Rumours are already swirling about Hangar 13’s next project following its recent management change, with whispers pointing to a Mafia prequel.
That’s according to Kotaku, who claim that incoming studio head Nick Baynes is leading development on a new Mafia title. They claim the project, codenamed Nero, has started early development on Unreal Engine 5. This would see the studio make a departure from the Mafia 3 engine also used in 2020’s Mafia: Definitive Edition.
There’s not too many more details at this early stage, but the rumour has some merit. The studio has been struggling to get several non-Mafia related projects going in recent years. Back in 2018, the studio was working on a spy title named Rhapsody. The game never saw the light of day, but assets believed to be from the game were found in a build of Mafia 3: Definitive Edition a couple of years later.
Then, in November, it came to light during parent publisher 2K’s second quarter earnings report for FY 21/22 that it had cancelled a $53 million dollar game. Though never confirmed, the prevailing wisdom was that this cancelled game was Volt. Supposedly, this would’ve been a live service superhero game with three player co-op. Kotaku also claims a third title, code-named Mosaic, was too cancelled before it could be revealed.
Yesterday, former studio head Haden Blackman announced he would be stepping away from Hangar 13 after seven years. As an addition, Kotaku say that the studio’s chief operating officer also departed, according to his LinkedIn.
We’ll keep an ear out should we hear any more from this supposed Mafia prequel.