The next major project from Mafia 3 studio Hangar 13 has been canned, despite $53m having been spent on its development since 2017.
The unannounced game, known internally as Volt, was set to be a three-player co-operative live service game to rival Destiny. The game's name was apparently short for Voltron, and one key mechanic would have seen enemies fusing together.
But despite the time and money pumped into the project so far, parent company Take-Two has now decided to can the game - potentially affecting nearly 200 people's jobs.
Reports last night from Bloomberg and Kotaku include an email from Hangar 13 founder Haden Blackman informing staff of the game's cancellation, while Take-Two announced the financial hit in an earnings call with investors.
"While the Hangar 13 name and Volt's working title are not being shared publicly, T2 is announcing today that 2K had made the difficult decision to stop developing on the project," Blackman wrote.
"I know this likely comes as a shock, but I wanted you to hear it from me first and provide some context."
There is no suggestion Hangar 13 will now be closed following the project's cancellation - indeed, Blackman goes on to mention that the studio will "begin developing future projects soon".
But a follow-up statement from publisher 2K suggested some roles may be affected, with staff offered jobs elsewhere.
"We have full confidence in Hangar 13's leadership and development team and believe that they can and will deliver critical and commercial successes in the future," a 2K spokesperson said. "Hangar 13's leadership is working closely with 2K to ensure that Hangar 13 team members continue to do meaningful work, either as part of Hangar 13 or on one of our other development teams."
A meeting will reportedly take place today to lay out more of the studio's future.
Volt was planned as Hangar 13's first new IP after the commercially-disappointing Mafia 3 failed to spawn a sequel. It was being worked on by multiple Hangar 13 studios (the company is based in California, but has additional offices in Brno, Prague and here in the UK in Brighton).