There a lot of old video game series that we'd love to see revived. Racing series like Driver and Burnout immediately spring to mind, but there are a lot more that are deserving of this treatment. One of the best street racing titles from back in the day is Midnight Club, but we haven't seen it in over a decade.
However, seemingly from nowhere, the Midnight Club name could be making a surprising comeback. Why is this though? And what made the original Midnight Club games special? We answer that and a lot more in this piece!
Midnight Club - A brief history
Midnight Club began life back in the year 2000 and was initially developed by Angel Studios. After the success of the first MC game, Angel was bought out by the giants that are Rockstar. This is where the series would stay for the rest of its run.
What made Midnight Club so popular is that it capitalised on the fascination with underground street racing. This is similar to Need for Speed in a sense, but MC actually got their first with the street racing genre.
The gameplay, graphics, Japanese setting, and huge variety of cars to choose from made the original MC an instant hit.
That only continued for Midnight Club II three years later. With three major city settings as well, (Tokyo, LA, & Paris) the scope of MC2 was unlike anything we'd seen to that point too.
This is also where the music of the series became iconic, but that would only increase for Midnight Club 3.
Three more new cities (San Diego, Detroit and Atlanta) were the settings of MC3 and the cars were fully licensed for the first time too. In the remix version of MC3 as well, there were over 100 licensed songs too, crazy numbers for a game even today.
The final Midnight Club was Midnight Club: Los Angeles. Released in 2009, and making its debut on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, this game had huge potential. For the most part, MCLA was a success, but the cracks were beginning to show for arcade street racers.
This was around the time that series like NFS dropped in quality and perhaps Rockstar saw the writing on the wall. What's also possible is that Rockstar wanted to pour more resources into the efforts behind series like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, both of which were far more commercially successful.
Why Midnight Club could be returning
After 13 years away, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Midnight Club was dead and burried. However, anything is possible in modern video gaming, just look at Chocobo GP, which is getting a comeback after over 20 years away this year.
Take-Two, the parent company of Rockstar, recently gave MC a surprise mention in a statement following the company's purchase of Zynga:
"Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Midnight Club, NBA 2K, BioShock, Borderlands, Civilization, Mafia, and Kerbal Space Program" was the list reeled off. According to 2K's CEO, these are all "iconic brands" under the company's umbrella.
All of those games either have a recent edition or have been remastered for newer consoles in recent times. The standout is MC, which hasn't received either treatment in over a decade.
Remaster or reboot?
In some ways, it's not a huge surprise that Take-Two would choose now for a revival of MC. After all, in the time that MC has been away, the game has gained a cult following of sorts. A new MC on the next-gen consoles and with a proper multiplayer would surely be a big seller.
However, there is still one question, would this be a remaster or a reboot? Remasters are nothing new in video games, having been very commonplace in the previous two console generations. Rockstar themselves have also cashed in the remaster hype, remastering three of their PS2-era GTA games.
A company as rich as Rockstar won't often get rattled, but their Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition would've worried them. The game was critically panned and has been a commercial flop thanks to all the returns that have had to been processed.
So, with their fingers well and truly burned by this, Rockstar may choose to go down the route of a new MC game, but will they do so?
Well, it's no secret that Rockstar is currently working on Grand Theft Auto 6, but when this will release is anybody's guess. What's more important to Rockstar though is that the raging success of GTA Online and Red Dead Online has made it so they don't need to make new games to make money.
GTA Online alone is raking the company in billions every year and is showing no signs of slowing down. If we do see a new Midnight Club, don't expect it to be anytime soon. If this news does break though, we'll be sure to bring it to you first!
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