Why did Mafia 3 fail

Oct 24, 2017
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That's fine, I'm not making a case for mafia being a lot better but trying to broach the question, what do we really want out of these games?

Yakuza, gta, red dead, saints row etc are games we all spend hundreds of hours in and do the same shit more or less for the bulk of that time. A lot of the time it's busy work, drudgework, generally unfun laborious tasks. Gta doesn't tackle this very effectively. I liked the vigilante missions the best in IV, which was an example of their core gameplay loop (drive,shoot) being used to success, imo. If mafia could do more of that and less "Zeros RC" quality missions then I would think s lot more people would enjoy it.

Just saying,gta single player is so dead. That experience has sailed so far into that good night. And it never really was all that good, except for the tent pole missions that everyone thought was cool. Mafia, it's time for you or someone to take the reigns. GTA is done leading by example for SP and I love the series and will bet that I have more play throughs on those games than...many people.
I never liked the saints row games so I can not speak about that. GTA V however at least for me was story wise on a top level. I loved the story around these guys. And in the beginning it was the same with mafia 3 . However the fact that I had to conquer areas and set up these devices was really annoying. One time sure but every time just to progress the story was boring busy work for me and it turned me off really fast. In San Andreas there was also sich a feature but here it was also not mandatory.

That’s the biggest flaw of Mafia.

For yakuza.i did the side stuff because it was engaging and fun.
 
May 21, 2016
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I didn't like how the game focused on race issues and how over the top the action was, not to mention the brutal knife killings. It just felt like they were trying to much to match GTA in intensity rather than being more subtle like Mafia 1 and 2, which is essentially the reason I liked those games (and adored Mafia 1). Then of course, there were the bad reviews and all, but I had lost interest way before that. It's a shame because I do think that the game looks nice.
 

Kadayi

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Oct 10, 2012
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I heard talk of the busy work and that kind of put a dent in my desire to pick it up. I like narrative and missions in games, but increasingly as I find my free time becomes an ever more precious resource I'm less interested in spending hours doing peripheral busy work. I barely touched Fallout 4 because of the base building for instance. I get some people love that sort of thing (and I used to enjoy it), but its a real turn off to me these days.
 
Oct 14, 2016
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What about the tech issues that were there on launchday? Eventually it some glitches got patched but I've played it on pc and was very disappointed and ruined my experience. I liked the theme and style of the game but it felt like they got rushed at the end to ship the title asap.
 
Nov 4, 2017
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I've always looked at it a a PC centric IP, similar to Max Payne. Remember seeing some gameplay footage of it when G4TV was still available, but nothing more than that.

If it's anything similar to the Godfather video game, it won't disappoint.
 
Normally I'd chalk this up to yet another Take 2 franchise having overly long gaps between releases - Mafia to Mafia II was eight years, almost as long as the nine years between Max Payne games. But Mafia II got this game as a sequel, so they couldn't have been too disappointed in how that game performed. Maybe autumn release dates aren't as good these days for single player games that are not "event" releases like a Mario, Fallout, GTA, etc. Mafia III came out about a month before Dishonored 2, another game that has a big tumble in sales from the predecessor, at least on Steam. It seems like every single player game that isn't a huge deal is ripe for Black Friday deals, which makes waiting a few weeks easy for most people.
 
Jan 7, 2018
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I don't think it failed but it could have been better. Story is great but the game is very repetitive. You do the same thing again and again. I still haven't finished it. Mafia IV should be set in the 80s or go back to 30s/40s if they ever make it.
 
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Jan 7, 2018
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The game sold very well I think its the best selling mafia game. But yeah the game was a huge disappointment to me it was damn boring. I played the crap out of mafia 2 the story was so intriguing and not to be racist but I think playing as a italian player helped out too.
 

Kelegacy

XBOX - RECORD ME LOVING DOWN MY WOMAN GOOD
May 9, 2006
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Plain and simple the gameplay got really fucking repetitive. With same mission, mission, chase, secure, boss. It sucks because it's a really good game.
Yep. Good game, super shallow mission structure. Some are great, but the majority are the exact same. That was far and away the biggest problem. It was a chore to complete as a result, though the "core missions" were great. They were just separated by a lot of crap.
 
Oct 13, 2014
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Too much grinding with repetitive tasks. Cut out all that shit and you have an 10 hour experience, but a GREAT experience. I really enjoyed the DLC despite them being very short in playtime. I'd prefer a shorter playtime with a tighter narrative and less repetitive gameplay over what we actually got any day.
What you really meant to say is that you lost interest in Mafia 3 because you play as an African American instead of an Italian American.
Yikes. Jumping to conclusions here.
 
