According to reporting from Kotaku (opens in new tab) and Bloomberg (opens in new tab), 2K subsidiary and Mafia 3 developer Hangar 13 has suffered a round of substantial layoffs.
Hangar 13 consists of three studios worldwide, and the Kotaku report claims that “nearly 50” of the Novato, California location’s 87 employees have been let go. It is currently unknown how heavily the developer’s Brighton, UK and Brno, Czech Republic offices have been affected, if at all.
In our 2016 review of Mafia 3 (opens in new tab), Andy Kelly was impressed by the game’s bold choice of setting and gripping opening, but ultimately let down by Mafia 3’s commitment to shallow open world repetition. He was much more impressed by Hangar 13’s more recent work on the remaster of the original Mafia (opens in new tab), writing, “The new tech doesn’t quite hide the fact that it’s a game built on 18-year-old foundations, but it’s a fun, pacey, and nicely presented gangster epic with great set-pieces and a rich setting.”
The years since Mafia 3’s release have been hard on Hangar 13, with the developer suffering a previous round of layoffs in 2018 before having a massive, $53 million project cancelled (opens in new tab) late last year. Just this month, Hangar 13 underwent a change of leadership, with previous company president Haden Blackman having been replaced (opens in new tab) by Nick Baynes, who presided over the new layoffs.
Both Kotaku and Bloomberg report that Hangar 13’s primary focus remains a new Mafia game, allegedly a prequel set in Italy with the codename “Nero,” but that the developer is also often called on as a support studio for other 2K projects. Nothing is ever set in stone, but I have to imagine it’s going to be a huge challenge for Hangar 13’s developers to overcome the blows it’s suffered in recent years.