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ABE VR Releases and is First VR Title to Receive BBFC Age Certification

This Hammerhead Studios release sets a milestone in cinematic VR.

As virtual reality (VR) is climbing the ladder and becoming more recognised by bigger industries and organisations, more titles are being bled into the mainstream. ABE VR is one of those titles as it has now been announced to be the first VR film awarded British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) age certification along with its release today.

ABE VR, as well as its 2D version, has now been classified with a 15 age rating based on the bloody violence and threat classification criteria. The story, created by Hammerhead VR, follows a robot seeking the unconditional love of humans, but it all turns a bit gruesome and twisted as the trailer shows.

ABE VR screenshot

Simon Windsor, Joint Managing Director, Hammerhead VR commented, “The classification advice from the BBFC is an important step for Virtual Reality. With ABE VR we wanted to explore the heightened emotional connection that this storytelling medium can deliver, as well as the shear intensity and sense of dread – the results are powerful. As VR evolves and experiences become ever more believable, it will be increasingly important for VR content to be age rated.”

BBFC’s Policy Director, Alexandra Evans, also shared the thoughts of the board:  commented: “We were delighted to work with Hammerhead on this project and to be able to compare the VR and linear versions of ABE like for like. Though both versions received the same 15 rating, they raised different classification issues, specifically strong threat in the linear version, and bloody violence and threat in the VR version. This exercise shows how BBFC Classification Guidelines work for VR content and with this new technology, which offers an intense user experience, it is important that consumers, parents in particular, can access clear content advice about VR content before they experience it.”

ABE is currently available for free on the Oculus  and SteamVR stores.

For the latest news and updates in the world of VR, make sure to check back with VRFocus.

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