According to recent reports, a new Mafia game is in development at Hanger 13. Interestingly, this comes with the news of Hangar 13 studio head Haden Blackman departing after seven years.
Mafia, with its three mainline entries across 20 years, is arguably one of the most iconic open-world gaming franchises. The series is known for its somber narratives intertwined with the underbelly-crime culture.
The franchise has incorporated fictionalized versions of the Great Depression Era Chicago and post-Second World War New York. The latest entry was set in New Orleans against the backdrop of the civil rights movement.
Overall, the series seems to be getting a fourth entry from Hanger 13, the developer of Mafia III and Definitive Edition. The game is reportedly in the early stages of development on Unreal Engine 5 and will be a prequel to the trilogy.
Mafia 4 is reportedly a prequel to the trilogy and is being developed on Unreal Engine 5
When the first game was released back in 2002, it was developed by Illusion Softworks (later renamed 2K Czech and subsequently merged into Hanger 13). The studio set a new standard in narrative-driven open-world crime storytelling.
In many ways, it mimicked the gameplay look of Grand Theft Auto III but set itself apart with the depression era setting and a more serious-toned story. The game was later remade by Hanger 13 as Mafia Definitive Edition in 2020 and released alongside remasters of the other two titles, namely Mafia II Definitive Edition and Mafia III Definitive Edition.
According to a recent report by Kotaku, Hanger 13 is in the early stages of the development of a new title in the franchise. The game is being developed on the latest Unreal Engine 5 and is set to be a prequel to the trilogy.
Epic’s new Unreal Engine 5 is quickly becoming one of the top choices in the industry. Aside from the fourth Mafia game, Crystal Dynamics and CD Projekt Red are using the engine for their upcoming Tomb Raider and Witcher titles, respectively.
Hanger 13 originally developed the third game back in 2016, and while it did feature amazing visuals and a gripping story, it was criticized for being riddled with a plethora of bugs and glitches at launch. However, they have since been fixed with subsequent patches.
However, with the 2020s Definitive Edition, Hanger 13 exceeded expectations and delivered a truly amazing title that retold the familiar tale with a thorough improvement across the board.
Considering it is in early development, the next title might not be released any time soon. With that being said, it definitely has quite a large shoes to fill and deliver on a two-decade-old legacy.