During an investor call earlier today, Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive (the parent company of Rockstar Games) listed off some of the publisher’s most popular and successful franchises. And it was during this meeting that Take-Two and Rockstar Games seemingly remembered that the Midnight Club franchise exists. It’s been over a decade since the last game in the series, so it’s easy to assume the companies just forgot about it.
This name drop was spotted by IGN. But just a moment! Before you get too excited, beyond the quick mention and the Midnight Club logo showing up in some slides for investors, there wasn’t any actual news about a new game in the street racing series, or even just a remaster collection. But considering that it has been 13 years since 2008’s Midnight Club LA, just hearing the franchise’s name in 2022 feels surprising.
This confirmation that Rockstar Games is in fact more than just a GTA factory follows an investor presentation back in August where Take-Two tried to tout a “diverse” slate of games that included GTA V, GTA Online, and…uh the GTA series. As our prior story noted, that presentation did include very minor mentions of Midnight Club and Max Payne on one random slide. But today’s name drop by Zelnick appears to be the first time in a long time that anyone with power inside Take-Two or Rockstar has publicly talked about Midnight Club in the last decade.
It should be noted that during this presentation today, Take-Two also announced the acquisition of mobile game company Zynga. If the $12.7 billion acquisition of the FarmVille creator goes through, it will be the biggest sale in video game history. And as it happens, the slide Midnight Club’s logo showed up on today was showcasing Take-Two IP that could be turned into successful mobile games.
Yes, this means that Midnight Club could well return as an iPhone game or something. And while I have nothing against mobile games–in fact, I play them frequently–it would be disappointing if the fun racing franchise never got another big-budget console/PC outing in favor of a free-to-play mobile app or the like. I imagine a lot of longtime Midnight Club fans won’t be too happy if this ends up happening. Of course, considering how poorly the GTA Trilogy remasters turned out, I doubt many fans are clamoring for remastered Midnight Club games, either.
Regardless of what the future holds, at least we know for sure that Take-Two and Rockstar Games still know that Midnight Club exists. That’s something. As for Bully fans, well… 🤷