Sony Apology Not Enough, Say Manchester Cathedral Officials

June 16, 2007 -

Sony's sorry, but Church of England officials say it's not enough.

On Friday the CoE posted on its website a letter from SCEE's president, David Reeves (left). The letter read in part:

Please understand that Resistance: Fall of Man is a work of science fiction...

We do not accept that there is any connection between contemporary issues of 21st century Manchester and a work of science fiction in which a fictitious 1950’s Britain is under attack by aliens...

 It was not our intention to cause offence by using a representation of Manchester Cathedral in chapter 8 of the work. If we have done so we sincerely apologise.

In conclusion we note that you are consulting lawyers. We confirm that it is our policy to seek all necessary permissions for our products and services, and we believe with this particular work we have done so.

The Church's reply:

We acknowledge the admission by Sony that the building in the game is Manchester Cathedral. We thank Sony for the apology they have made.

However, we do not move from the position that we are against violence and especially the gun violence seen in this portrayal of the Cathedral.

We are pleased that Sony wish to come and meet with us in Manchester as today we offered them such an invitation.

In the meeting with Sony we will discuss our outstanding demands, how this game came to be produced and where the images of the Cathedral came from.

Sounds like negotiations and donations to come. Stay tuned. 


Sony should have gone on the offensive and condemned them for trying to weasel funds out of a company that didn't do anything wrong.

Sounds to me like they are more after cash than morality. Sure, Sony would have been courteous to ask permission, but seeing as how it is a public place i fail to see the problem. The Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State building, Eiffel Tower, Kremlin, The White House, The Pyramids, all these places have been recreated for shootout scenes in film/games. And there has not been a single "reenactment". Besides, isnt Resistance about defending earth from demonic invaders? I´d say that driving them from the Cathedral would be very suitable.

Bloodeagle I don't think they are trying to weasel funds, they just don't understand what it is they are fighting and think it's worse than it actually is.

"We believe a comprehensive viewing of the work will make its content and context clear. Accordingly we would be pleased to demonstrate it to you at a mutually convenient time.' ~SCEE

"In the meeting with Sony we will discuss our outstanding demands, how this game came to be produced and where the images of the Cathedral came from." ~COE

..."our oustanding demands"? Whaaat?

The Church of England has little, if any, leg to stand on to make ANY demands legally, morally, or otherwise. I cannot belive that SCEE is entertaining the suggestions of these people, even if it is to show the CoE how foolish they're being. I understand that Sony has to at least say something about the fuss that the CoE is bringing up about a game that has been on the market for nearly 8 months, but I really hope that the Church doesn't use this response as any justification for their rediculous actions.

Said it before, I'll say it again...

The Head of the Church of England is the Archbishop of Canterbury, his representative Cathedral is Canterbury Cathedral. Canterbury Cathedral has thousands of visitors each year because the Church advertises the spot where someone had the top half of their head chopped off by officers of the King. That person was Thomas Beckett.

So the Church is perfectly willing to represent violence in its own halls when (a) It makes a profit from it and (b) It can make them look 'martyed' .


I like ctrl alt delete's comic on this topic. Its so true to what the CoE is trying to do.

where can i find ctrl alt delete's comic?

At Ctrl Alt Delete, that's where. It's a few comics back on the page.

"In the meeting with Sony we will discuss our outstanding demands, how this game came to be produced and where the images of the Cathedral came from."

Easy discussion.
1) Outstanding demands are going to be dismissed because they're unrealistic and border on extortion.
2) This game came to be produced when an excellent game development studio decided to make a AAA title for Sony's new hardware in order to tell a good story, present a compelling experience and make some cash.
3) The "images of the Cathedral" were modeled by artists using legally acquired photographs and/or public domain images and blueprints as references.

Sony, CoE, you're welcome. I expect that my check is in the mail.

"In the meeting with Sony we will discuss our outstanding demands, how this game came to be produced and where the images of the Cathedral came from."

The hell? Why is it important to them how the game was produced. It's as if they believe that Resistance is entirely centered around their precious Cathedral, when a bit of fact-checking would reveal that it's only ONE level in the whole game.

