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Mafia 3 studio founder stepping down, leaving 2K

Nick Baynes will take over as the new head of Hangar 13

Mafia 3 artwork shows the main character holding a gun Image: 2K Games

Haden Blackman, founder of Mafia 3 developer Hangar 13, is leaving the studio and publisher 2K after serving seven years as the studio’s head.

Announced in a memo addressed to the studio’s staff, which was provided to Polygon by publisher 2K, Blackman is stepping down to quote, “pursue his passion at a new endeavor.” Blackman, who founded the studio in 2014, previously served as the creative director on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and lead producer on Star Wars: Galaxies.

Nick Baynes, who joined Hangar 13 in 2018 and served as the studio head of Hangar 13 Brighton, will take over as studio head. “While change can be challenging, it can also breed new opportunities and success,” the memo states. “We are confident the studio is in great hands heading into the multiple projects currently under way, and the team has 2K’s full support.”

With the recent swath of Star Wars games currently in production, one might wonder if Blackman’s passions will see him returning to helm a new title in the franchise once again. Kotaku reports that former Hangar 13 COO Matthew Urban has also left the studio, which is said to be developing a new prequel to the Mafia trilogy.

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