It seems like every few weeks a new Bully 2 rumor, leak, or report surfaces from the forgotten parts of the Internet, giving hope to fans of the series that Rockstar Games may one day revisit it. That said, most of the time the rumors are shoddy at best, but this time it seems like the Bully 2 rumor mill has actually produced something with a little bit of meat to it.
The new rumor comes way of one of Reddit's greatest sleuths, Fika122, who provided screenshots and other evidence of a conversation they had with a former Rockstar Games employee to SWEGTA, a prominent Bully-centric YouTuber. When asked by Fika122 about Bully 2, the former Rockstar Games employee replied:
"Since Rockstar has never officially acknowledged Bully 2 I definitely can't say one way or another," said the former Rockstar New England developer. "I definitely can't say that I worked on it for several months before the project was cancelled, nor could I talk about the pranks or climbing system I definitely wasn't working on."
The developer goes on to reveal that one of the things they were NOT working on is a trip wire prank that used the early rope physics from Red Dead Redemption. There's also mention of a running dive into trashcans to hide from enemies, shimmying around cover, and mini-games.
Interestingly, they also claim the game revolved around Jimmy Hopkin's summer vacation at the enormous house of his new step-dad. Given it took place in the summer, there was no school, and rather the game took place across a nearby town and summer camp. Further, it sounds like the antagonist may have actually been your new step-sibiling.
Now, SWEGTA doesn't provide the actual name of the former developer, because the developer is likely under NDA, and thus could get in trouble for potentially leaking out information. In other words, he doesn't want the mighty power of Rockstar Games legal team coming down on the poor dev. That said, SWEGTA made sure the developer is indeed who Fika122 says he is, and that said developer is legit. For example, the developer does appear in the credits of the first game. For what it's worth, I've dealt with Fika122 in the past, and they're very good at what they do, which is digging up information pertaining to Bully 2 and Rockstar Games. In other words, they are a reliable source, as is SWEGTA.
The developer notes that they believe the project has been cancelled, but they're not 100 percent sure of this. It's possible the project they worked on was cancelled, but it's also possible it morphed into something else or has been revived. Unfortunately, it's a bit unclear. I know from my own sources that Bully 2 was indeed in development, but that's about all I know confidently. But you don't have to take my word for it, while Rockstar Games has never officially said anything about such a project, people involved with it peripherally did at one point confirm its existence. For example, the composer of Bully's soundtrack, Shawn Lee, confirmed he was working on a sequel in some capacity back in 2009.
That all said, the developer in question left Rockstar back in 2009, meaning there's a good chance whatever that project is, it's dead, or at least it's drastically changed, and that it was the same project Lee was referring to. Interestingly, they do claim that the infamous leaked concept art that purported to be from Bully 2 is indeed from the game, but actually dates back before Rockstar even announced Grand Theft Auto V.
As always, take all of this with a grain of salt like any rumor or report. It looks like Bully 2 was at least in development at some point, the question is, is it still in development? I don't know. I've heard off the record that Bully 2 is real and releasing before the next Grand Theft Auto, which makes me think while Bully 2 was cancelled at one point, it was either eventually resurrected or development was rebooted from an earlier state.
If Bully 2 is real and in development, there's a decent chance it's a next-gen game, unless Rockstar announces it this fall, which rumblings on the Internet have suggested will happen, but as you will know, you can't ever trust the Internet's rumblings.