Mafia II was widely heralded as featuring an excellent story and atmosphere as it followed a Sicilian immigrant through his trials and tribulations as part of the mafia in the fictional Empire Bay. It was, however, heavily criticised for the gameplay elements feeling archaic and unpolished, some missions being “mundane”, and a general lack of activities to partake of in the open-world format. Nevertheless, it was a moderate commercial success and an unnamed source speaking to VG24/7 has begun the rumour that the developers, 2K Czech are working on a new entry in the series, having spent a year in preproduction in which the concepts and technology of the game have been completely rebuilt.
It comes with the revelation that Take-Two Interactive are throwing their weight behind it, wanting to turn it into a major franchise to rival their other big hits, Grand Theft Auto, Bioshock, and Civilisation. The same source has also noted that a part of this comes from the sharing of technology secrets between the various subsidiaries, with Rockstar aiding 2K Czech in this endeavour, while the latter has been helping to create animations for both cinematics and gameplay in the hotly anticipated GTA V.
Such collaborations are bound to become more frequent as rising development costs necessitate the need for the sharing of technology, rather than every studio trying to create their own, as we’ve already seen by a greater focus on middleware engines such as Unreal and Unity becoming standard.