As for where the images of the Cathedral came from, haven't these people heard of the Internet? I turned up dozens of images of the building-inside and out-just by typing "Manchester Cathedral" in Yahoo! Images. But from the sound of the CoE, Sony must have sent agents in to secretly take pictures!

Don't you just love it when people make trivial matters out to be conspiracies against them?

"chadachada Says:

where can i find ctrl alt delete’s comic?"

It really is spot on :)

Demands? who did they kidnap?! is anybody else have the creeps from the language used by the church?

Spiritual blackmail. Jesus would be proud of his disciples.

You know the game is set in an alternate version of reality where WWII (not WWI) never happened, thus making it not a world war game. I don't know if ctrl alt delete put WWI out of an error or if they're just trying to show that the church really doesn't know what it's talking about.

Anyway I said it before I'll say it again, worst comes to worst Sony can always make the cathedral a parody of the manchester cathedral, thus making sure they can continue to sell it.

I can just imaigine the meeting.


"However, we do not move from the position that we are against violence and especially the gun violence seen in this portrayal of the Cathedral."

So if had been pointy stick violence or power tool violence, they'd have been less upset? As if the tool used makes any difference when nobody is hurt by a fictional story either way.

But, yea, the meta blame-everything-but-the-criminal shrieking here is quite amusing if you think of it. Not only are they just blaming one inanimate object for the actions of sociopaths, they're blaming non-existent, inanimate guns inside of an inanimate game. Now if only someone would make a movie about the controversy so they could have a recursive, finger-pointing trifecta. The feedback from all that shrieking might set off a chain reaction and destroy the universe though..

Ah darnit the stupid thing posted way before I was finished typing.


"We demand you take off the game"
"And if we refuse?"
"Then we'll go to court"
"Can't we reach some type of agreement?"
"Of course not, it's either remove your sinful game or taste the wrath of god!"
"I thought wrath was one of the seven deadly sins."
"Shut up."
"Look your a civilised man . . ."
"Don't lie about me you . . . oh wait sorry"
"Anyway we said we were sorry can't you forgive us?"
"Ah come on shouldn't you ask yourselves what would Jesus do?"
"No, not when it's inconvenient"

I don't think it's a question of whether or not they can continue to sell it. They may give in, given that they've gone and apologized for nothing. I hope they don't. The worst the Church of England can probably muster, if Sony did get all the necessary permissions like they say, is a boycott involving lots and lots of people who had no plans to purchase a PS3 anyway.

I wish there was a way to counter this whole thing, though. The standard "apologize and try to amend" method is about the easiest way to make these things go away, but when you get into the habit of doing that people can just say any old stupid thing they want about your products and you're backed into a corner. There has to be a way to handle this that doesn't involve Sony changing anything, because they're not in the wrong.

Then again... that didn't work out for Rockstar/Take-Two when they weren't in the wrong over Hot Coffee (until they started lying to the press). Or for Bethesda when they weren't in the wrong over Oblivion. I guess this industry does have a history of shooting at its own.

@ illspirit

I imagine that pointy stick and power tool violence are much more prevalent in the UK then gun violence. The fact that they make particular note of "gun violence" when there are preteens stabbing each other in UK schools while the government closes playgrounds for fears that they are "too dangerous" is patently absurd.

Does the CoE really want to do something positive? Why not promote activities for children and teens in the UK that doesn't involve roving the streets, drinking or stabbing other people?

I actually have perspective on this. I'm an American who spent his teenage years as an ex-pat living in the UK.

Looks like St. Paul's Cathedral was in The Getaway but nobody had a problem.

Frankly the CoE should be ashamed for making me side with Sony on something.

"In the meeting with Sony we will discuss our OUTRAGEOUS demands"

there, fixed it

@ Dan Olson
Sony wont pull the game. They may have apologized but that was only a "Sure heres your apology now get out of here" But england is (last time I checked) the 3rd highest buyer of games. If the church wants sony to pull the game they are in for a dissapointment.

The CoE's response just strengthens my theory that they have no idea what the context is and they think it's some sort of gang shoot out in the Cathedral. Now that they've leveled their accusations, they don't want to lose face by admitting that they jumped to baseless assumptions.

