Bully Is Still A Take-Two Priority, Trademark Disputes Prove
Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games, continues to be a friendly company. A new wave trademark dispute focuses on terms such as “Rockstar,” 2K,” Take-Two, and most importantly, “Bully.” This implies that the Bully IP remains a top priority for Take-Two Interactive. Take-Two began aggressively removing Grand Theft Auto Mods related to classic PS2-era games under the pretext that the creations were “bad behavior” or detrimental to “The Economy.” Many fans believed that mods were preventing plans to remaster the iconic hits. After months of speculation, Rockstar Games finally confirmed these theories when they released Grand Theft Auto III – The Definitive Version in October.
Despite the GTA trilogy remaster, Take-Two’s legal team continued to file lawsuits, DMCAs, and DMCAs to permanently take down many Grand Theft Auto fan projects and mods. This left its community feeling disappointed and betrayed. The publisher launched a new campaign to target Grand Theft Auto IV. This included requesting the removal and permanent taking of many mods that were more than a decade old. Although this was unexpected, many were not surprised by a leak from an insider that suggested Rockstar Games’ next remaster might be Grand Theft Auto IVbundled in its popular expansions in 2023. Although no evidence was presented, this again sparked speculation among fans who expect more disputes and DMCA strikes by Take-Two.
A perplexing tweet from GTA data miners shared a list that they found on the official United States Patent and Trademark Office site. It highlights hundreds of trademark disputes filed by Take-Two Interactive. According to the data miner, the publisher tried to claim words like “Rockstar,” “Take-Two,” and even claimed It Takes Two. However, a closer look at the website reveals that Rockstar also claimed “Bully” as well as the term “Bully-free world.” This suggests that Rockstar still regards the IP as a top priority, despite not making official announcements about its future after almost two decades.
Although there have been many rumors about a Bullysequel ever since its original release 15 years ago, more information has continued to surface regarding the IP. However, no official announcement has been made by its developers. Rockstar games updated Bully the trademark three more times earlier this year. Despite it being previously reported that Bully was canceled in 2019 because of Rockstar’s continued work with Grand Theft Auto 6. Fans began to speculate about whether the long-awaited sequel was still in development.
It is unclear what Take-Two intends to do by claiming ownership over words related to games and studios. Although it seems unlikely that the disputes will be settled in Take-Two’s favor, this could mean that Bully could still be in development and could be announced in the future.
Rockstar Games are well-known for causing controversy. However, 2006’s Bully was subject to far more scrutiny than it deserves before its release. Bully was announced shortly after Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ Hot Coffee mod and shared a release window at GTA’s second PSP spinoff, Vice City Stories. It came to the world with the red letter that it was a Rockstar action-adventure game, with all the negatives and positives that this implies.
Bully’s protagonist Jimmy Hopkins is a troubled teenager who has been expelled from school many times. His new stepfather decided to send him to boarding school to get him out of his hair while he and Mrs. Hopkins enjoy their honeymoon. Jimmy is a rebellious, sarcastic teenager who spends the game making new friends and enemies in a fictional New England town called Bullworth Vale. It’s home to Bullworth Academy. This location may be within driving distance of Grand Theft Auto’s Liberty City//or Alderney, but it’s not confirmed in the game.
Bully’s story reveals that Jimmy brings peace to five rival cliques at the school – Nerds Preppies, Greasers, and Bullies – before being set up by a one-time ally. He also meets the local townsfolk and clears his name. However, based on the title and publisher, groups such as Peaceaholics and Bullying Online were critical of the game’s alleged themes long before it was launched (via ArsTechnica). Jack Thompson, an anti-GTA lawyer and now barred tried to ban Bully from Florida. In 2008, Bully: Scholarship Edition was released. A judge in Brazil banned the game from import. This decision lasted until 2016.
Rockstar didn’t want Bullies to Make Rockstars.
Bully is satirical of the real world. However, it’s more playful than Grand Theft Auto in its themes. This game isn’t meant to encourage or glorify teenagers harassing or picking on another. It tells a story about a young man’s journey that challenges stereotypes and encourages them to look beyond their first impressions. Although it is not a groundbreaking media topic, it is unique in its genre. Many games that focus on teens in video games are RPGs inspired or created by Japanese developers.
Its name and preconceptions suggest that Bully’s main arc has a meta aspect. Although violence is the game’s central mechanic, it is not lethal. The game also prioritizes self-defense. The main character’s ego is a problem leading to the climax. However, his attempts at taking over the school are closely related to, if not dependent upon, making the place more peaceful and less about making money from criminal underworlds. Bully’s end is about the player character righting their world and NPCs getting their just desserts. However, it doesn’t end with driving a car into a lake carrying a billionaire in its trunk. Bully focuses on saving the headteacher from kidnapping and getting the girl back to school. It also teaches you how to find love, even if it’s a teen puppy dog kind. The bully may not be the game that people believed it to be before its release