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BBFC launches new ratings system

For downloadable games and movies.

The BBFC has announced the launch of a new voluntary scheme designed to bring its rating system online to downloadable videogames and movies.

The new service, called BBFC.online, has already been signed up to by companies such as Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros, and 20th Century Fox. Over 600 downloads have already been given BBFC ratings certificates.

While BBFC.online will cover a variety of online content it will not, according to the BBFC, attempt to censor the internet nor will it have anything to do with rating online games such as World of Warcraft.

"We're talking to all the major players in the arena," said Peter Johnson, head of policy for the BBFC.

"If what you're doing is providing the game to the consumer and you're using the internet as a form of delivery, as an alternative to mail order or shops, then that's included in the scheme. If the gameplay is hosted online then that's not included in the scheme."

Representatives from the BBFC said that they would have to work with PEGI Online to provide better ratings for online games.

"We don't need to set up in rivalry to PEGI Online... We can work co-operatively," said David Cooke, director of the BBFC.

"My view is that we are better resourced than PEGI and, unlike PEGI, we don't have to go to the games industry to get their approval when we expand, so resources are not an issue for us."