Since its inception, 2K Games studio Hangar 13 has exclusively released games in the open world Mafia franchise. Its first project was Mafia 3, which released to somewhat mixed reviews in 2016, and then it released Mafia: Definitive Edition in 2020, remastering the original game for modern consoles. Now it seems Hangar 13 may be making yet another Mafia game as its next project, if a recent report is to be believed.
Kotaku recently reported on the departure of Hangar 13 studio head Haden Blackman, who is being replaced by Nick Baynes. According to Kotaku’s sources, Baynes is taking charge on the next game in the Mafia series. Details remain relatively scarce at the time of this writing, but Kotaku believes that the game is currently known by the codename Nero and that even though it will be the fourth main series installment in the Mafia series, it will supposedly be a prequel.
The other detail Kotaku mentioned in its report is that Mafia 4 will be built using Unreal Engine 5. This tidbit is particularly significant, as it indicates that Mafia 4 will likely be leaving older consoles behind to focus on newer hardware. This gives the unannounced game potential to be particularly impressive from a graphical and technical standpoint, but fans will need to see it for themselves to be sure.
Unfortunately, it’s unclear when exactly fans will get to see Mafia 4. The game is reportedly in the verly early stages of development at Hangar 13, and so it could be years before Mafia fans get their first look at it.
In the meantime, we can make some assumptions about the game based on Kotaku’s belief that it will be a prequel. Mafia 1 was set in the 1930s, whereas Mafia 2 took place in the 1940s and 50s. Mafia 3 was set in the 1960s. With Mafia 4 said to be a prequel to the original trilogy of games, one would think that would put it in the 1920s or thereabouts. Maybe it will explore the origins of the crime families featured in the games, or follow the story of an existing character. Fans will just have to wait for an official reveal to find out.
Mafia fans are likely happy that Hangar 13 is reportedly working on Mafia 4, but some may be disappointed that the studio’s other project is apparently not coming to fruition. Hangar 13 was reportedly working on a big budget new IP before it was canceled, with the game described as Saints Row meets Cthulhu.
Mafia 4 is rumored to be in development.