The Mafia franchise has been missing in action for the past three years, owing to perhaps the lackluster reception of the third and most recent installment. 2K Games’ extended silence during this period was taken as a bad omen for a potential sequel. However, it appears that the publisher did come around to not just Mafia 4 but also a remastered edition of Mafia 2.
Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of 2K Games, has been spotted to have registered three trademarks in relation to the franchise just last month. The filings, at the time of writing, are being reviewed by an examining attorney but should be accepted in the coming weeks.
Two of the trademarks are for “Mafia” and their respective text-based logos only differ in typography. The first one is actually identical to the font used for the first two installments in the franchise. The second one is completely different and without any description. Both are possibly placeholders to lock-in stylized marks for when the trademarks are updated down the road, and at least one of them sparks the existence of Mafia 4.
The third trademark directly mentions Mafia 2 and features the same silhouette logo from 2010. Take-Two Interactive could be just renewing the trademark but with the other Mafia-related filings within the same time frame, this one probably has to do with a remastered edition. It’s something that has been widely requested in the past and would surely put up a lot of smiles for 2K Games.
There’s also another trademark in the mix which was done just a day after the potentially Mafia 4 and remastered Mafia 2 filings. Hangar 13, a subdivision of 2K Games and the one behind Mafia 3, has also been treated by Take-Two Interactive. The filing features the new logo of the developer, which mentions all four studios that were merged in the past couple of years.
Hangar 13 went underground soon after Mafia 3 was released in 2016. Its debut title was marred for repetitive gameplay and a slew of technical issues. Hangar 13 was then hit with massive layoffs, around a year before reports started surfacing that the developer had started work on a new project.
According to the LinkedIn profiles of some of the staffers however, they are not working on a new IP but a AAA unannounced game. Geert De Cnodder, for example, who served as a technical artist for Mafia 3 has been “working on an unannounced AAA game” for nearly two years now, right around the time Kotaku reported a talk of working on a new IP.
Publishers tend to file trademarks when development has reached a specific phase. There are never early registrations. Hence, why there’s a strong possibility that 2K Games will officially announce Mafia 4 and Mafia 2 Remastered before the year is over. On the same note, a release next year won’t be out of the question.