Trademark Renewal From Rockstar Hints At Bully Sequel
Bart Simpson has nothing on James "Jimmy" Hopkins, as we prepare to jump back into the brutal world of Rockstar Games' Bully. The 2006 game stuck with the studio's tried and tested open-world mechanics, but this time, we weren't heading to the Ol' West or San Andreas. While it's been 15 years since Bully first punched its way into our lives, there's fresh hope that a sequel is on the way.
Like any good Rockstar title, Bully was caught in a media furore. Despite Bully involving non-lethal violence and the fact you couldn't kick a prostitute to the floor, it didn't stop critics branding it a "public nuisance". Before the title even released, a protest from the activist group Peaceoholics was organised outside the Rockstar HQ. This didn't stop Bully from selling well and winning multiple game awards.
Unfortunately, while the likes of Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto are largely remembered as peak Rockstar, Bully has slipped into the niche realms of Manhunt. Still, that hasn't stopped loyal fans from demanding another trip to Bullworth Academy. A new trademark from Rockstar has hinted that the long-abandoned sequel is finally in the works.
Is the Rockstar trademark proof of a Bully sequel?
News of a Bully sequel from Rockstar is nothing new. Original reports claim the first game didn't sell well enough to warrant a sequel, however, musician Shawn Lee sparked hope of Bully 2 when he said he was going to score the next game in 2009. Only last year, reports circulated that a sequel HAD been in development around 2010, with a playable prototype even being built. The project reportedly didn't gain enough traction at Rockstar- leading to its eventual axe. All these years later, Rockstar has just updated the Bully trademark three times (in a single day) to spark speculation that Bully 2 is ready to reclaim the playground.
As spotted by MP1st, Rockstar has just made some major movement on the Bully trademark. On April 30, the official USPTO website confirms Rockstar updated the Bully IP three times. It's not guaranteed that the developer plans to do anything with Bully, but it's a pretty big indication that something could be in the works. Even if it's not an immediate announcement, it hasn't stopped fans from getting their hopes up that Bully 2 is on the way.
Is Rockstar working on a Bully sequel?
If (and it's a big if) Rockstar is working on a Bully sequel, it will lead to obvious concerns about what's going on with Grand Theft Auto 6. Only last year, an unsubstantiated post started doing the rounds on the GTA Forums and spectacularly claimed that plans to resurrect Bully were scrapped for a second time in 2015 when Rockstar shifted focus to working on GTA 6. Some six years later, we're still no closer to even an announcement of GTA 6, so we're not sure the two are connected.
Adding fuel to the Bully 2 fire, Rockstar also listed three new jobs for game testers on April 30. Even though some took this to mean GTA 6 might finally be taking a leap forward, it might be linked to a Bully sequel. Ultimately, Rockstar would be foolish to shift focus to Bully 2 before releasing GTA 6. Despite GTA V going strong and being the most profitable entertainment product of all time, players are getting increasingly frustrated with a lack of updates - meaning some doubt we'll ever get a sixth main series entry to the vehicular shooter.
In typical Rockstar style, no one at the top is willing to confirm or deny any of the rumours. Away from the idea of a Bully sequel, it's entirely possible the studio has been quietly tinkering away on a next-gen remaster in line with the hopeful 2021 release of a GTA V remaster. Even though that's not quite the news of Bully 2, it's still a big win for those that want to see Jimmy dragged kicking and screaming into a new generation. For now, the barrage of rumours and whispers have left us feeling like we've beaten up and had our milk money stolen.
Images via Rockstar Games