In response to New York Senator Charles Schumer's earlier comments that 25 to Life "lowers common decency", Microsoft has backed Eidos and the game in question. Schumer had called for Microsoft and Sony to withdraw Eidos' licence for the game but it would seem that Microsoft have no intention of taking such action.
"25 to Life was developed for a mature audience and has been rated so it will be sold only to the appropriate audiences," Microsoft said in a statement.
Schumer believes the game will cause violence in those people that play the game. He said: "You certainly don't need a degree in criminal justice to understand that when you make sport of behaviour that is dangerous and destructive you reinforce it."
A Statement given by Eidos to GamesIndustry.biz said: "Eidos believes that video games are a creative art form and we produce a wide range of content aimed at various age groups including games specifically targeted for the over-18 player." The statement goes on to add that, "25 to Life will have a BBFC 18+ rating, which means that it is illegal to sell it to anyone under that age; retailers face a £5,000 fine and up to six months in prison if they do so."
Eidos are making the point that videogames are much like any other art form and should not be censored, but classified so that they can only be sold to the suitable age groups. Should we be told what we can and can't watch or play? The BBFC rating is a legal age rating and not a recommendation. The PEGI rating system that all games in Europe carry is just an age recommendation, and these games can be sold to anyone. The rating is their to help parents decide if the game is suitable for their children.
The problem is that in the US the game will receive an "M" rating for mature gamers, but game ratings are not yet strictly enforced. Surely the issue should be with the videogame rating systems in place and not the violent game.