According to a statement, from today (May 5) Blackman will be leaving to “pursue his passion at a new endeavour,” although it was not confirmed what this will be (thanks, GamesIndustry.biz).
The announcement read: “Hello team, it’s with mixed emotions that I share with you several leadership updates from Hangar 13. Haden Blackman is stepping down as studio head of Hangar 13 and is leaving the company to pursue his passion at a new endeavour.”
“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 continued.
“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 been at Hanger 13 since its formation in 2014, and was involved with the writing of both Mafia 3 and 2020’s Mafia: Definitive Edition. He will be replaced by Hanger 13’s studio head in Brighton, Nick Baynes.
“We are confident the studio is in great hands heading into the multiple projects currently under way, and the team has 2K’s full support,” wrote 2K (via Eurogamer).
Outside of video games, Blackman is known for writing popular Star Wars media, including comics and reference books. He also wrote video games Star Wars: Starfighter, The Force Unleashed and The Force Unleashed 2.
In 2009 Blackman won awards from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and the Writers Guild of America for his work on Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.