Rockstar: Internal Strife Threatens Midnight Club
It's one of the most lucrative racing franchises in history but it hasn't made any big splashes lately. Sadly, this is why you may have a long wait before the next Midnight Club comes flying up the pike.
In an industry where names like Gran Turismo, Burnout, Forza and Need for Speed tend to take the racing limelight more often than not, Rockstar's Midnight Club has struggled a bit. Their most recent entry, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, certainly wasn't bad but it probably fell short of expectations as far as the publisher was concerned. And now that Joystiq has looked into the situation, it seems prospects for a new MC are dim. It appears that Rockstar San Diego lost key team members last year (some were fired while others quit) and it's all due to the company's handling of a new MC project (apparently). Said one studio source who wished to remain anonymous:
"At first, the team was told there was going to be another. That lasted a few months until the team was told, 'Well, we're going to do another, but it will be all outsourced ... but there will be a core team of 5 - 15 people at RSSD working on it.' Then, after a while longer, it was just not going to happen at all. Rumors abound about what will happen to Midnight Club, but Take-Two want something soon because it was the second highest money maker for Rockstar."
There also seems to be an issue between the San Diego and New York branches as the latter branch has been accused of unrealistic release schedules, along with "last-minute changes and mismanaged planning." At this point, Rockstar San Diego says that "anyone from the New York office is feared" because everyone on the West coast knows the NY people "are unstable and needy." ...yeah, sounds like they've got some corporate issues to work through. Unfortunately, it all spells bad news for the revered Midnight Club series.
1/11/2010 9:23:01 PM Ben Dutka