According to a new report from Game Informer, Bully 2 was once a promising playable continuation of the franchise which was ultimately killed by Rockstar by 2009.
Throughout Game Informer’s report, a few past employees of Rockstar New England, formerly Mad Doc Software, detail many of the planned features that would have made Bully 2 special, and ultimately worth the investment from Rockstar.
In the report, it’s claimed that while Bully 2 had a smaller map than other open-world Rockstar games being made at the time, it wasn’t lacking in scope, as Rockstar New England planned to make every building enterable, which allowed for all kinds of hijinks and activities in-game. The game was also planned to have complex AI systems, with NPC’s that would remember your actions, similarly to Red Dead Redemption 2‘s honor system.
While many modern games remain unable to attain this level of depth, Rockstar New England reportedly had a six to eight-hour vertical slice of the game that was “fully rendered, fully realized.” Despite some areas of the game “starting to become feature-complete,” past employees state that “Bully 2 would still have needed two to three or more years before being ready to be shipped.”
Despite seemingly showing a lot of promise from its inception, Bully 2 has never seen the light of day. According to the past employees Game Informer spoke to, the project once had 50 to 70 people working on it, however over time people were slowly pulled from the development of Bully 2 in order to work on other games such as Max Payne 3 and Red Dead Redemption, which ultimately lead to the project’s demise.
Despite being shelved in 2009, Bully 2 is reportedly still in development according to a recent report by industry insider Tom Henderson. In their report, it was claimed that “there’s something definitely ‘going on’ to do with the series,” as reportedly a lucky few have seen a playable version of the game recently. Bully 2 was supposedly planned to be announced during The Game Awards, however, this announcement never came to fruition.