Cathedral, Sony battle rages

Dispute centers on PS3 game

LONDON — A dispute between the Church of England and Sony Corp. about the use of Manchester Cathedral in PlayStation 3 game “Resistance: Fall of Man,” a violent shoot ’em up, rumbled on Friday as claims that the media giant was in discussions with the dioceses was kicked into touch.

A Sony spokesperson told Variety, “We are talking directly to Manchester Cathedral about the issue.” However, this was denied by cathedral reps Friday. “They’re using that phrase as a holding position,” said spokesperson David Marshall. “There have been no conversations.”

The row broke out after the cathedral’s dean blasted Sony for re-creating “the interior of any religious building, such as a mosque, synagogue or, in this case, a cathedral with photo-realistic quality, and then encourage people to have gun battles in the building,” wrote Rev. Rogers Govender on behalf of the dean and canons of the cathedral. “(It is) beyond belief and, in our view, highly irresponsible.”

Church officials had sought an official apology from Sony, a substantial donation to the church’s education department, as well as a request to remove the sections in the game featuring the cathedral’s interior.

The game is set in an alternate reality in 1951 where World War II never happened and humanity is threatened by alien invaders. Britain is the last outpost of humanity in a now-deserted Europe and are waiting for U.S. military help to fight back against the alien Chimera.

Sony officials had released a statement earlier this week stating, “Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is aware of the concerns expressed by the Bishop of Manchester and the cathedral authorities about the use of Manchester Cathedral in the game ‘Resistance: Fall of Man,’ and we naturally take their concerns very seriously.

” ‘Resistance: Fall of Man’ is a fantasy science fiction game and is not based on reality. The game is set in an alternate and mythical version of Europe in the 1950s, in which the enemy are strange looking alien invaders seeking to destroy humanity.”

Although no official decision had been taken, the ongoing row over the game means the church’s threat of legal action again Sony remains a possibility, although Govender confirmed the church had a “fervent desire to find a mutually satisfactory conclusion to this matter.”

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