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Bully May Be Doomed to Live in Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption's Shadow

Bully May Be Doomed to Live in Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption's Shadow Image
  • Posted on 12th Nov, 2022 06:40 AM

Despite several rumors and fan hype surrounding a Bully sequel, the series may have become a victim of Rockstar Games' burgeoning success.

p>Back in 2006, after the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Rockstar Games put out a surprising new IP called Bully. Melding Rockstar's signature tongue-in-cheek storytelling with a tale of rebellious adolescence, the game somehow managed to take the freedom of Grand Theft Auto to a less-than-PG schoolyard setting. The game was received very well initially, but since then, there hasn't been another entry in the series.

Considering 2016's port of the Scholarship Edition was the last thing heard from the series, the game may never see a sequel or future release. Rockstar continues to steal the spotlight from its other franchises, and the high school mischief simulator is one of many victims of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption's great success. While there's still a possibility Bully may return in the future, it's seemingly not in the Rockstar Games agenda for now.

RELATED: Red Dead Redemption 2 Shares Many Voice Actors With Bully

Bully Releases So Far

Bully initially came out in 2006 on the PlayStation 2, just a year after the highly successful Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. At the time, it was a critical and commercial success, despite controversies and complaints associated with its young adult violence and alleged trivialization of harassment. Selling around 1.5 million copies in its initial run, it seemed like a successful new IP for Rockstar Games. This would not be the case, and there wouldn't be any word from Rockstar about potentially continuing the franchise in the future.

Subsequent Bully releases were sent out for several platforms, but they were either ports or special editions of the original game. Entitled Bully: Scholarship Edition, the game initially released two years later on Xbox 360 and Wii, with a PC release also coming later on in 2008. Eventually Bully: Anniversary Edition was brought to iOS and Android phones in 2016. Beyond that, there's been no new entries or different editions of the base game since 2016. Considering Rockstar Games has been hard at work selling some of the most successful games of all time, it's understandable if Bully has fallen by the wayside from a business standpoint.

Rumors Abound for a Bully 2

Rumors of a Bully sequel in the late 2000s and early 2010s started circulating the internet. Even more recently, rumors have indicated that Bully 2 is coming late 2020, following the original protagonist Jimmy Hopkins through college. There's been numerous purported leaks detailing the game as well, though none have been proven true. There was even a slew of screenshots of Bully 2 that were proven false, created by someone for practically no reason. The most recent Bully sequel "reveal" states that development eventually halted on a Bully 2, with Rockstar New England shelving the project to focus on Red Dead Redemption.

There have even been teases by Rockstar Games itself, posting "Bullworth Academy" merch on its website. There's also been various teases/references in recent Rockstar games like Grand Theft Auto 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2. For example, as part of the Frontier Pursuits expansion for Red Dead Online, one of the newly added bounties references an enraged Meredith Hopkins, sharing the same last name as the protagonist Jimmy from Bully. An even more hair-brained theory came from Grand Theft Auto Online when players decoded morse code that equated to "BLY2" when spelled out. Fans have been looking everywhere for hopes of a new Bully game, but Rockstar may have different plans.

RELATED: 5 Abandoned Titles From Rockstar Games That Should Be Brought Back

Bully is Constantly Overshadowed

Obviously, Bully couldn't compare to Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption when it comes to sales, which could potentially factor into why a Bully sequel was reportedly shelved. After L.A. Noire and Max Payne 3, Rockstar Games has focused strictly on its two biggest franchises without any mention of the publisher's extended library. That's not to say it was a mistake on Rockstar's part, considering Red Dead Redemption 2 saw massive success and Grand Theft Auto 5 becoming the giant that it is, not just in the video game industry but the entertainment industry as a whole.

What's important to note is that both of these games had massive budgets, and likely required collaboration between many of the Rockstar Games studios in order to ship the game. Rockstar likely wants to keep that momentum going, especially with all the rumors and leaks referencing an upcoming Grand Theft Auto 6 reveal/release. Because of this, exterior projects like Bully will likely be on hold until Rockstar can free up resources. 2013's Max Payne 3 was the last time a title other than Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead came out from Rockstar.

Many of Rockstar's franchises are overdue for a new entry or sequel, especially Bully. But with the massive success of Rockstar's biggest games, it may be a long while before fans' wishes are granted.

Bully 2 is rumored to be in development.

MORE: Bully 2: Everything We Want To See In The Game

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