Jan 13, 2009

Entertainment - New 'Grand Theft Auto' game given adult-only certificate

London, Jan 12 (ANI): A computer game has been awarded an adults-only rating after it was found to be high on drugs and gangland killing features.

The British Board of Film Classification on Jan 9 gave an 18+ certificate to Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and deemed it unfit for the family-friendly Nintendo DS console.

Made by a Leeds-based studio owned by US firm Rockstar, the game, the latest in the controversial Grand Theft Auto series, is set to hit the stores on March 20.

In a statement on its website, the watchdog has advised that it contains "very strong language and drug references" while packaging for the adventure shows images of guns, knives and swords.

"We are incredibly excited to share this enormous and uncompromising Grand Theft Auto experience with DS fans," The Sun quoted Sam Houser, founder of Rockstar Games, as saying.

BBFC's report highlighted that the makers Rockstar are not required to make any cuts to the game after the finished product was submitted for classification, unlike the firm's previous release Manhunt 2.

However, in September, Rockstar's co-founder Dan Houser told Edge magazine that Chinatown Wars "can't be softened to make it family-friendly - that's not the game we're making. We've never not done well by sticking to our guns."

He added: "Nintendo wanted us to make GTA, and we wanted to make a game on their platform. They didn't want us to make a GTA for kids, and we weren't interested in making a game we wouldn't normally make."

Tim Ingham, editor of games industry magazine MCV, said: "The DS is a console that doesn't exclusively cater for children and families even though it provides a wealth of suitable entertainment for them.

"This is not a game for children and parents have over the past few years started to pay more attention to the age ratings on packaging. It is vital they continue to heed this advice." (ANI)

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