Mafia III studio Hanger 13 suffers massive layoffs

Mafia III

Hanger 13 gave the world open-ended crime caper Mafia III, a game that is at once a formulaic GTA-style action game, and an impressive slice of the American South in the 1960s (with a few fictionalised elements letting the team interpret New Orleans a little more loosely). It seemed to do pretty well sales-wise but today the chances of a Hanger 13-developed follow-up appear dim. The studio has been hit with substantial layoffs.

Kotaku reports the news, stating that they’ve heard the layoffs comprise a “large proportion” of the staff, but that the studio itself remains open. Publisher 2K later confirmed things, responding with a statement:

“…there have been staff reductions at Hangar 13 in order to ensure that the studio’s resources are properly aligned with its long-term development plans. These reductions will not influence 2K’s ability to create and deliver its products that are currently in development. We never take these matters lightly, and are working with the affected employees to support them and explore potential opportunities throughout our organization.”

It’s not clear what Hanger 13 have been working on since Mafia III came out in late 2016, but Kotaku has heard, on the down-low, that one of their discarded prototypes was a musical action game, where tunes were generated as your character performed special moves. Mafia III is the studio’s first and only game to date (it was only founded in 2014), and despite its faults, there’s much to enjoy about its atmospheric and detailed open world. Have a gander at John’s review, or Graham’s more recent Have You Played if you want more of our thoughts.


  1. ThePuzzler says:

    “Massive” seems a little strong, if that’s just based on a rumour that someone at Kotaku heard that they were “a large proportion”.

    • sfury says:

      Also this game became heavily discounted after the negative reviews, there were quick -50% deals and lots of -66%, -75% offers after only a few months. I think lots of people bought it at such prices, and this boosted their numbers.

      Here’s a graph:
      link to

  2. Zaxwerks says:

    Mafia III got generally slaughtered in the press and by critics (their blood is on your hands John Walker, you bathe in their tears, you scoundrel you!)

    Mind you with Metacritic “professional” reviewers giving the game anywhere from 40%-80% you have to wonder what we pay these people for, as they recline on their gaming chaise-lounges, their flouncy shirts a berets catching the light as they light another Gauloises cigarette with a burning copy of an ET Atari cartridge, with their 23rd Prosecco of the day slowly warming on the cocktail trolley next to them.

    Darned game reviewers and their decadent lifestyle!

    • morganjah says:

      I think I might want to be a professional reviewer.

    • fish99 says:

      What are ‘metacritic professional reviewers’? They don’t work for metacritic. Metacritic is just an aggregate of all published reviews. Also the user scores (i.e from regular gamers) are way below the critic scores, and it’s at 47% positive (60% recent) on Steam.

      I don’t see much evidence that it’s actually a great game that was criminally sabotaged by reviewers.

      • GepardenK says:

        It isn’t underrated at all. It has a cool concept but bland execution with a few failed attempts at adding some gimmicky innovations. All style no substance. Typical boring AAA stuff but even worse it’s of the low quality wannabe kind.

  3. Chaz says:

    Well, if they’d called themselves Hanger 7 instead, then they might have been a bit luckier.

    • HiroTheProtagonist says:

      I think they were originally Hanger 18, but they were disbanded for knowing too much.

    • Excors says:

      That still sounds like one in a long queue of victims of capital punishment. (Hmm, looks like the company is actually Hangar 13, it’s just this article that isn’t spelling it properly.)

  4. DantronLesotho says:

    Really sad about the studio layoffs; those are never great. But I have to comment that this line: “in order to ensure that the studio’s resources are properly aligned with its long-term development plans. ” is one of the most BS-y line that you ever hear from studios. Why can’t they just say “the project doesn’t work financially, so we had to lay people off because we had no backup plan or financial reserves to cover for it”

    • wackazoa says:

      Well with that line, “in order to ensure that the studio’s resources are properly aligned with its long-term development plans.”, it sounds more like 2K is moving them from being a main game development studio to one that helps. So this is probably the 1st and last lead project that Hangar 13 will ever work on.

  5. Jokerme says:

    Mafia 3 was one of the most disappointing experiences I’ve ever had with a game. If it didn’t start fine I wouldn’t be so disappointed.

    It’s well and good until you finish that amusement park mission. After that it’s endless series of mindless boring missions. Same boring missions over and over. Boring missions. Repetitive missions. Boring and repetitive missions. So annoying.

    • Zenicetus says:

      The amusement park and just a bit past it, was where I bailed out. It’s like they just ran out of ideas, but had to keep pumping in filler anyway. What a waste of a good setting.

    • epeternally says:

      That was exactly my experience as well. I did eventually finish the game but it dragged on for far too long, and the more I played the less I was enjoying it. Thankfully the DLC content has dramatically better pacing than the main game. If they’d been allowed to make an eight hour linear story, I think Mafia III could have been pretty great.

    • durrbluh says:

      That was exactly my experience as well. Could’ve been cool, ended up being repetitive and tedious. I don’t wish unemployment on people, but the game they ended up releasing did not encourage me to purchase games from them in the future.

  6. upupup says:

    Not a good game, but it’s never fun to hear about people getting fired. At least when you’re part of a runaway success and get fired after the crunch, you can walk away from it with a hit on your résumé. That’s not so much the case here.

  7. poliovaccine says:

    I just want to know, how does Kotaku always get these kinds of scoops? I swear they’re like the Deep Throat of games journalism… Deep Joystick, maybe? Too much?