Haden Blackman, founder of Mafia 3 and Mafia: Definitive Edition developer Hangar 13, is stepping down as studio head and will leave parent company 2K, it has been revealed. Nick Baynes will take over as the new head of Hangar 13.
“It’s with mixed emotions that I share with you several leadership updates from Hangar 13,” reads a memo shared internally by 2K leadership. “Haden Blackman is stepping down as studio head of Hangar 13, and is leaving the company to pursue his passion at a new endeavor. We are grateful for Haden’s leadership in establishing Hangar 13, building and uniting teams in Novato, Brighton, and Czech, and releasing multiple studio-defining Mafia games and collections.
“What Haden helped build will continue to carry forward and grow for years to come. We support all of our employees pursuing their passions, and we wish nothing but the best for him in what’s next. Nick Baynes, studio head of Hangar 13 Brighton will take over as studio head of Hangar 13.
“With 30 years of industry leadership experience, Nick joined Hangar 13 in 2018 to establish Hangar 13 Brighton, and has spent the last four years growing the team, building up the studio’s capabilities, and launching terrific projects like Mafia: Definitive Edition and the Mafia Trilogy. I hope you’ll join me in thanking Haden and wishing him the best, and congratulating Nick on a well-deserved promotion. While change can be challenging, it can also breed new opportunities and success. 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.”
The establishment of Hangar 13 was revealed in 2014 along with confirmation that Blackman, a LucasArts veteran, would be heading up the studio. At the time the team was working on a AAA game using proprietary tech. That game was 2016’s Mafia 3, which launched to mixed but mostly positive reviews. Following that, Hangar 13 worked on 2020’s remake of the original Mafia.
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