2K Games have announced the third instalment of the Mafia franchise exists and is in development. The third outing is set to take place 20-30 years after the (so far) unrelated events of Mafia II in a reimagined, dangerous New Orleans, circa 1968.

Hangar 13, a newly founded 2K studio is tasked with the development, with veteran game developer and storyteller, Haden Blackman at the helm. Long-time fans of the franchise can rest assured with confident words coming from Blackman, “The Mafia franchise is known for its immersive sense of time and place, and for presenting compelling stories about life within organized crime, In Mafia III, we are introducing players to an unexpected new anti-hero and an iconic city to explore, all within a hard-boiled drama set during one of the most turbulent years in American history.”

The announcement revealed, in broad strokes, what the narrative of Mafia III holds for players.

“Mafia III follows the story of Lincoln Clay, a disenfranchised Vietnam veteran, returning from combat and looking for a home and a place to belong. Orphaned as a child, Lincoln at last achieves a semblance of family with the city’s black mob, finding the surrogate father and brother he has longed for. But when Lincoln’s new family is betrayed and slaughtered by the Italian mob, he becomes fixated on revenge and wages a brutal war against the Italians, disrupting the balance of power in the seedy underworld of New Orleans. As the story progresses, Lincoln allies himself with other criminals and builds an empire and a new family of his own that transforms the city.”

While this is a fictionalised world there’s potential for the “city’s black mob” to be the Black Panther Party, or at least a reimagining of them. A movement that begun in the late 60’s and started to see it’s numbers rise in numerous parts across the country, one of which being New Orleans in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

While a link to real world politics and struggles would certainly be a welcomed one, nothing has been confirmed nor denied, however, Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K, exhibits belief in Hangar 13’s ability to follow through on their grand vision by saying,

“Mafia III continues the strong franchise tradition of a captivating story set in the treacherous and calculated world of organized crime, Mafia III captures Hangar 13’s mantra of ‘every player story is unique’ through a cinematic narrative that responds to player choice.”

Hangar 13 echo Hartmann’s words, revealing how much agency the player has in game.
“Players choose their path to revenge and build their own crime empire using cunning, stalking and deception, or through overwhelming force and firepower. Mafia III combines the best of cinematic storytelling with a dynamic narrative structure that responds to player choices, set in a vibrant city that responds to Lincoln’s actions.”

Mafia III is slated for a 2016 release on all three major platforms, PS4, Xbox One and PC. If history repeats itself, expect to see an August release date announced early 2016.