Why Bully 2 needs to happen
Rockstar Games' Bully holds a special place in my heart.
You see, when I was a child, video games were my life. I spent dozens of hours fighting for the noisy crowds of Def Jam Vendetta, roaming the bustling streets of Midnight Club, and breaking ankles in NBA Street. I could play whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Life was good.
But with the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and the controversy surrounding its violence, things changed. My parents took action, implementing a new rule to the household: No M-rated games.
I was devastated.
My older brother pre-ordered the game and my parents grip grew tighter. "No watching," they told me. As if being banned from playing wasn't enough I was now sentenced to torture, knowing my brother was playing in the next room without me.
I was nine at the time. Fast forward three years... I'm twelve and well on my way to puberty still never having played Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. What a tragedy. Even three years following the game's release, I'm upset by this. How could they do this to me? How can they let me miss out on a game like this?
But then I see a trailer for a game called Bully, and everything changes.
I remember it so clearly--the environments, the characters, the freedom. "It's the world of GTA put into a boarding school," I thought to myself. "Forget Grand Theft Auto. I need this."
Convincing my parents to allow me to play it was a struggle, even if it was rated T for teen. The game stirred up a lot of controversy prior to release, being accused of glorifying school bullying. Not only was it untrue, but my parents had no leverage once I turned thirteen. They caved and I finally bought the game for $20. It was a Greatest Hits version.
In it, you play as Jimmy Hopkins, a student recently enrolled in Bullworth Academy. The school is segmented into groups -- jocks, greasers, nerds, and preppies. The school has a clear hierarchy and bullying is rampant. But as Jimmy, rather than get sucked into this culture, you resist and try to bring peace and justice to the school.
The game was everything I imagined it would be. Rockstar delivered as they always do; successfully creating a rich and believable world for players to exist in. I played from start to finish, exploring every detail, squeezing everything I could have out of that game. It was a wonderful experience.
In 2008, the game was upgraded to the Xbox 360, Wii, and PC as Bully: Scholarship Edition, giving new groups the opportunity to experience its story. But it left fans who had already played the game, like myself, wanting more from Rockstar.
Over the next couple of years, rumors circulated about a sequel. Shawn Lee, the musician who scored Bully, said he'd be working on Bully 2 in the near future. That was in 2009. In 2013, Rockstar game producer Dan Houser said he had many ideas about a sequel.
But it's 2016 now. Bully released nearly 10 years ago and there hasn't been any news recently regarding a sequel. Truthfully, I don't see a sequel coming anytime soon. But I'm certain it will eventually.
For me, Bully was exactly what I needed at the time of its release. It told a serious story, in a creative fashion, without relying on excessive violence. Instead of guns and explosives, you had a slingshot and stink bombs. Instead of cars and planes, you had a bike and skateboard. Too old for many E-rated games and too young for the likes of Grand Theft Auto, Bully was the perfect compromise for me.
Of course, I'm not the only one who wants this. There exists a generation of kids facing the same problem I once did, looking to move onto better, more mature experiences. Hopkins story is the perfect option.
So Rockstar, have any room left for enrollment?
Do you want to see Bully 2? What sequels do you want to happen? Let us know in the comments below!