After last week's Rockstar spouse letter, we got in contact with a couple of trusted sources at Rockstar San Diego to find out more information about exactly what's happening inside the studio. Though our sources asked to be kept anonymous, each independently brought up the poor state of the Midnight Club franchise -- a series traditionally handled by the Rockstar San Diego team. "Jay Panek and Mark Garone, people who were at the company for over 10 years, were fired in 2009 after the completion of Midnight Club: LA ... other major people quit, as they lost hope in the company after the handling of MC:LA and didn't want to work on Red Dead Redemption," one source told us.
"The management slowly dismantled the MC team for reasons unknown to most," added another. When we asked if there are any more Midnight Club games planned for development at Rockstar San Diego, we were told, "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."
The issues surrounding Midnight Club stem from a number of things, according to our sources. "New York management not giving us realistic release schedules" is prime among them, with repeated accusations of last minute changes and mismanaged planning. "Anyone from the New York office is feared, because people in the San Diego office know that they are unstable and needy ... in other words, if a comment comes from a person from New York, it's a mandate that needs to be immediately addressed regardless of previous priorities."
We've reached out to Rockstar for official comment, but have yet to hear back as of this publishing. If you work/worked for Rockstar Games and would like to speak to us on or off the record, we're all ears.