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Virtual mobsters, rejoice
2K revealed Mafia III today. The open-world game will come out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2016.
“Mafia III is set in a reimagined New Orleans in 1968, one of the most tumultuous years in American history,” a press release sent to GamesBeat noted. “This version of New Orleans is bustling with activity, complete with era-inspired cars, fashion, and music. During this turbulent time, a cloud of corruption hangs in the air and the city has become a haven for organized crime. The Italian mob controls illegal gambling, drugs, and prostitution, while corrupt police and politicians line their pockets with the proceeds.”
The original Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven was a 2002 open-world game for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC. Mafia II, the last game in the series, came out for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC in 2010.
The title is the first from 2K’s new game studio, Hangar 13, which was announced in December 2014. Hangar 13 is led by veteran Star Wars game developer Haden Blackman.
Blackman told GamesBeat in December that the studio will work on a game for current-generation consoles and PCs. It is based at the 2K location in Novato, Calif., north of San Francisco, where there are lots of game developers who once worked for George Lucas’ LucasArts game studio, which was acquired by Disney as part of its $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm. Disney shut down LucasArts in April 2013.
At the time, we wondered what they were up to, as it was rare to see a brand new console game studio appear at a time when everyone was diving into mobile gaming. The barriers to entry for mobile and online games are much lower, but building high-quality console and PC games is hard work. But it’s not a surprise that 2K and Take-Two are taking the risk of funding such an enterprise. Take-Two’s studios include Rockstar Games, the creator of the Grand Theft Auto series, and 2K has published numerous high-quality titles, from Borderlands to XCOM and BioShock. Taking risks and betting big is part of 2K’s DNA.
Dean Takahashi contributed to this report.
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