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Sony cuts The Getaway at BT's behest

BT engineer killing spree sim

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Sony has exorcised the depiction of a crook masquerading as a BT engineer from the best-selling PlayStation 2 game, The Getaway, following complaints from the monster telco.

On release The Getaway featured scenes where the game's anti-hero, Mark Hammond, steals a BT engineer's van and his overalls to evade detection while engaged on a murderous rampage through London under the coercion of crime boss Charlie Jolson.

BT, understandably miffed at scenes where someone in its clearly branded overalls goes on a Terminator-style killing spree in a London police station, objected to Sony. The Japanese games giant has agreed to remove the offending material from further copies of the game.

"We were concerned about violent scenes involving characters dressed as BT engineers in the game," a BT spokesman told us.

"BT made contact with Sony's senior people in the UK, who responded quickly to change elements of the game that might incite violence towards BT engineers, something we naturally take very seriously."

The Getaway, which cost more than £3 million to produce, sold 240,000 copies (according to pre-Xmas figures) after its early December release and tops gaming charts.

Leave it out, Son(y)
Early copies of the game contain the offending BT scenes: despite the controversy there has been no product recall. However when shops re-order the game they will be supplied with an amended version of the game where these scenes are cut.

A spokesman for publishers Sony Computer Entertainment Europe told us the amended version of the The Getaway will reach shops in between 10 to 12 days, adding that changing the game doesn't involve a great deal of work by its developers.

The Getaway was launched on December 11 in PAL territories within Europe, Africa and Australia. A version for the US market, due early in 2003, will ship without the controversial BT scenes.

Promoted as a next generation video game, The Getaway has earned rave reviews for its game play and detailed representation of London. ®

Bootnote

We understand that BT learned of its inclusion in The Getaway after a review copy was sent to Games Domain, which is owned by BT. Funny old world, innit?

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