Sony's response it this has thus far been entirely appropriate IMO. They apologized for any unintended offense they gave in their explanation that they've done nothing wrong. They've agreed to meet with the church officials to try and straighten this mess out.

The problem in the future is that Sony's probably thinking in terms of showing the CoE the context and getting them to understand that they are way off target and don't have a leg to stand on. Meanwhile, the CoE is thinking in terms of Sony slowly giving in to their demands.

GoodRobotUs makes a whole lot of sense.

I can't wait for disney to respond when someone makes that mod of Halo in Disney

See if someone mods something then thats not really part of the release game, thats a mod made by a fan. So the fan that made the mod would be sued.

Sony had better not give in to their "demands" in the upcoming meeting. Especially if it concerns money or donations. Like everyone else here, this really is extortion (and I believe I was the first person here who put it that way in the initial thread). If Sony decides to cave-in and give them any amount of money for this just to shut them up, I'm going to be sick. Because then the floodgates will open.

I'm still surprised the chruch thinks it has any kind of legal grounds. The fact that they didn't accept their apology just show their intransgience and that they're just looking for an excuse to get money.

I used to think that the Episcopal/Aglican church wasn't as bad as the Catholic church, and in so doing, didn't feel as ashamed of being associated with it when I was growing up. Boy was I wrong. Now I'm sorry I was ever a part of it. :(

I'm with Sony over this whole pointless argument that unfortunately Sony have had to apologise for.

Its quite staggering that the CoE has the gall to bring something up this late. The game has sold over a million copies (more now with all this free publicity) and its been in development for at least 1-2 years.

Most of us here seem to be on Sonys side but if you check the BBC forums for this its turned into a debate about Manchester and gun crime in the 21st Century being compared to 1950s Fictional warfare.

Theres also a lot of Church Bashing just in case anyone might get offended. Also there getting increasingly statistical.

While I will admit the right of anyone to be offended by a 5 min Defend yourself from the Alien Hordes in a Cathedral I personally cannot see why any sane person would not defend themselves?

Good Luck Sony and CoE while I respect your current aims, (not the old ones like in the bible, eg crusades etc) If you had really been that bothered you would have made more of a cry when it was released.

Sony Up, CoE I couldnt care less

As an aside, am I the only one who's constantly seeing CoE and immediately thinking, "City of...," "Call of...," or "Company of..." before saying, "Oh! Church of England." Every time!

no Tom your not the only one lol

[...] [Via GamePolitics] [...]

We as gamers, or just the gamers at least, need to show more of our support for companies like Sony, and Take Two. What Sony is going through now with the CoD, oops CoE, is going to be a strong social dissapproval in violent video games. If the the CoE gets what it wants politicians and other groups against video games will have that edge they need to snuff out our freedom of entertainment.
It is funny that a lot of us agree with Sony and laugh at the CoE and Parliament but do not show our support publicly. We are content with the attacks on video games not winning. We are satisfied with a Supreme Court over ruling anti-video game legislation. It should not even get that far. Gamers make up a vast majority of society and we are letting the minority tell us it is bad or offensive. We are letting them try to push their opinions on us.

Pixelantes Anonymous
Didn't Jesus fight against Spiritual blackmail. .....LOL

VENT: Ugh, you're dumb and I hate all of you.

I'm disapointed that sony has bowed down to the CoE, the video games industry aa whole has to stand up to the religeous zealots, bandwagon jmping politicians and ambulance chasing lawyers as a whole, not trying to appease them or make deals with them, these morons won't be hapy til all games are off the shelves.

lets just hope that sony doesn't bow down to the other demands the church made.

Geez. Bull like this alienates Christians from their own religion.

At least the smart ones.

Goddamn. Sony's such a bitch. They've bent over, and now CoE is about to give it to them in the hole.

