Rockstar Vancouver

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Rockstar Games Vancouver ULC
Rockstar Vancouver
Formerly called
  • Barking Dog Studios Ltd. (1998–2002)
  • Rockstar Vancouver Inc. (2002–12)
  • Rockstar Games Vancouver Inc. (2012)
Industry Video game industry
Fate Merged into Rockstar Toronto
Founded May 1998; 19 years ago (1998-05)
Defunct July 9, 2012 (2012-07-09)
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Parent Rockstar Games

Rockstar Games Vancouver ULC (formerly Barking Dog Studios Ltd.), doing business as Rockstar Vancouver, 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 Inc. continued being active as a legal entity registered in Ontario, and had its name changed over Rockstar Games Vancouver Inc. to Rockstar Games Vancouver ULC in November 2012.


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.[3][4] It was later revealed that Rockstar Vancouver was the developer of the cancelled Spec Ops project[5] with musician Josh Homme to develop the soundtrack for the game.[6]

Games developed[edit]

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