After years of patience and longing for a new entry in the series, according to Kotaku, 2K’s Hangar 13 Brighton studio seems to be leading development in a new Mafia prequel. The new prequel is codenamed Nero and will use the renowned Unreal Engine 5 in development instead of Mafia III‘s Illusion engine.
The new Mafia prequel is not the first relatively large developer to move to Unreal Engine 5 rather than their custom engine. CD Projekt Red, back in March, announced that they are working on a new Witcher game that will use Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5. It might be an outstanding step for some developers to use Epic’s newest engine, sometimes not to break a sweat at draining the studio’s resources while creating a new engine.
It was somewhat of a surprise to know that the future entry will be a prequel to the series that is seemingly set in the 1920s rather than the rumored 80s Vegas era. Kotaku didn’t really disclose any more details about the project. All the while, Hangar 13’s previous studio head, Hayden Blackman, is leaving his position to Nick Baynes, 2K announced in an email to Kotaku:
2K: Hello team,
It’s with mixed emotions that I share with you several leadership updates from Hangar 13.
Haden Blackman is stepping down as Studio Head of Hangar 13, and is leaving the company to pursue his passion at a new endeavor. We are grateful for Haden’s leadership in establishing Hangar 13, building and uniting teams in Novato, Brighton and Czech, and releasing multiple studio-defining Mafia games and collections. What Haden helped build will continue to carry forward and grow for years to come. We support all of our employees pursuing their passions, and we wish nothing but the best for him in what’s next.
Nick Baynes, Studio Head of Hangar 13 Brighton will take over as Studio Head of Hangar 13. With 30 years of industry leadership experience, Nick joined Hangar 13 in 2018 to establish Hangar 13 Brighton, and has spent the last four years growing the team, building up the studio’s capabilities, and launching terrific projects like Mafia: Definitive Edition and the Mafia Trilogy.
I hope you’ll join me in thanking Haden and wishing him the best, and congratulating Nick on a well-deserved promotion. While change can be challenging, it can also breed new opportunities and success.
We are confident the studio is in great hands heading into the multiple projects currently under way, and the team has 2K’s full support.