Jimmy Hopkins of Bullworth Academy may no longer be with us, but that hasn't stopped die-hard fans of the Rockstar one-off from raising that one burning question: when will the rebellious student return, and when can we expect to see Bully 2 alive and kicking on consoles and PC? Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief and the countless rumors booting about on forums like Reddit, Rockstar Games isn't actually working on the sequel. But then, this isn't to say that it won't be coming to all major platforms in the future.
So, if we don't have any concrete data on the unconfirmed sequel, then what do we have to go on? Well, here's everything we've been able to scrape together to date, from the rumors surrounding its setting to the potential release date and platforms.
What Is Bully 2?
Bully 2 is the unconfirmed sequel to Rockstar Games' cult classic action-adventure game Bully (also known as Canis Canem Edit outside of the U.S.) It is also one of the most requested sequels to date, with millions of longtime fans of the IP pledging their support to the concept. In spite of their undivided appreciation, though, Rockstar Games has yet to fully commit to the project, and has, at least for over a decade, kept a pretty stale breadcrumb trail for others to loosely follow.
The good news is, the groundwork for a sequel has already been laid out, as Rockstar Games confirmed quite a ways back. However, due to higher priority IPs including Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3 hogging all the spotlights back in the late noughties, the actual development of the game never actually saw the light of day. And this was over a decade ago, too, so if Hopkins was to ever return on modern consoles, then chances are the whole project would have to be wiped and brought back to square one for a fresh perspective.
Believe it or not, there was once a story circulating the early sketches of a Bully sequel; it depicted Jimmy Hopkins spending his summer vacation at his stepfather's estate, a passage that was to serve as the prologue to a much bigger and more open-world type of game. Ex-employees of Rockstar New England never actually elaborated on this, so it's hard to say what would've come after the prologue stages.
It comes as no surprise that there are countless rumors surrounding the premise—most notably the one that involves Jimmy's life at university. Whatever the case may be, it's doubtful that we'll hear anything about its setting or time period for at least another couple of years or so.
Apparently, Bully 2 was originally designed to accomodate a map that was three, maybe even four times larger than the original game. And while it wasn't going to be quite as spacious as Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar New England employees did go on to say that the areas would feature more explorable buildings and landmarks. But as for what these buildings would've looked like on the inside is still anybody's guess.
Besides the open world, Bully is still very much known for its unique blend of classroom activities, extracurricular shenanigans, and collectibles. If we had to put a pretty penny on it, then we'd argue that the sequel will only likely double up on these elements, but for a university-like setting. Again, it's hard to say at this point.
Bully, an IP owned entirely by Rockstar Games, is only ever going to revive a sequel if its creators make the bold decision to pursue it. If it does come to pass, then chances are a new subsidiary will be heading up the drawing board, as Rockstar Vancouver (the firm that developed the original) actually merged with Rockstar Toronto way back in 2012.
Of course, there was a moment in time where Bully 2 could very well have happened, as Rockstar New England has mentioned on several occasions since it phased out back in 2013. According to the studio, between 50 and 80 employees spent eighteen months working on the sequel, but it was later cancelled in favor of games including Max Payne 3 and Red Dead Redemption. As of 2013, the idea of making a sequel has remained more of a “possibility” than anything else.
“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,” Rockstar executive Dan Houser told Gamasutra. “So we knew that we didn't want to start doing the Bully sequel instantly at that second with Rockstar Vancouver even though it is a property that, like Max Payne, 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 Payne, and then we will see what we can do with Bully.”
Indeed, there are trailers for Bully 2, though nothing directly from Rockstar Games. This isn't likely to change anytime soon, either, as the top-shelf developer will be funneling all of its resources and attention into Grand Theft Auto 6 for the next two or so years. If something does pop up out of the blue, however, then we'll be the first to let you know the second it drops.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
It hasn't been announced yet—and it's a real long shot—but providing Rockstar Games can get Grand Theft Auto 6 out by 2024, then there's nothing to say that Bully 2 won't be the next game in the pipeline. And to think, if a game takes roughly three to four years to develop, then this could technically slot Bully 2 up somewhere between 2027 and 2028. And this is wishful thinking, truly, but also the most likely bracket insiders are flocking to.
Given the fact that the original Bully first launched on PlayStation 2, it does seem highly likely that the sequel will be coming directly to PlayStation 5. It's also worth noting that the Scholarship Edition—a fully remastered and boosted version of the first game—released on Xbox 360. So, neither the PS5 nor Xbox Series X|S are exactly out of the question at this stage. Heck, if it does arrive in 2027, then it could just land on PlayStation 6 and Xbox Series 2.
For more information on Bully 2 and all its cryptic details, be sure to follow the official social handle here. We'll be sure to feed you any updates should they come to light at any point this year.
So, what's your take? Do you think we'll see an update on Bully 2 at any point in 2023? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.