Mafia III’s storyline, characters and setting was set in a controversial era, where racial discrimination was at its peak. However, the studio didn’t intend to make a social statement with the title.
Hangar 13’s Vice President of Development and Executive Producer Andrew Wilson was recently featured in an interview with GamesIndustry, where he described Hangar 13 as a “story-telling studio.” He continued to clarify they weren’t necessarily trying to make a statement with Mafia III, they just wanted to deliver an “authentic story.”
It is part of our identity to be a story-telling studio. That can apply to a variety of different genres, game types… there are many ways that can manifest. It doesn’t mean we’re going to try and make, necessarily, a point with every game. Even with Mafia III, we weren’t trying to make some kind of big social statement. We just wanted to tell a story that was authentic and represented the situation as it would have been, without trying to gloss over it.
We build our games from the perspective of who is an interesting character to tell a story about? Do they have a background or history that makes you want to build a narrative around them? And how do they relate to the game we want to build mechanically? That’s our starting point.
Mafia III released in October 2016 for PS4, Xbox One and PC, and received pretty favourable reviews.