Hangar 13, the studio that developed 2020’s Mafia: Definitive Edition and 2016’s Mafia 3 has suffered more layoffs, following recent departures in key leadership positions.
In early May 2022, it was reported that Hangar 13 is working on a new Mafia game, believed to be a prequel, and that a couple of leading staff members made their departures from the company. Studio head Haden Blackman and chief operating officer Matthew Urban left the studio for other pastures.
It wouldn’t be the first time, the studio was hit with layoff in 2017 and again in 2018. Reports state that layoffs have occurred at three sites across the world, with almost 50 jobs lost at the Hangar 13 main office in Novato, California. At a staff meeting earlier this week, Nick Baynes, head of Hangar 13’s UK offices in Brighton, said, “I know it sucks. I’m sorry I’m not over there to deliver this message. I will be coming over soon. I know you need some local leadership and structure and we’re working on it.” Baynes currently occupies Blackman’s previous role as studio head.
According to a source with Kotaku familiar with the decision, the Novato office is now down to 37 members from 87 after the layoffs. That’s a massive drop from when Hangar 13 launched Mafia 3 in 2016, with over 100 employees on payroll. Parent company 2K Games confirmed the layoffs in a statement provided to Kotaku, but has provided no further details regarding the matter.
“2K is fully committed to the future of Hangar 13 as the studio navigates a challenging but ultimately promising transition period. As part of our ongoing evaluations to ensure our resources are aligned with our goals, we have made some changes that have resulted in a reduction of positions and parting ways with some colleagues.”
“These decisions are always difficult. We are doing all we can to work with the impacted employees to find them new roles on other projects and teams at 2K, and are providing full support to those who cannot be redeployed, connecting them with industry networks and resources to find new opportunities outside of 2K.”
Despite the struggles facing the studio, staff members remaining will reportedly continue to work on the prequel game being developed in Unreal Engine 5. Kotaku’s report claims that 2K Games treats Hangar 13 as an “in-source studio,” devoting its resources in an assist capacity on games like Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands (Gearbox Software) and Marvel’s Midnight Suns (Firaxis).
Baynes has also apparently stated that anyone still at the company will be safe from further layoffs, but with recent developments over the years, it would be understandable if staff were apprehensive regardless.