On December 12th, Rockstar Games announced a upgrade to Midnight Club: Los Angeles. Titled “South Central“, the downloadable content for Midnight Club would come in two flavors, the free stuff, a map expansion one-third the size of the original map, and the premium stuff, “new character competitions, races, cars and music available in a single complete package. The new vehicles include a variety of cars and a motorcycle,” all for the low low price of $9.99 or 800 Microsoft Points.
Then nothing. It was a while before anyone heard anything about the South Central DLC, aside from the three screens included with the press release on December 12th.
On January 13th, something unexpected happened. The South Central Expansion Map was released to the Xbox Marketplace. Titled “South Central – Free City Pack“, according to The Gamer Limit, the pack was up for grabs as well as the premium content which included a whopping list of new vehicles.
09 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
08 Audi SS
08 Mercedes Benz CL65 AMG
08 Cadillac XLR
08 Mitsubishi EVO X
07 Aston Martin DB9
08 Ducati 1098
66 Pontiac GTO
63 Buick Rivera
55 Chevy Bel Air
65 Chevy Malibu
64 Chevy Impala
70 Chevu Chevelle
08 Mercedes Benz CLK63 AMG â€œBlackâ€
08 Range Rover Sport Supercharged
All for the low price of nothing, despite previous press releases stating that the cars, music, and all that jazz would be premium content. Was Rockstar being ultra-super generous?
Then the South Central pack was pulled. In an embarrassing move for Rockstar Games, they had accidentally leaked the content to the Xbox Live Marketplace. The day following the incident, Graeme ‘Aceybongos’ Boyd, Community Manager for Xbox EMEA reported in his blog that, “The Marketplace team has mentioned to me that a batch of Midnight Club: LA content went up accidentally on Xbox LIVE Marketplace this morning. It has since been removed, but you may have had the chance to download it while it was up there. If you did and if it’s sitting on your hard drive you should delete it – reason being that it was being tested when it was mistakenly put live and therefore it may not work properly, the Achievements won’t register and could cause you problems with your Midnight Club: LA game saves”
No big deal right? Nope. It’s all good, mistakes happen.
CVG reported that Rockstar Games would release the South Central Expansion on January 29th, 2009. The 29th came and went. The announcement itself was not official.
February 20th, Rockstar announced that it would be launching the official websites for the Nintendo DS exclusive Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and Midnight Club: Los Angeles South Central. While the Chinatown Wars site was launched, the South Central website was delayed for a week.
No reason was given for the delay.
The official website for the South Central DLC was launched March 3rd, with a new trailer, DLC information, and some new screens. The DLC was set to be released on March 12th, 2009. On March 11th, Rockstar announced that they were delaying the South Central DLC, just one day before the planned release. The new date was March 19th, exactly one week later.
Xbox Live experienced some troubles on March 19th, Major Nelson described that Xbox Live was experiencing “difficulties with account recovery, account management, Marketplace functions and/or making purchases,” most likely to do with the release of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8.
The South Central downloadable content was released on the PlayStation Network while Xbox Live experienced some troubles. Later that day, Rockstar Games announced that â€œThe Xbox 360 version of Midnight Club: Los Angeles South Central, set to release on Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network today, has not yet gone live on Xbox LIVE due to an unforeseen bug in the title update. We are currently working as quickly as we can to resolve this issue, and we will notify everyone as soon as the DLC is made available. Thank you for understanding and your patience. Please note that this issue does not affect the DLC on the PlayStation Network â€“ it is currently live and available for download.â€
The PS3 version of the South Central DLC was not without it’s troubles. Many have reported that they are having difficulty getting the DLC to actually work on the PS3 version of Midnight Club: Los Angeles.
The final car list included
08 Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG â€œBlackâ€
08 Range Rover Supercharged
08 Range Rover Sport Super Charged
55 Chevy Bel Air
63 Buick Riviera
64 Chevy Impala
65 Chevy Malibu
70 Chevy Chevelle
66 Pontiac GTO
The Mitsubishi EVO X, the Aston Martin DB9, and the Ducati 1098 are strangely absent, despite being included in the official trailer for the South Central Expansion. In addition to this, they can be seen as pedestrian vehicles roaming the city of Los Angeles.
On Sunday, March 22nd, 2009, Microsoft and Rockstar Games have a Game with Fame event planned with Felli Fel, DJ Pooh, Glasses Malone, and Young Maylay (DJ Pooh actually co-wrote the script for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Young Maylay voiced San Andreas’ main character, Carl Johnson.) to celebrate the release of the South Central DLC. The downloadable content was released on the PlayStation 3 on Thursday, March 19th. As of now, the DLC has yet to be released on Xbox LIVE.
So, what has caused all this delay? One could speculate this: The South Central DLC was accidentally leaked sometime during January, meaning that it was finished or near completion around that time. It was pushed back so that it would not get overshadowed by the release of the Grand Theft Auto 4 expansion, The Lost and The Damned. The delay of the website was most likely because the launch of the Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars site was more important to Rockstar than the launch of the site for South Central. The delay from March 12th to March 19th, a one week delay, was most likely due in part to the release of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars on March 17th.
Oh well, it’ll eventually get released on Xbox LIVE, just not now. It still sucks that Midnight Club fans get the short-end of the stick for the love of all things Grand Theft Auto.
Rockstar had a planned Game with Developers event on Xbox Live to celebrate the release of the Midnight Club South Central update. It has been removed from Xbox Live and has presumably been cancelled. No reason was given. The downloadable content has yet to be released.