some rather weighty warnings concerning a UK games industry rated by the British Board of Film Classification.
“The costs of the Manhunt 2 ban to Rockstar were massive – an independent developer would be out of business,” he stated, referring of the course the notorious (and overturned) Manhunt 2 ban that received a lot of coverage here and elsewhere. “It makes the business of making games that much harder.”
During his talk, Scheurer gave the BBFC’s reasons for banning Manhunt 2, which included realism and a lack of puzzles or humor. “Call of Duty and BioShock could be banned under that criteria … The next game to be banned could be BioShock 2, and then where would we be?” was his doom-laden prophecy.
This is all very messy indeed and I really hate to show support for a government/press-bullied BBFC or a publisher-controlled PEGI. I think it’s safe to say that, either way, the UK games industry is going to have to climb a lot more mountains before videogames get fair and equal treatment next to other forms of art. If there is one thing I can fully agree with Scheurer on, it’s this sentiment: “While we fail to fight back we will continue to be blamed for all of societies ills … In my view Tiga was the only association to step up … Tiga realized, where the other’s didn’t, that this was about more than Manhunt 2.”