A new Mafia game is reported to be underway at the series’ original developer, after three new IPs were cancelled by publisher 2K.
There are some video game franchises whose longevity is perfect understandable given their consistent good sales and critical acclaim. There are others, though, that seem to get endless sequels despite no one ever appearing to care that much about them, and you’d have to say that Mafia was the quintessential example of that phenomena.
The Mafia games have been around for 20 years now and have had three mainline sequels, a full remake of the original, and a series of remasters. Although reasonably competent third person shooters with open world elements, none of them have ever been especially good or particularly successful… and now there’s going to be another one.
According to new rumours the game is a prequel with the codename of Nero and is being made using Unreal Engine 5, rather than the bespoke graphics engine used for the Mafia 1 remake.
The game is being developed at series creators Hangar 13 (formerly Illusion Softworks), which seems to be undergoing some troubles at the moment, with the exit of studio head Haden Blackman and chief operating officer Matthew Urban.
Blackman will apparently be replaced by Nick Baynes, who is currently studio head at Hangar 13’s UK offices in Brighton, which will supposedly lead development on the new Mafia game.
According to a report by Kotaku, Hangar 13 has recently experimented with three new IPs, all of which have now been shut down. One was a spy game called Rhapsody, one a loot-based action role-playing game codenamed Mosaic, and the third is the previously reported Codename Volt.
Kotaku describe Coename Volt (or ‘Code-named Volt’ as they have it) as a class-based co-op action game, although previous reports had characterised it as ‘Cthulhu meets Saints Row’.
That always sounded an intrigued concept but despite apparently sending $53 million on pre-production the game was cancelled anyway.
That smacks of some serious management problems and/or a lack of synergy with owners Take-Two and now rather than creating something new they’ve just gone back to making a new Mafia game instead.
Supposedly a number of other staff are also looking to leave the company but there’s no more information on the new game itself.
The original Mafia was set in the 1930s, in a fictional city inspired by Chicago, so if it’s a prequel then it’s going to have an unusual early 20th century setting, so that at least might be interesting.
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