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Picture: Hangar 13 / 2K Video games

Hangar 13 studio head Haden Blackman is leaving the Mafia III maker after seven years, 2K Video games introduced Wednesday. The writer wrote in an e-mail to workers that the former LucasArts veteran goes to “pursue his ardour at a brand new endeavor.” Kotaku understands that the transfer comes with a brand new Mafia sport very early in growth at Hangar 13, in accordance with a supply conversant in the plans.

“We’re grateful for Haden’s management in establishing Hangar 13, constructing and uniting groups in Novato, Brighton and Czech, and releasing a number of studio-defining Mafia video games and collections,” 2K wrote in an inside communication shared with VentureBeat and others. “What Haden helped construct will proceed to hold ahead and develop for years to come back. We help all of our workers pursuing their passions, and we want nothing however one of the best for him in what’s subsequent.”

What 2K didn’t point out within the e-mail was that Matthew City, Hangar 13 chief working officer, has additionally left the studio. “What an incredible experience at H13…….let’s see what’s subsequent,” he wrote on LinkedIn. These shifts come as Hangar 13 pivots from unique initiatives again to established franchises like Mafia, the open world, third-person shooter collection that’s typically in comparison with Grand Theft Auto—besides with a extra mob-movie strategy.

Changing Blackman is Nick Baynes, at the moment studio head at Hangar 13’s Brighton, UK workplace, which Kotaku understands to be main growth on a brand new Mafia sport. Whereas the undertaking remains to be early in growth, its code title is Nero and it’s anticipated to be a prequel to the Mafia trilogy. The plan is to make it in Unreal Engine 5 as an alternative of the Mafia III engine that was lately used for the remasters.

Learn Extra: How The Makers Of Mafia III Misplaced Their Method

“With 30 years of trade management expertise, Nick joined Hangar 13 in 2018 to determine Hangar 13 Brighton, and has spent the final 4 years rising the staff, increase the studio’s capabilities, and launching terrific initiatives like Mafia: Definitive Version and the Mafia Trilogy,” 2K informed workers Wednesday.

Hangar 13 has been in a precarious place for years. After delivery the formidable Mafia III, it suffered two rounds of layoffs, first in 2017 after which once more in 2018. The studio had a number of concepts for brand spanking new IPs throughout this time and past. As beforehand reported by Kotaku, one was a spy sport revolving round music cues known as Rhapsody. One other was a class-based co-op motion sport within the vein of Future 2. Code-named Volt, it was quietly cancelled by guardian firm Take-Two final 12 months after $53 million had already been spent on growth. A 3rd new IP code-named Mosaic was a loot-based ARPG and was additionally deserted earlier than it was ever formally revealed.

Extra lately, Take-Two has been utilizing Hangar 13 builders to help on its different revealed video games like Gearbox’s lately launched loot shooter Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. Most are nonetheless working remotely, and Kotaku has been informed that some, following Blackman and City, are additionally in search of the door.

2K Video games declined to remark. Right here’s the complete e-mail asserting Blackman’s departure:

Good day staff,

It’s with combined feelings that I share with you many management updates from Hangar 13.

Haden Blackman is stepping down as Studio Head of Hangar 13, and is leaving the corporate to pursue his ardour at a brand new endeavor. We’re grateful for Haden’s management in establishing Hangar 13, constructing and uniting groups in Novato, Brighton and Czech, and releasing a number of studio-defining Mafia video games and collections. What Haden helped construct will proceed to hold ahead and develop for years to come back. We help all of our workers pursuing their passions, and we want nothing however one of the best for him in what’s subsequent.

Nick Baynes, Studio Head of Hangar 13 Brighton will take over as Studio Head of Hangar 13. With 30 years of trade management expertise, Nick joined Hangar 13 in 2018 to determine Hangar 13 Brighton, and has spent the final 4 years rising the staff, increase the studio’s capabilities, and launching terrific initiatives like Mafia: Definitive Version and the Mafia Trilogy.

I hope you’ll be a part of me in thanking Haden and wishing him one of the best, and congratulating Nick on a well-deserved promotion. Whereas change might be difficult, it may well additionally breed new alternatives and success.

We’re assured the studio is in nice palms heading into the a number of initiatives at the moment beneath method, and the staff has 2K’s full help.

2K

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