Sony says ‘sorry’
SONY has apologised `unreservedly’ to the people of Manchester for using the city’s Anglican cathedral as a backdrop to bloodshed in a PlayStation 3 game.
Last month, church officials accused the electronics giant of `virtual desecration’ for setting a battle between humans and aliens inside the cathedral in its game Resistance: Fall of Man.
Now, following a meeting with the church, Sony has admitted offending the cathedral congregation and the wider community in a letter sent to the M.E.N. It has also placed an advert in today’s paper to express regret.
Dr David A Reeves, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, said: “It is clear to us that the connection between the congregation and the cathedral is a deeply personal and spiritual one.
“As a result, it is also clear that we have offended some of the congregation by using the cathedral in our science fiction game. It was never our intention to offend anyone in the making of this game, and we would like to apologise unreservedly to them for causing that offence, and to all parts of the community who we might also have offended.”
Dr Reeves also said the firm would ensure that Manchester Cathedral was not used in any of its games again.
This apology follows a meeting between cathedral lawyers and Sony bosses in which the company is understood to have admitted using the images without permission.
In a more muted apology last month, the firm appeared to claim that it did not need express consent to use images of the church and sought to justify its actions. But, despite the new attempt to make amends, a spokesman for the cathedral said its lawyers were still in talks with Sony, since the firm had not agreed to withdraw the game and make a donation to the anti-gun crime movement.
In an attempt to clean up the computer industry, the cathedral has released a set of `sacred digital guidelines’ aimed at manufacturers and retailers, and has urged firms to avoid making violent games.
In a statement, the Dean of Manchester Cathedral, the Very Rev Rogers Govender, said: “We still fear that the next buildings to be cloned for virtual desecration could be a mosque, synagogue, temple or other church.”