Haden Blackman leaving Hangar 13 and 2K after Seven years

    Nick Baynes, who has 30 years of industry leadership experience and joined Hangar 13 in 2018 to open Hanger 13, Brighton, will take over for Blackman. He was the driving force behind the release of Mafia: Definitive Edition and the Mafia Trilogy.    

    Blackman began his career in game creation at LucasArts, where he worked as a producer on Star Wars: Galaxies, as well as the project lead for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. He also wrote Jango Fett: Open Seasons, Star Wars: Starfighter, and Darth Vader & The Ghost Prison, among other Star Wars comics.

    To build MAFIA III, an ambitious open-world game set in 1968 New Orleans, I built Hangar 13 (a 2K studio) from a single developer into a competent, cross-functional team operating between facilities in California and the Czech Republic. Vision and strategy for the studio, as well as business, production, and creative objectives. From the beginning of MAFIA III’s development to the delivery of all post-launch content, I was in charge of everything. MAFIA III has been hailed as a “cultural milestone” and a pattern for narrative and story-telling in AAA games, having been developed on proprietary technology and released across several platforms. It has almost 20 million players at the moment.

    In 2018, Hangar 13 expanded to incorporate a fourth location in Brighton (UK). Oversaw all sites’ growth, strategy, and creativity, as well as the creation of original IP. A five-year plan was designed and implemented. MAFIA: The Definitive Edition and the MAFIA Trilogy, both of which were launched in 2020 across various platforms and exceeded critical and economic targets, were developed by me. Currently leading the development of multiple unannounced titles while managing studio GMs, COOs, and creative leads across all sites. Winner of the 2021 Best Boss Award in the United States.

    His revelation that Mafia III has reached approximately 20 million gamers is one of the more intriguing pieces of information. However, the figure is likely to include demo downloads; as of two years earlier, the game had sold 7 million units.

    During Blackman’s tenure, Hangar 13 did suffer two severe setbacks. Project Rhapsody (a game set in 1980s Berlin) and Volt (a $53 million sci-fi title with supernatural aspects) were both canceled by the firm. Because of the latter’s cancellation, it’s unlikely that we’ll hear anything about the studio’s next game very soon.

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