Mafia III developers Hangar 13 are reportedly working on a brand-new open world franchise. Mafia III is the most recent release in the Mafia series, which hit shelves in October 2016. Set seventeen years after Mafia II, Mafia III follows Lincoln Clay, an African-American Vietnam War veteran who returns to his home city of New Bordeaux–based on New Orleans, Louisiana–as he develops a new crime syndicate and gets revenge on the Italian mobsters who betrayed him and his family. Gameplay is comparable to Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row, where players explore the city on foot or by car to complete missions and side-quests. While given mixed reviews by critics, the game was a commercial success and became the fastest selling 2K game, beating big names such as BioShock.
Mafia III was a big departure from the first two entries in the series in a few ways. It left the New York inspired skyscrapers of Empire Bay to the bayous of New Bordeaux. It told the story of black gangsters fighting against the Mafia instead focusing on the actual members of the Italian mob. It also changed developers, with Mafia III handed to recently-established Hangar 13 as their debut game. 2K Czech, developers of the first two games, had a supporting role and eventually merged into Hangar 13 after the release of Mafia III. Beyond DLC additions to Mafia III, and a contribution to Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, Hangar 13 has yet to release any other games. Parent company Take-Two interactive confirmed a new Hangar 13 game was in the works and would be announced in the coming months, but no details about the project were given. Not anymore.
Via a new job listing on the Hangar 13 website points to a new IP being developed as the studio’s sophomore project. The listing calls for an executive producer “to lead the development of a key new IP franchise” at Hangar 13, as well as “post-launch content” and “future franchise planning”. No further details about the IP are directly given, although the listing states that “experience building AAA open world or sandbox games” is a plus, suggesting the new IP is an open world title.
It’s still unclear whether this is the new project mentioned by Take-Two as the executive producer role is yet to be filled, meaning it is likely early in development. Rumors about Mafia IV and a Mafia II remaster surfaced after Take-Two filed some trademarks related to the series, so it’s possible that one or both of those games will be announced before this new IP. 2K has been busy recently, working on their first NFL game since 2004, and developing the next BioShock with new developer Cloud Chamber. More input from Hangar 13 would only help 2K after a disappointing 2019 marred by fan backlash over their micro-transactions and disastrous WWE 2k20.
With a much more notable Take-Two open world series game possibly launching in 2021 in the form of the long-awaited Grand Theft Auto VI, Hangar 13 will hope that their new IP doesn’t get lost in the hype. Mafia III was largely a disappointment, despite its good sales, and although it was riddled with glitches and uninspiring gameplay, it received praise for its story and brave change in perspective. There’s certainly potential in whatever new IP the Mafia III devs have planned.