Entertainment giant Sony has apologised to the Church of England for featuring a prominent British cathedral in a violent video game, a spokesman for the church said Friday.
The Japanese firm had written to officials at Manchester Cathedral in north-west England, saying they had not intended to cause offence by using the building in the PlayStation 3 game "Resistance: Fall of Man," he added.
"If we have done so, we sincerely apologise," the letter read. The cathedral's dean, Rogers Govender, said in response: "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."
Govender has said that using the cathedral interior as a backdrop in the bloodthirsty game was "highly irresponsible" due to the city's history of gun violence and that memorial services for victims have been held there.
Indeed, shortly after he spoke, two men in their early twenties were shot in inner Manchester, one of whom later died from his injuries, a Greater Manchester Police spokesman told AFP.
Sony disagreed with Govender. It said in its letter: "We do not accept that there is any connection between contemporary issues in 21st-century Manchester and the work of science fiction in which a fictitious 1950s Britain is under attack by aliens.
"We believe a comprehensive viewing of the work will make its content and context clear." Church of England officials, who are still due to meet Sony executives next week, have called for all copies of the game to be pulled from the shelves and for Sony to make a "substantial donation" to religious charities.