Rockstar’s Dan Houser drops a tiny tidbit about a potential sequel to 2006’s excellent Bully.
When asked about the eight year between Max Payne 2 and the upcoming Max Payne 3 in an interview with Gamasutra, Houser talked about how Rockstar picks their projects, and mentioned a potential Bully sequel.
In his words:
“Contrary to a lot of people, we like to take a little bit of time at the end of a game before starting a sequel, so we can wait for the excitement or disappointment and everything else of the experience to shake down and really see what we should do in the next game.
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.”
In my opinion, Bully, or Canis Canem as it’s called in PAL regions, stands as the greatest bait and switch in gaming history. Given Rockstar’s penchant for irreverent violence and the few screens it showed of the game during development, the public was expecting something akin to Grand Theft Auto. The popular media swarmed to it, accusing the game of glorifying bullying and childhood violence before it had even reached the shelves.
Of course, when Bully was finally released it actually turned out to be a light-hearted romp with a fairly admirable moral message about the need to stand up for yourself, be comfortable in your own sexuality and reject peer pressure. Protagonist Jimmy Hopkins wasn’t the thug he appeared to be, but an intelligent young man prone to defending the downtrodden and exposing the ethical transgressions of the school’s staff. It was hilarious. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite sell as well as the GTA series, nor the shockingly violent Manhunt and, save an updated port for the 360 and pc, the series has been on the back burner for years. This marks the first time a sequel to Bully has been brought up in around two years. Hopefully more comes of it this time.