Rockstar planned to make Bully 2, according to a new report, and while the game never materialized, we’ve now learned more about what the studio reportedly had in mind for the sequel.
Game Informer spoke with developers at Rockstar New England, the studio originally known as Mad Doc before Rockstar acquired it, who shared fresh details on plans for the sequel. The original game was developed by Rockstar Vancouver, with Rockstar New England stepping in for the Scholarship Edition. The sequel is said to have been in development between 2008 and 2010.
The plan, according to the developers speaking to the magazine, was for Bully 2 to be an “event” game that could sit alongside GTA IV and Red Red Redemption in terms of its stature and importance to Rockstar.
“There was a lot of focus on character, very deep systems, seeing how far we could push that, and putting it up there alongside a GTA,” one developer said.
Around 50-70 people might have been working on Bully 2, the report said, which was a bigger team than the first game to accommodate its reportedly larger scope.
The Bully 2 map wouldn’t have been as large as GTA IV’s (due in part to there being no vehicles), but it was projected to be about three times the size of the first Bully’s map. Every building in the game could be entered, according to the plan. “If you could see it, you could go into it,” a developer said.
Bully 2 was also going to feature a gameplay system that would have the game remember what your character, Jimmy, did, and then respond to that. “If you pulled a prank on your neighbor, they’d remember it,” one developer said.
Rockstar also reportedly planned to have a new realistic-looking grass-growing mechanic in Bully 2 as well as a new “glass fragmentation system” that would make glass break in different ways each time. In the sequel, Jimmy could climb trees, fences, and ledges, according to the report.
About six to eight hours of Bully 2 was playable, the report said, but it would have required about two or three more years of development before it would be released. It was not meant to be, however, as developers working on the game were shifted to other projects. The report doesn’t mention a specific reason that Rockstar opted not to see the game through to release. Rockstar had no comment on the report.
The full report is a fascinating and eye-opening look into Bully 2 and the wider situation surrounding its development–go read it here.
As for what Rockstar is working on, the studio is releasing Grand Theft Auto V on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S this March. A standalone version of GTA Online is releasing then as well, and it’ll be free on PS5 for PS Plus subscribers for the first three months.