Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto V took the gaming world by storm earlier this year, breaking sales records and receiving widespread critical acclaim. While the GTA franchise might be the longest-running and most successful of Rockstar’s franchises, the studio’s occasional exploration of other open worlds are also fondly remembered by fans.
Old West sandbox game Red Dead Redemption is at least as good as any of the GTA games, but the social microcosm of Bullworth Academy in high school misery simulator Bully is also a must-play from Rockstar’s library. The player takes on the role of Jimmy Hopkins, a teenager who gets dumped at the school by his mother and stepfather and finds it filled to the rafters with vicious bullies needing to be conquered.
This year there have been a number of indications that Bully 2 might already be in development at Rockstar, starting with a trademark application from Take-Two Interactive that was filed this summer. Now the trademark applications continue, as Junkie Monkeys has spotted another application, this time for “Bully Bullworth Academy: Canis Canem Edit.” The latter half of this is the school’s motto in latin, which translates as “dog eats dog.”
The video game industry breaks our hearts all the time, so it’s important to bear in mind that this could be something other than a full sequel to Bully. OXM discovered a CV for a graphics engineer at Rockstar who claims to be working on the “next version of a famous IP,” which could refer to either Bully or Red Dead Redemption. However, the “next version” that he is referring to and the trademark for the game could both be simply for a new port, for example to next-gen consoles or mobile platforms.
Having said that, there’s also plenty of reasons why Rockstar would want to make a sequel to Bully the next project on the agenda. Co-creator Dan Houser has said that Rockstar’s approach is to, “take a little bit of time at the end of a game before starting a sequel,” and that while the developers did want to work on a Bully sequel, it wouldn’t be until after the release of Max Payne 3.
With that in mind, it definitely sounds like Rockstar’s next game will be something outside of the GTA franchise, and while there’s still a possibility that another Red Dead game could be on the cards, all this trademarking seems to point to Bully instead. Despite not being an immediate breakout success, Bully eventually sold 1.5 million copies of the PS2 version and has since been ported to PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
The mere prospect of getting a Bully sequel for the new console generation is enough to generate a lot of wishful thinking, but the current information suggests that it is a solid possibility. Let’s hope it can happen without another big moral panic.