The era of upheavals continues. Hangar 13 studio head Haden Blackman has announced his departure from the studio and 2K, per GamesBeat, and Hangar 13 COO Matthew Urban has also exited the company, per Kotaku. Kotaku further reports a Mafia 4 is in very early development at the studio, apparently planned to be a prequel set before the current trilogy. The intention is reportedly to develop Mafia 4 using Unreal Engine 5.
2K established Hangar 13 in 2014, and Haden Blackman had led the studio until now. Nick Baynes, studio head of Hangar 13 Brighton, will take over for him. Below is an excerpt from an internal 2K statement about the change:
We are grateful for Haden’s leadership in establishing Hangar 13, building and uniting teams in Novato, Brighton and Czech, and releasing multiple studio-defining Mafia games and collections. What Haden helped build will continue to carry forward and grow for years to come. We support all of our employees pursuing their passions, and we wish nothing but the best for him in what’s next.
Nick Baynes, Studio Head of Hangar 13 Brighton will take over as Studio Head of Hangar 13. With 30 years of industry leadership experience, Nick joined Hangar 13 in 2018 to establish Hangar 13 Brighton, and has spent the last four years growing the team, building up the studio’s capabilities, and launching terrific projects like Mafia: Definitive Edition and the Mafia Trilogy.
Hangar 13 has reportedly suffered some development setbacks in recent years, including the cancellation of an unannounced game referred to as “Volt.” That project had apparently received $53 million of investment prior to its cancellation. A Mafia 4 would be the ostensibly “safe” way to get things back on track for the developer.