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Data miners prove Bully 2 was in development, could it come back?

bully artwork

A recent discovery in a leaked Grand Theft Auto 5 programming file has drawn attention to Bully 2 and suggests that the game may still be in development.

Bully is a game that has been talked about quite often in recent years, with many waxing nostalgic about the days before Rockstar Games seemingly dedicated all its efforts re-releasing its own games or maintaining Grand Theft Auto Online. That talking point has softened since Grand Theft Auto 6 was officially confirmed, but many still long for the return of the 2006 PlayStation 2 classic.

While Rockstar Games has not officially said anything, there have been several leaks and reports that confirm that Bully 2 was in development at one point. The latest example of this is data miners finding references to the unreleased game within the code of Grand Theft Auto 5.

Bully 2 is confirmed to have been in development

Bully 2 was in development at one point, but there are no signs that it could be released any time in the foreseeable future.

Bully 2 was reportedly in development by Rockstar New England between 2010 and 2013. This was reported by multiple gaming media outlets and Rockstar-focused content creators. Developers who worked for Rockstar during that time have confirmed that the game was being made.

The existence of the game was confirmed by GTA data miners GlowDevs and WildBrick142, who were able to find mentions of the unreleased Bully 2 in hidden GTA 5 files, suggesting that there was a build of the game. Facets of this build were possibly utilized for GTA 5, GTA Online, or Red Dead Redemption 2.

Given the historical development context, it is not surprising to find references to Bully 2 in data strings for other games made by Rockstar. The nature of the recently discovered codes raises the question of whether the original development build of Bully 2 has been revived or if the project has been abandoned altogether. 

Will there be a Bully 2?

Despite the speculation surrounding Bully 2, Rockstar Games has not officially confirmed the game exists, and a release date remains undetermined.

Leakers surrounding Rockstar games have suggested that Bully 2’s development extended well past that 2013 date, with some saying that it was in the works until 2017. The belief is that staff were pulled from the project in order to allocate more developers for Red Dead Redemption 2 and GTA 6.

GTA 6 is in the final stages of development, with Rockstar Games recently announcing the premier of the game’s first trailer in December. The game is expected to have more realistic time management and innovative AI interaction thanks to the jump to the Rage 9 engine. Rockstar will likely have more development bandwidth for new projects once GTA 6 is done development. Fans can hope that Bully 2 is dusted off once that time comes.

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Written by Mohamed Hassan

Mohamed still treasures his time playing games on the original PlayStation, speedrunning through the Megaman X games and replaying acclaimed role-playing game Chrono Cross countless times. Since then, his love for JRPGs and platformers has only grown and is among the driving forces behind his passion for writing about video games.

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