Rockstar Games’ Forgotten Franchises

There are few companies in the industry as beloved as rock star games. Of his dominance with Grand Theft Auto during the PS2/Xbox era, to its commitment to excellence with titles like Red Dead Redemption 2the studio found a place at the top of the mountain of popularity and maintained it.

During the last years, Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption have carried the weight of the Rockstar name. While Auto grand theft 5The draw of 2022 is its online multiplayer, Red Dead Redemption 2The story of is still fresh in the minds of gamers, and both titles attract gamers to this day. However, their success has come at the expense of other franchises under the Rockstar Games banner. A developer that was once known for its diversity is now down to just two major series, and as time progresses, its other games may be forgotten.


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The black

A wedding made in paradise by LA Noire

The black kicked off the 2010s for Rockstar Games, and while it brought an intriguing detective story, revolutionary MotionScan technology, and a well-realized 1940s setting, The black stands alone despite talk of a sequel. The game’s vast and open landscape was a far cry from its main focus. It was a change in tone and gameplay for the company that made a name for itself using strong social commentary and over-the-top action.

There are few games like The black, although titles like Sherlock Holmes Chapter One, Disco Elysium, and The return of the Obra Dinn bear the burden of detective titles. Again The black was unique, bringing the style and substance of Rockstar Games to the oft-overlooked crime genre. Far from the proven formula of the latest releases, The blackwas apparently still doomed to follow Grand Theft AutoThe shadow.

Max Payne

Max Payne of three games

Max Payne began its somewhat slow rollout on PC in 2001 and found a small but dedicated fan base. The titular character is one of Rockstar’s most complex, and as such Max Payne is perhaps the most character-driven project that Rockstar Games has released. Each of the three installments centers Max dealing with the murder of his family, solving a mafia conspiracy, and navigating the dangers of security work in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The series is a much more linear affair than the broad and open gRand Vol Auto and Red Dead Redemption, and as such was a significant departure from what was to become the norm.

Max pay 3 entered the crosshairs of some of the industry giants. Unexplored was still fresh in the minds of gamers, and the 2013 reboot of grave robber was eagerly awaited. Although Rockstar’s offering was decidedly darker than the older titles, the nine-year hiatus was a significant hurdle to overcome for the series’ popularity. In 2022, the disparity of single-player focused linear experiences means Max Payne would be a breath of fresh air, especially since Rockstar remains focused on open-world level design.

RELATED: Red Dead Redemption 2 reaches 43 million copies sold



Agent was to be a new stealth adventure that rivaled the likes of Solid Meta Gear and even the james bond film franchise. Announced in July 2007, with a rebrand by Take-Two Interactive in 2017, gamers remained hopeful that Agent would emerge. Eventually, the brand was dropped in late 2018, and all previous talk around the game was toned down.

The promising story of Agent was to be a big acquisition for Sony and the PlayStation 3, but only a year later Grand Theft Auto 4 published on several platforms. Victim of Rockstar’s popularity, Agent never had a chance and has since become nothing more than untapped potential.



As the racing genre shifts to a more simulation-focused affair, the thirst for glitzy street racing was largely non-existent in the 2010s. Nightclub was a product of its time, released in the late 2000s alongside a plethora of similar series. Need for speed, Split second, Burnout, and Juice occupied the crowded high-octane street racing market, and despite strong reviews throughout its nine-year run, Nightclub struggled to break the mould.

Whisper about a new Nightclub are doing the rounds, potentially leading a new developer under the Take-Two banner. Just like a fresh Max Payne the experience would fill a niche that is now abandoned, Nightclub has more to offer today, especially since Need of speed the series is struggling to find its place. Despite its consistent quality, Nightclub is perhaps the most at risk of being overlooked, as most of the series has always been teeming with more beloved series in the genre.

Rockstar Games should focus on diversity again

Split image showing Michael from Grand Theft Auto on the left and John Marston from Red Dead Redemption on the right.

Rockstar Games’ commitment to excellence is almost always evident. Its releases are huge industry-wide events in the gaming space, and the predictable announcement of Grand Automatic Flight 6The development of reaffirmed the company’s philosophy for the next generation of consoles. Support red dead online is maintained, and although the development cycle of GTA 6 is sure to be long, players’ anticipation will grow over time.

However, it’s worth remembering what was lost in these businesses, as the franchises that were largely abandoned had enormous potential. Sculpture through the Cité des Angles in Midnight Club: Los Angeles, to unravel conspiracies with Max Paynethe quality of modernity rock star games‘ the versions were made at the expense of uniformity.

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