Friedman Has Decided: Bully is Alright

Gaming blog Destructoid, which reported firsthand on this week's developments in the saga of Jack Thompson vs. Rockstar Vancouver's Bully (PS2), now has the latest scoop: Judge Ronald Friedman, who demanded that Rockstar present him with a copy of the game to determine if it falls within Florida's public nuisance regulations, has issued the verdict that there's really nothing all that bad about Bully, after all. "ThereÂ’s nothing in the game that you wouldnÂ’t see on TV every night," he said. He admitted that "he wouldnÂ’t want his kids to play the game, but that shouldnÂ’t mean that the game wonÂ’t ship." Bully has been rated "T for Teen" by the ESRB.

According to Destructoid, the game was seen by Friedman, Thompson, and an employee of publisher Take-Two for approximately two hours, by which point Friedman found it clear that the game need not be restricted. During today's session, Thompson was chastised by the judge for outbursts in court. Thompson has apparently elected not to pursue further appeal, as the game will have shipped by the time it would have any effect.

This week, Thompson called the gameplay demonstration a "huge victory against the violent video game industry," but the judge's final ruling falls squarely within precedent for previous such cases, nearly all of which have had similar end results.

Rockstar Vancouver's Bully (PS2) (known as Canis Canem Edit outside of North America) ships next week in North America.