Hangar 13, the studio behind Mafia 3, has opened a UK office to focus on AAA console games.
Hangar 13 was set up in 2014 and is one of 2K Games’ studios. Now the studio is expanding with the takeover of a Brighton-based indie studio headed up by Nick Baynes, who worked with Hangar 13’s VP of development, Andy Wilson, at Black Rock Studio in the city before it shut down in 2011.
“This is a specific choice for us. It’s actually based on the fact that Nick and I used to work together at Black Rock, going back longer than I am prepared to say,” Wilson told GamesIndustry.biz. After meeting up at GDC last year, Baynes’ studio performed some contract work for Wilson.
“As the year went on, things were going well and it became apparent we had a big opportunity, because Brighton and the South East has this vast pool of talent, with console experience, but there’s a lack of console development going on in the UK,” Wilson explained.
He described the expansion as “an opportunity to pump a bit of oxygen back into the fire as far as console development in the UK is concerned.”
“There’s been a general feeling amongst the developers in Brighton that there is something missing here,” added Baynes. “Really since Black Rock, we haven’t had a major, AAA console development studio in the city.
“Like Andy said, about a year ago I started something new. The intention was to start off small. Start doing console work and see where it all went. Then through a series of organic conversations, and working together on bits, suddenly this opportunity appeared, and we realised that our goals were aligned.”
Baynes says he expects Hangar 13 Brighton to become “one of the more significant studios in the region,” saying that “from an organisation point-of-view, we are one big studio.”
As far as games that the studio is working on, Wilson says that “the Brighton team’s existence is based on an opportunity we saw. We have a project that we are really excited about. And 2K is really excited about.
“The timelines for this project have changed over time. We are now in a position where we know what we want to do, and how long we think it is going to take. And the company is 100 per cent behind us with that.”