Rockstar Games might be best known for Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, but the fan-favorite developers are sitting on a handful of lesser-known properties that fans hold close to their hearts, just like their more popular projects. Case in point, L.A. Noire, Max Payne, as well as Midnight Club. Although Rockstar did not kickstart the said franchises, Rockstar had a hand in the latest games in the series.
Having said that, Rockstar's parent company, Take-Two Interactive, might have just teased a new L.A. Noire and Max Payne game.
As noted by DualShockers, CEO Strauss Zelnick hinted at the potential of new games in some of the publisher's long-dormant IPs. In particular, the CEO mentioned that Take-Two is thinking about making sequels to its "beloved franchises" after which Zelnick shared a slideshow containing images taken from, you guessed it, L.A. Noire, Max Payne 3, and Midnight Club.
If you think about it, there's a plausible reason why Rockstar "refuses" to make new L.A. Noire and Max Payne games. The former, which was developed by Team Bondi, was stuck in development hell for years before it was finally released in 2011. There's no telling if a follow-up about a game starring police officers would do well in the current political climate. Meanwhile, Max Payne 3 was seen as a stark departure from the first two games by Remedy Entertainment.
Admittedly, both games sold well and garnered rave reviews. But, sequels to these games are not a small undertaking. Not to mention, Rockstar will forever be under the microscope after reports emerged back in 2018 about the studio's tendency to force overtime on its employees in the lead up to Red Dead Redemption 2's release. Although reports say that Rockstar has made great strides to improve since, the studio can't just risk handling multiple big projects at once.
With GTA VI confirmed to be in development, it stands to reason that Rockstar is fully committed to working on the sixth mainline GTA game. Outsourcing a new Max Payne or L.A. Noire to another studio isn't in Take-Two's best interests either. Of course, Rockstar can afford to start hiring new talent to work on different projects at the same time, but that carries a certain amount of risk as well. Also, we would've seen signs of Rockstar's next moves already, as studios aren't exactly that discreet when it comes to job postings and openings.
Ultimately, it's still good news that Take-Two hasn't forgotten about its dormant IPs. Unfortunately, Zelnick's statement is making fans worry that Take-Two has relegated such iconic titles for the mobile gaming space, which isn't exactly impossible after the controversial publisher paid billions to acquire Zynga.
In an ideal world, the next few years will see the release of new L.A. Noire and Max Payne installments, as well as probably a return of Midnight Club. But, with Rockstar rumored to be working on something related to the Bully series, as well as a remaster of GTA IV and a remake of Red Dead Redemption, faithful fans might want to keep their expectations low until Take-Two and Rockstar confirm anything.