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Rockstar Confirms 2006 Release For  Bully

Rockstar Confirms 2006 Release For Bully

August 9, 2006 | By David Jenkins

August 9, 2006 | By David Jenkins
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More: Console/PC

Officials from Take-Two publishing label Rockstar Games have announced that their previously advertised title Bully will be available this October as a PlayStation 2-exclusive title, despite numerous calls for the game to be banned practically unseen in both the UK and USA.

Although only a handful of screenshots and a vague description has been provided by Rockstar, numerous parental and bullying groups have protested at the suggestion that the game involves the ability to bully pupils in the games virtual school.

Little has been heard of the game in over six months, with some game media even speculating that the game had been cancelled, before a high-profile Reuters news agency report reconfirmed the game's release date.

The UK-founded Bullying Online organization and British MP Keith Vaz have both called for the game to be banned, with infamous anti-game lawyer Jack Thompson also joining the early chorus of disapproval over the game. Washington group the Peaceaholics also called upon Rockstar to not release the game, with the most recent protests being organized by the Miami-Dade County School Board.

Although descriptions of the game were vague on the point of whether the main character, 15 year old Jimmy Hopkins, was involved in bullying himself or merely defending against it Rockstars more recent press material suggests the latter. Although weapons such as baseball bats and stinks bombs are featured, Rockstar has indicated that the game does not include blood or result in the death of characters.

The game is being developed by Rockstars Vancouver studio, previously known as Barking Dog Studios and responsible for PC strategy game Homeworld: Cataclysm. More sympathetic media sources have compared the game Bully to the classic British 8-bit computer title Skool Daze and its sequel Back To Skool, fans of which have long called for a remake.

"Finally Bully can speak for itself. People can look at the game and see what it is and what it's not," said spokesman Rodney Walker to Reuters. "We think the school environment is a universal experience that so many people relate to."

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