Hangar 13 Studios, the development outfit behind 2K Games’ Mafia III, has been hit with an undisclosed amount of layoffs.
GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that 2K Games have confirmed the layoffs, with a spokesperson stating…
“2K can confirm that 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 organisation.”
Hangar 13’s only game has been Mafia III, which came out back in October of 2016. The studio released some post-launch DLC for it shortly thereafter, but they’ve been mostly silent ever since.
According to GamesIndustry.biz Mafia III shipped 5 million copies across the PS4, Xbox One and PC from 2016 to early 2017. According to Steam Spy the game has only moved 667,000 copies on PC, so the rest of the 4.3 million split is between the PS4 and Xbox One. It’s also a far cry from the 2.6 million sales that Mafia II has achieved on PC alone.
Then again, Mafia II was a true-to-the-era game that was story heavy and well designed. It also featured more in-depth mechanics than Mafia III, many of which were removed, as evidenced in the video comparison below from YouTuber Eduard Makarchev.
Mafia III also heavily played up on the identitarian racial politics that have been pervasive in media lately, much to the disappointment and turnoff of many gamers.
Feeding into the racial divide currently taking America by storm has led many gamers to pass on playing Mafia III, which likely could have played a role in the game’s stale sales performance compared to its first two entries. The DLC didn’t help matters much when it featured a gay anal sex sequence in a male bathhouse, which likely could have further turned some gamers off.
It appears this is yet more evidence that identity politics and sociopolitically charged topic matter aimed at dividing your core demographic works heavily against garnering strong sales… or keeping everyone at the studio employed.