CoE needs to get off their religious asses and get out into the real world. Last time I checked, recreating something in a virtual world, and then using said recreation as a setting for aliens invading in a fictional past event, is far from doing anything wrong. Additionally, since the CoE clearly has no intention of accepting any form of apology other than money, it's clear that they are not actually offended by it, and are just attempting to make any ridiculous claim that they can to cheat a multinational company out of as much money as they can. Hell, the FIRST they they said was "apologize and give money to us... or else" Think they could have at least waited for the apology before rejecting it and requesting money. It's about the same as a panhandler making a sign that says "will work for booze". Yeah they cut out the bullshit, but it doesn't make anyone want to help them at all. Honestly, I believe that the CoE could have made an impact, and gotten compensation if they had approached the situation any better. However, due to the obviously greedy tactics and complaints, it seems that most people are on Sony's side (man, who would have thought I'd ever side with sony. I think hell has frozen over)

Umm people that aren't paying attention, Sony hasn't bowed down, caved, bent over, etc. What they've said amounts to politely saying "We're sorry you're a bunch of idiots that are making up crap to take offense at. Sure we'd be happy to meet with you and show you exactly how you've crammed your heads up your rear."

This could still go south if Sony decides that letting themselves be extorted is the easiest way to make this go away, but I'm reserving judgment until then. Sony knows it hasn't done anything wrong. They certainly aren't going to pull one of their more successful games off the shelf. And the folks of the Anglican Church are going to have to display some serious proof of copyright infringement before Sony's going to pony up any money. Which if they somehow managed that would be paid to the appropriate church authorities, not the favorite charity of the Manchester Cathedral folks.

I think what annoys me is the fact they are doing it on the 'Ooooh! Guns are Bad!' sort of thing, when it's so transparently an 'Ooooh, you're making money from using Manchester Cathedral and we aren't getting a cut!'.

If they'd been honest and said that they wanted royalties for using the Cathedral as the setting which, I suspect, is where this will end up, then I'd be a bit more sympathetic to their cause, even if they don't seem to realise you can get the architectural plans of Manchester Cathedral from their own Town Hall, as well the fact it's in several books in the library, making money from someone elses' building is, at the very least, something that needs to be looked at in computer games, because it's going to occur more often.

What annoys me is the whole attempt to twist a simple copyright issue, which is what they originally stated the problem was, into a whole 'Social' one to try and buy leverage for pressuring Sony for Royalties, not only is it underhanded, but it's also pretty blatant.

"See if someone mods something then thats not really part of the release game, thats a mod made by a fan. So the fan that made the mod would be sued."

Tell that to the makers of Oblivion.

CoE, they've already apologized. After that, you should do what Jesus would have done, forgive.

[...] With the primary religious and political bodies of the UK squarely against their digital blasphemy, Sony had no choice but to apologize. You'd think this would be the point where the post would end and you could go on with your life, right? Unfortunately, everything gets all wacky and British from here on out. Hit the jump for more, and don't forget to hug your Constitution.  [...]

It's a spiritual blackmail alright. Haha, did Jesus taught them how to cheat and lie? I mean hey, I thought Jesus said that cheating and lying is an abomination to God...

Man, Christianity is a nutcase.

Liberalism is in fact one of the holy virtues in Christianity, and what the COE does is just self-blasphemy.

On the other side (and a bit off-topic), I'd wish Sony would get accused for supporting DRM rather than this, though.

Remember! Christians hate to be in the spotlight because deep down inside they are cowards and hypocrites who think that they are always right, get real!

While its fun to poke fun at deaf and dumb "pious corporations" its true sonys tendency to blank media via OTT protections is far worse than said pompous self bloated "pious corporations".

@Clyde Wyman

Way to generalize an entire religion based on the actions of just a few. What, exactly, does your last stated opinion have to do with the topic? If anything, Christians are showing that they enjoy being in the spotlight, otherwise the CoE wouldn't be doing squat about it.

Has anyone noticed yet that this is a pretty nice dose of advertising for Sony.

Sony should make a substantial donation to whatever charity... and they should make sure that gets reported too, wonder how long this advertising campain can last.

Damned Church..... now they want to get money?? Church is corrupted, and i start thinking that all of this means "we want money too". That makes me vomit..... Why do they exist again? Incredible, this time God has to look at them and do something.. =P
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