Rockstar has never been one to shy away from having some fun with its fans. It also has a tendency to change its logo to suit the upcoming game in its release schedule, which would make sense if Rockstar had any games coming out soon. Today, however, the company introduced a new logo. This could mean that a new game announcement is imminent, and there have been rumors for some time about games that could be next.
The image uses the traditional Rockstar logo in blue, but it’s accompanied by waved lines, several smaller images of the Rockstar logo to the right of center, and several phrases relating to negative themes, reading “Killing Dreams; Murdering Hope, Fighting the Righteous, Bullying the Weak”. These phrases have been used before but not with any focus on them, while there’s also other mysterious details that could be hinting at hidden details, and there’s heavy use of shades of reds and blue across the image.
It could be anything. That’s why we’re here to speculate on which games it could be as we run down possibilities for Rockstar’s next game announcement.
The next Grand Theft Auto
The obvious choice here is a new Grand Theft Auto game, and it would certainly be overdue. GTA V is now approaching seven years of age across two console generations, and while the amount of new content that has come to GTA Online has been incredible for longevity, there is always going to be a desire from fans for more single-player content.
There’s no doubt that a new GTA would be something that publisher Take-Two would want, but the fact that GTA V and Online are still selling well today, collecting serious money from microtransactions, might provide enough that Rockstar North has some freedom to work on another game before settling into a new GTA.
That said, not all of the text on the new logo is themes you can associate with the series. Murdering is generally not highlighted or sensationalized, and while it brushes on themes of bullying, it’s never been something that you’d associate with the series and its stories specifically. With a new generation of console coming up though, it’s hard to see the new game being anything else.
A Bully sequel
The other obvious choice in the selection is the rumored return of Bully, which fans of the original have been clamoring for some time. A slightly misunderstood game on first release, much of the mainstream press believed that it would be a game that would masculinize bullying when, in fact, it saw you take on the bullies.
The colors used in the logo could work with the theme of Bully too, perhaps portraying protagonist Jimmy as he goes into adulthood through college, which would have a similar dynamic to the original. There’s also a specific use of the word “bullying” in the text.
However, Bully is much more light-hearted than Grand Theft Auto, acting as an almost caricature of the studio’s biggest series. There are themes of bullying, fighting, and righteousness, but murder and killing? It’s unlikely, but it could be Rockstar making the game into a more adult version of the series, like the players growing up with the game to include the more extreme themes.
One of the most controversial video game series ever made, Manhunt has the rather exclusive honor of being one of the few games in history to be straight-up banned from sale in a number of countries. For the time, it was an example of realistic, ultra-violent gameplay that tread the same line that video nasties did in the 1970s for films.
In contemporary gaming views, it was a product of a time when the public wasn’t ready for a game presenting a realistic depiction of killing a man as Manhunt did. While it probably wouldn’t be well received, Manhunt could conceivably exist today. It’s unlikely to be any worse than the likes of Grand Theft Auto, or as a more comparable example, Hitman.
The logo’s wordings would all fit the series too. Not necessarily all applicable to the player’s character, but all would apply in some way to the original games. The color scheme used though is what makes this doubtful. The original was very dark and brooding. The new logo is the opposite of that.
Max Payne’s next chapter
Another game that was originally dark, moody, and mysterious, Max Payne has a long history starting with Remedy Entertainment before Rockstar took over development for the third game. Its roots were in noir, using comic book style storytelling in cutscenes that gave its incredibly crafted narrative an edge that very few games have told as well as Max Payne and Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne.
Max Payne 3 used some of those elements, but it switched New York for São Paulo, and the noir element was less focused as it switched to a tale of how Max himself has hit rock bottom. That change of scenery is what could give the idea that this new logo could be linked to Max Payne. It’s a stretch, but every written element is conceivable in the world of Max Payne, especially with the world-changing to a more digital-focused era. The brightness could work within the world.
Max’s story isn’t necessarily over either. The end of Max Payne 3 certainly didn’t make a sequel out of the question, and his inner demons are never going to let him get too far from trouble. The games are also excellent fun, so there’s a good reason in itself for the return of the daddy of video-game bullet time.
A brand new IP
In actuality, none of the elements from the new logo would conceivably fit into an existing IP within Rockstar’s library. The color scheme looks closer to Rockstar Presents Table Tennis, the use of phrases are more akin to the more serious, violent games in the catalog, and the design doesn’t draw any reason comparisons to anything. The typography used here is also new.
It’s not the first time that Rockstar went into a new generation of consoles with a new IP either. Racing game Midnight Club was its first venture onto the PS2, while Table Tennis was the first game introduced to the Xbox 360. Even its first game for mobile platforms was a little known music mixing game from their Leeds studio called Beaterator, so opening the next generation with a new IP is not out of the question.
It would also be a fresh change of pace, especially if handled by the team at Rockstar North. The last new IP that it developed was 2003’s Manhunt, and before that, Wild Metal Country way back in 1999 when they were still called DMA Design. The chance to work on something new is likely to be an exciting prospect. And that’s just one studio in Rockstar’s portfolio. With that said, it’s unlikely that parent publisher Take-Two will be willing to risk a new IP for the new consoles, considering development costs for modern platforms.
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