Although Rockstar Games is mainly focusing on the development of Grand Theft Auto V, the company has a couple of other popular open-world franchises that fans are really waiting for. It may not happen soon, but Rockstar vice president has recently hinted the possibility of developing a sequel to the Bully.
Dan Houser stated in an interview with Gamasutra that they may seriously consider making a follow-up to Bully after the release of Max Payne 3. It’s worth pointing out that Rockstar Vancouver, which is actually in charge of Max Payne 3, was the primary development studio that released Bully.
Houser explained why the team decided not to focus on a proper sequel to the 2006 game right away, stating that: “So we knew that we didn’t want to start doing the Bully sequel instantly at that second with those guys — even though it is a property that, like Max, we adore and might come back to in the future. There was just no impetus to do that then.
So we said, ‘You can do Max, and then we will see what we can do with Bully.’ So it was really waiting for the slot to open up and the group to open up to at least start work on it.”
It looks like most fans of the game will have to wait for a while before they see a proper sequel, but considering the success of the first title and the response from both fans and critics I don’t think anybody will complain too much about it.
But why is Bully so fondly remembered?
Bully is also known as Canis Canem Edit as that was the name of the PAL version. The third-person action adventure game was developed by Rockstar Vancouver exclusively for the PlayStation 2 and it was released on October 17, 2006 in North America. There were plans of developing an Xbox version but were eventually dropped and the game was cancelled for unknown reasons. Nevertheless, there was an improved version of the title which came out for the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PC named Bully: Scholarship Edition. The new content included eight more missions, four characters, four classes, more unlockable items and clothing. Furthermore, a two-player cooperative mode was added, the Wii version had different controls and the Xbox 360 had achievements.
As most Rockstar games, this was a sandbox title but it was set in a school environment where the main protagonist could move freely. The player controls James Hopkins a rebel who has an obscure background. After he is kicked out of a prestigious academy, Jimmy can explore both the campus and the city where he can accept various missions and minigames.
The response from the dedicated press was extremely positive and most critics praised the main plot, complex characters, new environments and variety of missions. The weakest parts of the game were the stealth missions and the uncomfortable use of the camera. Still, even to this day, Bully is considered one of Rockstar finest franchises and many fans are eager to play an adventure with similar characteristics. As usual, the game was heavily criticized for many institutions and was surrounded by controversial topics related to bullying, sexuality and violence.