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Feb 17, 2017
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Normally I'd chalk this up to yet another Take 2 franchise having overly long gaps between releases - Mafia to Mafia II was eight years, almost as long as the nine years between Max Payne games. But Mafia II got this game as a sequel, so they couldn't have been too disappointed in how that game performed. Maybe autumn release dates aren't as good these days for single player games that are not "event" releases like a Mario, Fallout, GTA, etc. Mafia III came out about a month before Dishonored 2, another game that has a big tumble in sales from the predecessor, at least on Steam. It seems like every single player game that isn't a huge deal is ripe for Black Friday deals, which makes waiting a few weeks easy for most people.
2016 wasn't a good year for sequels in general. Dishonored 2, Mafia 3, Titanfall 2, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Gears of War 4, CoD: Infinite Warfare, Street Fighter V, Watch Dogs 2... a lot of high-profile sequels sold below expectations. Releasing all these games around the same period probably isn't a good idea, even if Black Friday is right around the corner. When faced with an overwhelming number of choices, people will stick with what they know (i.e. the highest-profile releases). Everything else will be overlooked.
 
Likes: Kadayi
May 15, 2014
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The fact that the PC version was garbage for so long probably didn't help either. I still haven't played the game, knowing that I can't expect an experience like the first, I still see a fun and rich action packed game with a good story.
Might pick it up for 12 bucks on humble bundle from the monthly. Just gotta see and find out how the game runs nowadays.
 

Kadayi

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Oct 10, 2012
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2016 wasn't a good year for sequels in general. Dishonored 2, Mafia 3, Titanfall 2, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Gears of War 4, CoD: Infinite Warfare, Street Fighter V, Watch Dogs 2... a lot of high-profile sequels sold below expectations. Releasing all these games around the same period probably isn't a good idea, even if Black Friday is right around the corner. When faced with an overwhelming number of choices, people will stick with what they know (i.e. the highest-profile releases). Everything else will be overlooked.
On point. It's also the time factor as well. Albeit I have the money to buy a lot of games, I don't necessarily have the time to play them all, so what's the incentive to pick them all up at launch versus buy a couple I'm really keen on and get the rest later on when they are on sale? None. Of the ones you listed. I bought DX:MD & WD2 at launch and Titanfall 2 and Dishonored 2 I bought in the Xmas sales (and even now I still haven't gotten around to the latter). Honestly, publishers need to get into spreading their big hitters out versus trying to race in a crowded field.
 
Aug 11, 2014
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It wasn’t about the mafia - it was some guy going to jail and getting out to get revenge wasn’t it? Seemed like a cash-in on the name on that basis.

If it was about someone working their way up in the mafia I would have been interested.
 
Jan 16, 2017
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A game that sold very well failed.... seriously, people should not give opinions, and stick to facts. And the facts are it sold well, and i am aware that i (nor do you) know the internal projections, the budget compared to how much it has made...and other business things that anyone with any sense would account for, but this game has been highlighted before by the publisher for selling well.
 
Dec 6, 2008
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It wasn’t about the mafia - it was some guy going to jail and getting out to get revenge wasn’t it? Seemed like a cash-in on the name on that basis.

If it was about someone working their way up In the mafia I would have been interested.
No, it's not about someone going to jail and getting out to get revenge.

It is about the mafia and someone working their way up to power. There is a core revenge theme, sure, but there's no doubt at any time that the mafia is at the heart of the game.
 
Feb 17, 2017
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The game sold very well I think its the best selling mafia game. But yeah the game was a huge disappointment to me it was damn boring. I played the crap out of mafia 2 the story was so intriguing and not to be racist but I think playing as a italian player helped out too.
It's not racist. As this thread has shown, when many people think of the mafia, they're thinking specifically about the Italian mafia. When they saw a black protagonist in Mafia 3, they automatically assumed that it had nothing to do with the Italian mafia and lost interest.

As for the game's commercial success, that hasn't been confirmed. 2K reported that they sold-in approximately 5 million units as of early 2017. They also stated that development costs were higher than expected. Publishers seem to expect their multiplatform AAA games to sell at least 5 million copies within a year, so Mafia 3 could have missed profitability depending on how over-budget the project was.
 
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Feb 17, 2017
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can anyone recommend this game to me?

I played Mafia 2 and got two story missions into the game before i gave up

is it similar?

thanks
You need to be more specific. Why did you give up on Mafia 2? What did you specifically dislike about it? What kind of games do you actually enjoy?

There's nothing quite as irritating as people asking for recommendations without providing any indication of their own preferences.
 
Jun 27, 2013
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I enjoyed Mafia 3 immensely but no doubt it was flawed in many ways.

