Bully 2 had “fully playable” content before Rockstar’s initial cancellation

Alec Mullins
Jimmy Hopkins with Bully 2 loggo

A new report details that development on Bully 2 had made significant progress and that the game was partially playable prior to its initial cancellation at Rockstar New England. 

Bully 2 has been something of an urban legend on the internet. Rockstar’s schoolyard smash took the gaming world by storm in 2006 and fans have been clamoring for a sequel ever since.

While whispers of a new game in the franchise have been appearing online for years, GameInformer has now confirmed that the development team had made significant progress on the title before games like Max Payne 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV caused the project to fizzle out.

Bully 2 had hours of playable content prior to being canceled

Rockstar was fully developing Bully 2 prior to it's initial cancelation
Bully 2’s development was well underway prior to Rockstar’s development

After interviewing several former Rockstar New England employees, Blake Hester reported that major work had gone down on the follow-up to the ’06 title.

In his report, Hester writes of the studio’s progress with the game: “Three people say almost the entire studio worked on Bully 2, at some point, with overall headcount estimations being around 50 to 70 people.”

Marc Anthony Rodriguez, a former analyst for Rockstar and one of the leads on Bully: Scholarship Edition suggests that roughly eight hours of the game was “fully rendered, fully realized.”

Rockstar Games
Bully 2’s development even influenced Red Dead Redemption 2

In one conversation, an anonymous dev revealed that many of the pieces that were intended for Bully 2 eventually made their way into games like Max Payne 3 and even 2018’s Red Dead Redemption 2.

When referencing RDR2, one dev explained that the way NPCs react to Arthur Morgan depending on his Honor level came from the building blocks of Bully 2: “The way that you interact with other characters in the world, more than just with your gun or with your fist, they have some sense of memory – a lot of that stuff [originated in Bully 2.]”

While the project was reportedly put on ice as more and more of the New England studio got pulled away to other projects, there have been some rumors suggesting that it could resurface in the coming weeks.