A report from Video Game Chronicle has revealed new details about a Bully sequel that was in development at Rockstar New England for around 18 months before work on the project was ultimately cancelled.
According to VGC, sources told the outlet a new Bully game was in development at Rockstar between the 2010 launch of Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto V in 2013. While the script for the game had been penned by company co-founder Dan Houser and other higher-ups as early as 2008, actual development of a playable concept began much later, and according to one of the sources, the game was in a playable state.
The “very small slice” of the proposed game had an open-world setup, and “simplistic” gameplay in working order. While it wasn’t much, it was being developed in the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine, which was used for most of the studio’s other major titles of the past decade like Grand Theft Auto IV and V, both Red Dead Redemption games, and Max Payne 3.
While the notion of a playable Bully sequel may sting for longtime fans hoping to return to that world, from the sound of it, a majority of the game had only reached the outlining stages. Houser’s script had only written out the first few scenes, and where it was all going to go was still up in the air. One of VGC’s sources mentioned that exploring protagonist Jimmy’s life in college was on the table, but ultimately development never reached that point and the team working on it was re-assigned.
Rockstar may eventually get back to Bully, but right now the company is primarily focusing on the online components of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2, even stating it has no plans to release any single player content for either game.
In other Rockstar news, the company has its own PC game launcher and storefront now, and it supports the original Bully: Scholarship Edition, along with more modern Rockstar mainstays like Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2. But at the moment it doesn’t include some older games in the company’s catalog, such as Grand Theft Auto IV and the first two Max Payne titles.