New Mafia Prequel Game in the Works at 2K’s Hangar 13 Studio

2K Games has now confirmed that a new entry in the Mafia series is in development over at Hangar 13, the same team that had all hands on deck for creating Mafia: Definitive Edition and Mafia III.

New Mafia Prequel Game Announced 

The General Manager Roman Hladík confirmed this news in a recent blog post dedicated to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise. The team is in high spirits as they are proud to announce the next entry into the franchise.

I’m happy to confirm we’ve started work on an all-new Mafia project! While it’s a few years away and we can’t share anything more right now, we’re really excited to keep working on this beloved franchise and to entertain our players with new stories. – Roman Hladík 

The Mafia series has had a rich history over the years as the series first debuted back in 2002. The game was received quite well and went on to be renewed for a sequel later in 2010. It was six years later in 2016 that Mafia III was released as the first title from 2K’s new studio, Hangar 13. The studio didn’t have any other substantial information to share regarding the upcoming title.

It was in the blog post that Hladík went on to share a bit more about the development process of the game stating that the studio tends to learn more with every new project.

We learn new stuff, because things keep developing, right? In the early days of Mafia, making games was… I wouldn’t say easier, but it was a small team with simpler technology and so on. Games and technology keep developing, so it’s all about constant learning.

The biggest lesson came after we managed to release the original Mafia, and we thought we fully knew how to make games. We started to work on Mafia II and it was a huge challenge—the development was slow and we were constantly hitting new issues. It was a lesson for all of us who thought we had learned enough just by doing the first game. That was the biggest realization: this is never, ever going to be easy. – Roman Hladík

The Game Director of Mafia Definitive Edition and the former game designer for Mafia II and III, Alex Cox, also had some insights to share about the whole development process.

Any seasoned developer will, at some point, come to the conclusion that the one mantra to project success is: keep it simple, stupid. Don’t overcomplicate things; really understand what you’re good at and just do that. That’s something we learned with Mafia: Definitive Edition—rather than reinventing the game, rather than changing it substantially into something different, we identified what people liked about the game originally: the distinctive, cinematic crime fantasy.

And we just really, really drilled down on that and focused on the execution. How do we modernize it without changing it? How do we make it more beautiful without altering the general atmosphere of Lost Heaven? I think that was a really good emphasis for us, and as a team, we’re carrying that into our future titles, understanding what our core competencies are and building on them to create even better games going forward.

In other news, 2K Games has decided to make the original Mafia available for free on Steam from September 1 to September 5 to celebrate the Mafia Franchise’s 20th anniversary.

Earlier information provided us with some insight into the upcoming new Mafia Prequel game. It was reported by Kotaku that Hangar 13 was reportedly working on a secret title that was codenamed Volt. The project was unfortunately canned in 2021 after the parent company, Take-Two had reportedly spent a staggering 50 million dollars on the canceled title.

The same report went on to state that Hangar 13’s UK team was deep into the development of a new Mafia prequel utilizing the features and capabilities of the Unreal Engine 5. The game was reportedly going to be set in Italy and it’s quite possible this is the same title that was confirmed today.

Relevant: Three Hours of Mafia Definitive Edition Gameplay Leaked.

Hangar 13 is currently also working on another title which is reportedly a Top Spin Tennis game that has been codenamed, Project Hammer. The game has been scheduled to release before the new Mafia Prequel. To put things into perspective, the last Top Spin game, Top Spin 4 released back in 2011, was the last entry in the series.

The studio head of Hangar 13, Haden Blackman decided to resign back in May 2022. That’s the same month when a staggering 50 people were let go from Hangar 13’s California-based offices. We don’t know if the studio is recruiting new staff members for the upcoming Mafia Prequel game in development. Although it has 30 positions open for new recruits, whether they’ll work on the Mafia game is yet to be heard of.

mafia prequel game
Incredible environmental detail, textures, and visuals of Mafia Definitive Edition | 2K Games

Information on the upcoming new Mafia Prequel game is still pretty bleak this time around. We aren’t sure whether we’ll get a polished and immersive experience or a disappointing let-down akin to what we got with Mafia III back in 2016 with the numerous glitches, awful AI, and rampant bugs. We hope the game turns out as good as what we got to see in Mafia: Definitive Edition which was a stunning remake with impeccable visuals and a faithful return to the original story. Let’s just keep our expectations low and hope for the best as gamers! 

When asked about Mafia: Definitive Edition and any ups and downs in its development, Alex Cox had this to say:

We didn’t have to convince anyone. [laughs] Everybody wanted to do it. The original Mafia had quite a lot of Easter Eggs, and the fanbase really geeked out on trying to find and document them all. It became this kind of legendary lore among players—knowing every Easter Egg was like proof that you were a superfan of Mafia. In those days, when internet coverage of video games was less sophisticated, being able to share those secrets was like a badge of honor for Mafia fans.

So, are you excited about the newly announced Mafia Prequel game? Let us know in the comments below. And that’s pretty much it for today on Appuals. We upload daily so stay tuned for more. Till then, see you later and goodbye!

Read more: Sony has released lighter variants of PS5 across Australia.

 

Naseer Abbas
Naseer has been interested in PCs and videogames since his childhood. If he isn't busy playing retro shooters, he's tinkering with emulators or learning something new.
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