The Simpsons: Hit & Run is an odd title, as it’s a game that seemingly everyone has fond memories of playing back in the day, but no developer or publisher that is willing to capitalize on that strong nostalgia. Every game is getting a remaster these days, even those that are only three years old, so it’s strange that publishers are ignoring the goldmine that is The Simpsons: Hit & Run, which even had a sequel scrapped due to publisher Vivendi Games not being able to retain The Simpsons license.
In a recent interview with MinnMax, some developers from Radical Entertainment that worked on The Simpsons: Hit & Run discussed the sequel with interviewer Ben Hanson, and revealed some of the features that would have been included. For starters, instead of just driving around in cars and trucks, executive producer John Melchior reveals that Radical had plans to include airships and planes in the sequel, which implies greatly increased ambition and scope compared to the first game.
To everybody’s credit here, in the sequel we had airships, we had planes, we had lots to go on The Simpsons. This was gonna be a franchise, no doubt in anybody’s mind.
Melchior then reveals that the team at Radical has already set up a system in which players could tow things behind their vehicles, something which would have been quite advanced at the time of development. Hanson also asks whether a story was in place or if anyone knew what direction the story would go in for a sequel, but designer-writer Chris Mitchell explained that the story aspect was “all over the map” due to loads of different story ideas.
If you’re wondering why a sequel was never made despite all of these ambitions, and assumptions from the developers themselves that one would be made, your guess is just as good as anyone’s. Before talking about the sequel’s features, Melchior explains that Vivendi never fought to obtain the license despite having a five-game deal presented to it by the higher ups behind The Simpsons and the rampant success of Hit & Run.
Designer Darren Evenson goes onto explain that there was “pure disbelief” at Radical that the team weren’t going to be working on a sequel. Melchior even states that this five-game deal that Vivendi turned down was being offered for an extremely cheap price, and that the opportunity presented to the publisher was “on a silver platter”. Pretty wild stuff considering how much some devs would love to get their hands on The Simpsons license these days.
For now, we’ll just have to settle with fan remakes of the game, though due to rights issues, we’ll never be able to actually play it ourselves. It seems like The Simpsons: Hit & Run is destined to remain in the past, despite how much fans beg for a remake.