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Take-Two Cancels $53M Project After 3 Year Development

Hangar 13's last game, Mafia III, was released in 2016.
Hangar 13's last game, Mafia III, was released in 2016. / Photo courtesy of Hangar 13/2K Games

Take-Two has cancelled the next major project from Mafia 3 development studio Hangar 13 after spending $53 million and three years of work on the game. Nearly 200 jobs will be affected by the cancellation.

Known internally as Volt, the game was going to be a three-player cooperation live service game in the vein of Destiny. Volt was apparently short for Voltron, a reference to an in-game mechanic that would have seen enemies fuse together.

Take-Two announced the cancellation to investors, but specifics about the game come from an email sent to staff by Hangar 13 head and founder, Haden Blackman, and obtained by Kotaku and Bloomberg.

“While the Hangar 13 name and Volt’s working title are not being shared publicly, T2 is announcing today that 2K had made the difficult decision to stop developing on the project," Blackman wrote. "I know this likely comes as a shock, but I wanted you to hear it from me first and provide some context."

Although internal tests of the game had proven promising, Take-Two had decided the costs of development amidst current "industry challenges" would make the game "commercially unviable."

Blackman goes on to say Hangar 13 will begin developing new projects soon, but a statement from publisher 2K suggests some roles may be affected.

"We have full confidence in Hangar 13's leadership and development team and believe that they can and will deliver critical and commercial successes in the future," a 2K spokesperson said. "Hangar 13's leadership is working closely with 2K to ensure that Hangar 13 team members continue to do meaningful work, either as part of Hangar 13 or on one of our other development teams."

Hangar 13 has foundered since the commercial failure of Mafia III in 2016. Rather than work on Mafia IV, the studio reportedly started work on a new IP called Rhapsody, which eventually became Volt. Layoffs wracked the studio in 2017 and 2018, and a meeting is set to take place Thursday to discuss the studio's future.