After 2K announced the departure of Hangar 13 studio head Haden Blackman, rumors began spreading over the project he walked out on. Hangar 13 is best known for the Mafia franchise, an open-world prohibition-era game franchise similar in a lot of ways to games like Grand Theft Auto. While Mafia may have never gotten the acclaim and popularity of its competitors, it does have a pretty dedicated fanbase and has seen some moderate success.
It’s rumored that Blackman departed very early in the development Mafia project, which is expected to be a prequel to the franchise and will be running on Unreal Engine 5, unlike the recent remasters collections that ran on Mafia III’s proprietary engine. No more details are known about the game at this time as it is still not technically confirmed by Hangar 13 or 2k who publishes the franchise.
After suffering two rounds of layoffs following Mafia III’s release and now losing not one, but two higher-ups, Hangar 13 has definitely been in a bit of a problem area for years now. While the studio head departing may not mean the project is in trouble, a lot of things are stacking up to have me guessing that something isn’t quite right. Hopefully, they are able to deliver on the new title and stabilize, a rocky development studio is almost never a good sign for a new game. Hangar 13 has been recently assisting other developers on their projects, including Gearbox’s Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. This has led many people to speculate that they may be moving into more of a support role, but we will see what the fate of the company is over the next few years.