Rockstar is known chiefly for the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead games, but if you dig back into its past you’ll also find a very good street racing series in there called Midnight Club. It’s not particularly well-known these days: For one thing, the original is nearly 20 years old now and the most recent, Midnight Club: Los Angeles, came out in 2008. Its visibility is further reduced by the fact that none of the games are available on Steam.
Midnight Club 2 is actually there, but searching through Steam won’t bring it up—you have to Google it to find a link. (Or, for the sake of convenience, you could just click here.) That’s because it was delisted in early 2018 because licenses for songs in the game were about to expire, according to the Midnight Club Wiki.
Earlier today, though, it made a surprise comeback. Somebody pushed the wrong button (metaphorically, or so I assume, anyway) and all of Rockstar’s games were suddenly removed from sale on Steam. Naturally, there was a great rush to get them all back—such a rush that Midnight Club 2 ended up being restored for sale as well.
Rockstar confirmed that the Midnight Club 2 comeback was a mistake and it was only available for about an hour, but it was enough time for some gamers to get really excited about it. The concurrent player count spiked to 40, the highest it’s been in nearly four years, and based on a half-dozen or so new Steam user reviews that popped up today, at least a couple of new sales were made.
There was excitement on the Steam forums too, with one “back on sale” thread celebrating its return, and several others bemoaning its departure and requesting assistance in tracking it down. That, unfortunately, is going to take a little bit of old-school effort, which is to say buying a box on Amazon or eBay, for example. (Midnight Club 2 actually predates Steam slightly, so that was how we had to do it when it was new anyway.)
There’s a link to purchase a PS3 version on Rockstar’s own website, but I’m sorry to say that’s a bust too—it goes nowhere anymore.
It’s purely speculative, but the fact that Rockstar is leaving Midnight Club 2 on Steam, accessible but buried, makes me wonder if maybe there’s hope for a proper return someday. It stripped some expired music from Grand Theft Auto 4 a few years ago after its licenses expired, and while Midnight Club is no GTA, it’s a recognized and respected name. Maybe today’s excitement about its all-too-brief comeback will convince someone at Rockstar to start thinking about a more permanent arrangement.