From 30 July 2012, and with a few limited exceptions, the responsibility for classifying video games falls to the Video Standards Council (VSC), applying the PEGI system.
The BBFC will continue to classify all games featuring strong pornographic (R18-level) content and ancillary games attached to a wider, primarily linear submission. The BBFC will also continue to classify all non-game linear content on a game disc, such as trailers and featurettes.
Do I need to get my work classified?
Pornographic game content and ancillary games on video releases will require a standard BBFC certificate. The BBFC will also examine certain linear content in video games.
For pornographic game content, the only certificate we can issue is R18.
If a game is submitted with other linear content to which it is ancillary, it will attract a standard rating certificate. If it is being submitted on its own, it may only receive a conditional certificate. The conditional certificate will state that the rating only applies provided the work is released as part of a wider package consisting primarily of linear content.
For linear content in video games, the BBFC’s rating will help the VSC in reaching an overall classification for the video game. Only the VSC will be able to request that the BBFC consider the suitability of linear content within a video game.
The BBFC will view linear content which does not contribute to the narrative drive of the game, whether this footage is live-action or computer-generated, embedded in the game or simply contained on the game disc.
Examples of such linear content include the TV material created for the GTA series; video rewards for completing certain tasks or levels within the game; or other video content which does not contribute to the narrative drive of the video game.
What can/can’t I submit?
For pornographic game content and ancillary games on video releases, please visit the technical requirements here.
For linear content in video games, only the VSC can submit to the BBFC a request for a determination of suitability of linear content within a video game.
If you are in doubt as to whether the BBFC should be classifying your content, please contact the BBFC Helpline on email@example.com or 020 7440 0299.
How do I submit?
In order to submit a work please make an entry on our extranet service.
If you do not have an account you may request one here.
How much does it cost?
We will charge the standard rate, in full, to classify pornographic game content and ancillary games. We will charge 75% of the standard rate for an assessment of linear content in video games for a Determination of Suitability.
Further details of fees are available here.