Blackman is stepping down in order “to pursue his passion at a new endeavour,” according to an announcement initially shared internally to staff at the studio (via GamesIndustry.biz).
“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,” it added.
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“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.”
Blackman has led Hangar 13, which is based at 2K’s headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, since the studio’s formation, which was announced in 2014.
Previously, Blackman spent 13 years at LucasArts, where he served as studio head and franchise director before departing in 2010.
Blackman will be replaced by Hangar 13 Brighton’s studio head, Nick Baynes.
It was claimed in November that 2K had cancelled a new title from Hangar 13. Codenamed Volt, the project had reportedly been in development in various forms since 2017.
But people said to be familiar with 2K’s decision told Bloomberg that work on the unannounced project has ceased.
The article’s author, Jason Schreier, claimed Volt was a new IP and that rumours of Hangar 13 making a Mafia 4 “were always false, aside from their early attempts in 2016-2017”.
In its second quarter earnings statement last November, 2K parent company Take-Two said it had taken “a $53 million impairment charge related to the company’s decision not to proceed with further development of an unannounced title”, but no further details about the project were revealed.
An earlier leak described Volt as an “open-world sci-fi title with supernatural elements” and “Cthulhu meets Saints Row”.