Fans have been expecting a Mafia 3 announcement ever since an open casting call was held by Take-Two Interactive almost a year ago. The call for voice actors was for an 'untitled game', though the castings themselves certainly sounded like a Mafia title - one character was an Italian gangster, another an Italian teenager, and the third was described as someone loyal to those he considers 'family'. Things have been pretty quiet since that casting, but it looks like they're finally heating back up - as indicated by one of the voice actors from Mafia 2 tweeting that he expects some overdue news to be out sooner rather than later.
The tweet came from none other than Rick Pasqualone, who voiced Vito Scaletta in Mafia 2 - the main protagonist, for those who may not be familiar with the game. Despite the first and second Mafia games taking place in different cities (Lost Heaven and Empire Bay respectively, which seem to be a combination of New York, Chicago, and Boston), the series has had characters from one game interact with someone from another, so with Rick Pasqualone confirming news is likely to come soon, we'd be surprised if the news wasn't the unveiling of Mafia 3.
@Nataliebennette very nice. Thanks. Might have some Mafia news very soon!— Rick Pasqualone (@rickyp66) January 5, 2015
Now that Take-Two has opened a new studio in Novato, California, it seems probable that the development of Mafia 3 has found a new home in the recently-dubbed studio Hangar 13. The studio will be led by industry veteran Haden Blackman, a former Star Wars game director and LucasArts employee. Hangar 13 also brought in Laurent Gorga from 2K Czech, who was the technical director of Mafia 2, as well as some staff who had worked on other open-world titles like Saints Row.
While Mafia 2 delivered an entertaining storyline, many fans of the original game were left disappointed at the lack of focus on free-roaming around the city. While Mafia 2 was graphically gorgeous, and the city had plenty to look at and drive to, there was absolutely no reason to do any of that - if you weren't doing a mission, there was nothing else to do. Hopefully, the potential third Mafia title will bring more flair to whichever city the plot settles in to - right now, it's rumoured to be based on Louisiana, which is a potentially huge change of pace from the typical New York gangster setting, and could provide a racially-driven narrative to the series. We'll keep you posted as more news eventually comes out.
What do you think about the Mafia 3, Ranters? Do you have high hopes for the third time out with la cosa nostra?
Follow John Jacques on Twitter @Makelevi.