Rockstar Vancouver

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Rockstar Games Vancouver ULC
Rockstar Vancouver
Formerly called
Barking Dog Studios Ltd. (1998–2002)
Industry Video game industry
Fate Merged into Rockstar Toronto
Founded May 1998; 19 years ago (1998-05)
  • Glenn Barnes
  • Christopher Mair
  • Sean Thompson
  • Michael Gyori
  • Peter Grant
  • Brian Thalken
Defunct July 9, 2012 (2012-07-09)
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Key people
Sergei Kuprejanov (creative director)
Parent Rockstar Games (2002–2012)

Rockstar Vancouver Inc. (formerly Barking Dog Studios Ltd.) was a video game studio located in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. Rockstar Vancouver developed Bully, a successful but controversial title for the PlayStation 2, on October 17, 2006.[1]

On July 9, 2012, Rockstar Games announced that the studio would be closed in favour of merging the team with Rockstar Toronto at an expanded facility in Oakville, Ontario. The move was financially supported by the Government of Ontario.[2] Rockstar Vancouver continues being a legally registered entity in Ontario; On November 23, 2012, the company was legally renamed from Rockstar Vancouver Inc. to Rockstar Games Vancouver Inc.,[3] and again to Rockstar Games Vancouver ULC, as such becoming a unlimited liability corporation under the laws of British Columbia.[4]


Barking Dog Studios founded in May 1998 by Glenn Barnes, Christopher Mair, Sean Thompson, Michael Gyori, Peter Grant and Brian Thalken, all former employees of Radical Entertainment. Barking Dog, with publishing assistance by Sierra Studios, moved on to produce an expansion to the 1999 PC Magazine Game of the Year Homeworld entitled Homeworld: Cataclysm. Homeworld had been developed by Relic Entertainment but Sierra chose instead to use Barking Dog to develop the game.

Barking Dog was retained by Valve Software to develop the Beta-5 version beta of the popular first-person shooter Counter-Strike. Their legacy can be seen on the Counter-Strike map de_train where their cartoon dog logo can be seen on the side of a railcar. Barking Dog produced other games such as Global Operations, and Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon. They were acquired by Rockstar Games in August 2002, and became known as Rockstar Vancouver.

Many of Barking Dog's employees later split off to form their own companies, such as Slant Six Games, Big Sandwich Games, Hellbent Games, Kerberos Productions and Ironclad Games.

In 2003, Take-Two mentioned in their financial results that Rockstar Games was working on the Spec Ops franchise but in early 2005 the project was seemingly cancelled.[5][6] It was later revealed that Rockstar Vancouver was the developer of the cancelled Spec Ops project[7] with musician Josh Homme to develop the soundtrack for the game.[8]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Notes
As Barking Dog Studios
2000 Homeworld: Cataclysm Microsoft Windows N/A
Counter-Strike Support developer for Valve Corporation
2002 Global Operations N/A
Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon
As Rockstar Vancouver
2006 Bully PlayStation 2 N/A
2012 Max Payne 3 Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 As part of Rockstar Studios