Mafia 3 launched with a mixed reception from critics and gamers alike and currently stands at 68 on Metacritic, however, developer Hangar 13 was working on a sequel at one point as recently, Kotaku posted on their website about what went wrong with it and revealed the planned settings for Mafia 4.
In 2017 the studio Hangar 13 was split into two groups, one to focus on developing downloadable content for the Mafia 3 and one to work on the upcoming concepts for Mafia 4. Reportedly the first idea for Mafia 4 was that the game should be set in 1970s Las Vegas, in which the sin city is controlled by mobs.
That project wasn’t progressed as they had the option to work on an entirely new game after Haden Blackman met with 2k and Take-Two interactive.
The way it was pitched in the big all-hands meeting was: Mafia IV was a great thing, it’s exciting,” said one person who was there. “But we’ve always wanted to do our own IP.
This new game would have been called Rhapsody, a game about deception in 1980’s Berlin. You’ll play as a Russian jew who’s family has been murdered in a Soviet labor camp and was recruited by a spy organization called Rhapsody.
One person said about the project while staying anonymous
It was hitting a lot of the beats we were good at,
He’s doing missions, trying to save the world and get revenge on whoever killed his parents, trying to decide between the personal good and the public good.”
One interesting idea about the game was including music which would be used as a weapon.
You could use music to inspire you, channel it into weird effects.
However, there were licensing issues with the music and the team’s focus was unclear about the game.
Hangar 13 is clearly having a hard time from many months and if you want to have a deeper look at what happened in details you can check the full report on Kotaku.