BBFC and ELSPA in ratings spat

BBFC and ELSPA spat over the future of games ratings continues
BBFC and ELSPA spat over the future of games ratings continues

The increasingly fractious relationship between the games publishers trade association, ELSPA and the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) took yet another turn today, with ELSPA criticising the BBFC for employing a new ‘Byron Implementation Officer’.

Games trade weekly MCV reports that ELSPA has instructed its members to ignore any request from the BBFC to change the current age ratings process, instead continuing to give its support to the rival European ratings body PEGI.

Elspa comments

ELSPA told MCV: “You may have heard that the BBFC has appointed a ‘BBFC Byron Implementation Officer’. Apparently his brief is to contact PEGI and interested trade bodies as well as the country’s games companies ‘with a view to implementing the Byron recommendations’.”

“Our view is that this appointment at the BBFC – along with the brief itself – is somewhat hasty since we still await actual details of the full consultation promised in the Byron Review. We believe that there can be no ‘implementing’ until we have been permitted to make PEGI’s case in full in the coming consultation process, specific details of which are still yet to be announced.

"Our advice to members is to hold off any approaches from outside organisations until the DCMS consultation process has actually taken place.’”

BBFC responds

BBFC boss David Cooke was quick to respond, telling TechRadar: "We have made clear that we welcome Byron's findings and it is a matter for us how we organise our resources over the coming period. Dr Byron made clear that she expects the cooperation between the BBFC and PEGI to continue."

Adam Hartley