The hype for Rockstar's next game is growing and it might not be Grand Theft Auto 6. If rumors are to be believed, a Bully 2 game could be next.
Bully - Rockstar's lesser known game
With so much attention given to Grand Theft Auto, and even the Red Dead Redemption series, Bully may be an unknown entity to some. It released in 2006 on the PS2. It has since been remastered for the Xbox 360/Xbox One and is also available on the Wii and mobile platforms.
- Read More: When is GTA 6 coming out? Rumors, release date, story and more for the next Grand Theft Auto game
Bully is an action-adventure game where you navigate your way around the town of Bullworth. It has been praised as a game which was ahead of its time, but is considered a controversial game even today with critics accusing it of glorifying or trivializing bullying.
The classic game has developed somewhat of a cult following and many of its fans are hopeful that a sequel will materialize. The good news for them is that there are rumors that a Bully 2 game may be in the works.
Is Bully 2 coming?
While there has been nothing official surrounding a potential Bully 2 release, there have been interesting developments which suggests it is very much in the pipeline.
The first clue appears to be a mistake from Pinewood Studios Casting Director, Jessica Jeffries, who promoted a casting call for a "new unannounced video game".
Furthermore, the role specified younger participants. It was also confirmed that the scenes would contain mild violence and profanity. This certainly sounds like a description of a casting call for Bully 2.
The casting for this project is now complete. The project is not Bully 2 and we were looking for professional, UK based performers. I have been inundated with emails from people wanting to be a part of the project and I apologise for not being able to reply to everyone.
— Jessica Jefferies (@jessicajcasting) October 22, 2018
Interestingly, Jeffries even went out her way to state, on multiple occasions, that the casting call wasn't for Bully 2. However, that is what somebody would say if Rockstar felt she had revealed too much information about a yet to be announced game.
In addition to this, Pinewood Studios followed Rockstar Games on various forms of social media, an act they have historically reserved for companies they are working with.
Actual confirmation from a developer?
Technical Designer, Alex Martens, who has been working at Rockstar Games since August 2016, appears to have directly confirmed the development of Bully 2.
On two separate Bully 2 related videos, Martens commented that it is in development.
Now, a YouTube account can be set up by anyone with anyone's name so this is by no means conclusive evidence that Bully 2 is official. However, a quick check of the YouTube channel in question showed it was made back in 2013. This, at least, provides a little more validity to the claim.
Since then, 'Alex Martens' has changed his name on YouTube, removed pictures and made his subscription list private.
Somebody else in the know?
In a Reddit post from January 2019, "InfamousIan" claimed a source of theirs said that Bully 2 was 80% completed.
Moreover, they also claimed that the aforementioned casting call was indeed for Bully 2.
Elsewhere, someone who claims to work for Take-Two Interactive says Rockstar are planning a surprise announcement. On the now deleted Reddit post, they commented: "Let's just say that E3 2019 will completely blindside you with one of Rockstar's announcements." E3 2019 has since come and gone without even a whisper or a Rockstar announcement, though.
They went on to say: "We are building a landing page for Take-Two right now for something unannounced." Of course this could be the hugely anticipated GTA 6. However, and perhaps more likely, is a Bully 2 announcement. What game will be announced remains complete speculation though.
Was Bully 2 canceled?
Rumors surfaced in July 2019 that Bully 2 had been in development all the way back in 2009. This means a sequel was planned in a relatively short time following the original.
Bully enthusiast SWEGTA has done a lot of research on the development of Bully 2 and found quotes from a developer who worked at Rockstar back in 2009. He discovered plans for the game were scrapped in favor of focusing development on Red Dead Redemption, putting a Bully successor on the shelf indefinitely.
A lot of time has passed since then though, and this can be considered a mere footnote in the Bully development saga as current indications are that it is indeed in development.
Bully 2 release date
Rockstar Games don't release games often. When they do, it is usually of the highest standard. Consequently, with Red Dead Redemption 2 releasing in October 2018, Bully 2 might be a little while away yet.
A 2019 release seems too soon given there hasn't been any form of Bully 2 announcement. A release near the arrival of the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett, which are both expected in the fall of 2020, is more likely. Then there is also the question of when the inevitable GTA 6 will release.
This is assuming that a Bully 2 release will come before GTA 6. There is also the alternative that the PS5 does release in November 2020, as expected, and that Grand Theft Auto 6 will release the following year.
Polygon leaked Bully 2, since claim it was a mistake
Out of nowhere on July 28, Polygon posted an article "Bully fans think they’ve found secret news of a sequel" which discussed the hint of a Bully 2 release in GTA Online. The importance of the article came in the URL though, which was "bully-sequel-announced-fall-2020-news-embargoed-do-not-publish" - woops.
The Internet immediately jumped on it, believing Polygon had revealed Rockstar's next release Bully 2 for the Fall of 2020,. However, the excitement was short lived when the page was updated with "Our original joke URL for this post has been changed. Sorry if that got your hopes up.” It did get our hopes up, it did.
Since then author of the article, Owen S. Good, took full responsibility for the mistake saying: "Well, I am dining on one tasty plate of crow right now. That was a joke/troll URL. Yes it was a dumb idea. I was the only one involved in its creation (i.e. nobody else here laughed and said go for it). We’re changing it. Oh hell yeah I regret this. Not worth it and won’t do it again."
Who knows maybe the leak was a genuine mistake and Good is just covering Polygon - only time will tell.
Regardless, a Bully 2 game and its subsequent release is all speculation at this point. It will likely tie around GTA 6, but we can't be for certain.
These are all rumors from unofficial sources. The evidence suggests that Bully 2 is more a 'when' rather than an 'if,' but even so, hopes should be managed accordingly.
Last updated 05:13 ET, July 29, 2019