Cursed Mafia III Studio Hangar 13 hit with new round of dismissals


Cursed Mafia III Studio Hangar 13 hit with new round of dismissals

The protagonist of Mafia III looks over his shoulder while holding a gun.

picture: Hangar 13 / 2K

Hangar 13 cannot pause. The studio behind Mafia IIIwhich has suffered multiple rounds of layoffs in the years since its launch in 2016, is once again on the brink. kotaku has learned that in addition to a steady stream of departures, developers have been laid off at the studio’s three global locations, with nearly 50 laid off at its Hangar 13 office in Novato, California. The news comes shortly after former studio head Haden Blackman resigned earlier this month.

“I know it sucks,” Blackman’s successor, Nick Baynes, head of Hangar 13’s office in Brighton, UK, said today at a meeting with Novato employees, according to a recording obtained by kotaku. “I’m sorry I’m not here to deliver this message. I’ll be over soon I know you need local leadership and structure and we are working on that.”

Of the approximately 87 employees currently employed at Novato, almost 50 will be laid off, according to a source familiar with the decision. When Mafia III originally shipped, the Novato studio had over 100 full-time employees.

A 2K spokesperson confirmed the layoffs in a statement but declined to comment further:

2K is fully committed to the future of Hangar 13 as the studio navigates a challenging but ultimately promising transition. As part of our ongoing evaluations to ensure our resources are meeting our goals, we have made some changes that have resulted in downsizing and the separation of some colleagues. These decisions are always difficult. We are doing everything we can to work with affected employees to get them reassigned to other projects and teams at 2K, and offer full support to those who cannot be reassigned by providing them with industry networks and resources connect to find new opportunities outside of 2K.

After shipping Mafia III, Hangar 13, which includes the remains of 2K Czech, prototypes of a number of original IPs were created. But the studio Faced layoffs in 2017 and 2018, and eventually saw most of its new projects canceled, including one codenamed Volt, which parent company Take-Two quietly shut down last November despite having already invested over $50 million. The quick cancellations left hundreds of developers without a project.

Since then, many Hangar 13 developers have wandered aimlessly from one Take Two game to another. As kotaku reported earlier this monththe Brighton office is currently leading the early production of a new one mafia Prequel being built in Unreal Engine 5. The game is currently set to take place in Italy. But Take-Two also treats Hangar 13 as an “in-source” studio and uses it to help develop its other released games Tiny Tina’s Wonderland, Kerbal Space Program 2and Marvel’s Midnight Sun.

As the developers have completed their duties on some of these projects, some have been moved to the mafia Precursor. Others have joined Project Hammer kotaku sees itself as the return of the beloved top spin Tennis series, and is expected to start before the new one mafia. Baynes said during the meeting that the plan is for Hangar 13 to focus almost exclusively on the future of these two franchises.

Some of the remaining developers have dropped out, and it appears that 2K has now made the decision to lay off the rest. It’s not clear how big the layoffs are overseas, but Baynes said on the call those affected could still seek to move into other roles within the larger 2K organization.

“I hope that as many of you as possible, hopefully all but hopefully as many of you as possible, will stay with us and give us some time to make things right and better in the future,” he said during the meeting. “But I understand it’s probably been a bit of a tough time lately, culminating in some of the news yesterday.”

A big question is whether there will be more layoffs in the future. But Baynes tried to downplay these fears. “Anyone who’s still here, we want them here as part of our future,” he said.

Updated: 5/26/22 3:07 PM ET: Added comment by 2K.

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