Rockstar Vancouver

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Rockstar Vancouver, Inc.
Industry Game development
Fate Merged into Rockstar Toronto[1]
Founded May 1998; 18 years ago (1998-05)
Defunct 9 July 2012 (9 July 2012)[1]
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Key people
Sergei Kuprejanov
Products Bully
Max Payne 3
Owner Take-Two Interactive
Number of employees
35 (last head count)[1]
Parent Rockstar Games

Rockstar Vancouver, Inc. (formerly Barking Dog Studios), was a video game studio located in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. Rockstar Vancouver released Bully, a controversial title for the PlayStation 2 on 17 October 2006.[2] Rockstar Vancouver's last game was Max Payne 3.

On 9 July 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.[1] Since the studio closed down, it is the second defunct company of Rockstar Games after Rockstar Vienna, which closed down 11 May 2006.


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]


as Barking Dog Studios
Title Release
Platform Notes
Homeworld: Cataclysm 2000 PC
Counter-Strike Various maps with Valve Software
Global Operations 2002
Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon
as Rockstar Vancouver
Title Release
Platform Notes
Bully 2006 PlayStation 2
Bully: Scholarship Edition 2008 PC, Xbox 360, Wii With Rockstar New England and Rockstar Toronto
Max Payne 3 2012 PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360


External links[edit]