We've got some good news and some bad news for Mafia fans out there.
First off, there's a new Mafia game in development from Hangar 13. The bad news is that it's not Mafia 4. And, oh, it might also mean that Mafia 4 isn't coming anytime soon.
According to Kotaku, Nick Baynes, the new head honcho of Hangar 13 is working on a new project, Nero, a Mafia game set before the Mafia trilogy. If we assume this is true, then the prequel could turn back the clock prior to the prohibition era of the 1920s, the setting for the very first Mafia game. Furthermore, Hangar 13 will no longer use the Mafia 3 engine. Instead, the Mafia 3 studio will use Unreal Engine 5.
The report states that the project is still "early in development", so 2K Games might not talk about the game for a while.
The news of the Mafia prequel comes just a few days after Hangar 13's head and founder, Haden Blackman, stepped down after seven years. In addition to Blackman, Chief Operating Officer, Matthew Urban, is also no longer part of the company as of May 2022.
Hangar 13 has had a rough couple of years.
The 2K subsidiary was established in 2014 and released Mafia 3 in 2016, to much negativity and little acclaim. Two years later, the studio went through a period of layoffs before 2K canceled the multiplayer superhero game it was working on after already spending $53 million on its development. The only silver lining is 2020's Mafia remake, Mafia: Definitive Edition, which sold well and got mostly rave reviews.
If Hangar 13 can apply everything it had learned from its past failures and the success of Mafia: Definitive Edition to the upcoming Unreal Engine 5 prequel, there's a chance it could redeem itself.
In other news, more and more developers are opting to use Unreal Engine 5 instead of in-house engines. On top of the unannounced Mafia prequel, Firesprite is working on a PS5 exclusive horror game using Unreal Engine 5. Other studios that have switched to Unreal Engine 5 also include Crystal Dynamics and the next Tomb Raider game as well as CD Projekt RED and The Witcher 4.