I never played the original Mafia just to say, I did however play and finish (platinumed it I think?) Mafia 2 and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I don't think Mafia 3 failed, I just think it failed to live up to the standards set before it. Mafia 3 has for me at least fallen into the 'if this had been the first game of a series, it would have been a nice attempt at something new and look forward to a sequel'. But as it stands its a third game that should be pushing the series. And it has narratively I believe... but not in a gameplay sense at all...

The world it builds is beautiful and the gunplay is a joy it really is. Its story... well... its not bad and its told fairly well... though it struggles to hit the high notes too often leaving it a bit mundane sometimes.

To say the game 'failed' because it removed the lead character from the Italian Mafia is a bit of a stretch as the game features every mafia going this time including Italian and Irish etc. I just don't think it was marketed very well if I am honest...
 
Mar 16, 2018
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You need to be more specific. Why did you give up on Mafia 2? What did you specifically dislike about it? What kind of games do you actually enjoy?

There's nothing quite as irritating as people asking for recommendations without providing any indication of their own preferences.
You know what, I went into the game expecting a GTA clone and that was exactly what I saw in that short period
More or less I was wondering if anyone could "change my mind"

and regarding that last statement... mods PM'd me saying not to be petty and respond to it
 
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Jan 7, 2018
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can anyone recommend this game to me?

I played Mafia 2 and got two story missions into the game before i gave up

is it similar?

thanks
It is a lot different. Mafia 2 is very story driven game and you always have somewhere to go in the story. Mafia 3 is not like that. The beginning is very story driven but soon you can start to take over districts at your own pace. It has less cutscenes than Mafia 2.

I recommend playing Mafia 2. It's one of my favorite games.
 
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2016 wasn't a good year for sequels in general. Dishonored 2, Mafia 3, Titanfall 2, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Gears of War 4, CoD: Infinite Warfare, Street Fighter V, Watch Dogs 2... a lot of high-profile sequels sold below expectations. Releasing all these games around the same period probably isn't a good idea, even if Black Friday is right around the corner. When faced with an overwhelming number of choices, people will stick with what they know (i.e. the highest-profile releases). Everything else will be overlooked.
Yeah, I think a lot of good games end up saddled with piss poor timing. Titanfall 2 was sandwiched between COD and Battlefield (weird given EA publishes BF), Deus Ex got a six month delay into the shadow of No Man's Sky hype machine, Infinite Warfare was better than I expected but being the third consecutive futuristic COD game had to hurt. Some of it is just weird release dates to boot, and Bethesda does this a lot - Dishonored 2 being a November game and Wolfenstein II being a late October game made it obvious they'd be discounted quickly. It seems very obvious at this point that when a release window is crowded and time is limited, people like to get in early on the the multiplayer games they play with their friends. Between release date timing and trying to add $30 of DLC to every single player game, publishers are almost indirectly telling people to wait.
 
Jun 3, 2009
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The problem with Mafia 3 is that they listened to all the "new" people that whined about Mafia 2 INSTEAD of listening to the fans of Mafia 1.

What made the Mafia series stand out from the crowd of other open world games like Ubisoft/GTA, etc is that it focused squarely on the narrative and characters as a means to hook you and keep you playing through the game for its storyline. The world of Mafia 1 was meant to immerse you within that time period and setting, it used realism to a degree to put you into this world. Cars weren't super-fast, cops gave you tickets for speeding/running red lights, fuel was a thing and you had to use gas stations or you would run out and the car would die. If you tried to play the game like GTA you'd quickly have cops on you and wouldn't get that far. It didn't go about filling it's world with a bunch of copy paste side-content and trivial things either, it kept you focused on it's main storyline.

With Mafia 2 later in development this started to change, they dropped the fuel requirement, etc. There were obvious things left incomplete, the lead developer behind the series left before release (Daniel Vavra, who went on to found warhorse and make the recent game Kingdom Come Deliverance). The game was still decent but it was obvious that development had issues that led to things not being fully realized, it felt like a game that had a vision but then someone came along and tried to mess with it.

A lot of the new players who didn't play Mafia 1 complained about how it wasn't GTA enough, how the world felt "empty" and how there weren't enough side-content and things to do.

With Mafia 3 it was a new developer and things changed. Gone was the story focus to drive you, gone were all "realism" factors meant to immerse you, cops didn't give a shit if you were speeding, running lights, anything. Fuel? Who needs fuel? Just like GTA you can drive like a maniac and no on bats an eye, cause that's totally immersive.

Now starting out in Mafia 3 things felt good, the first few hours when the game is, much like the previous games, focused on the story and characters, it's GREAT. I loved the opening hours of the game.However after the game "opens" up into it's main gameplay loop, having you take down rackets to get the boss in order to move the story along this sets the game up into a super repetitive and ultimately a boring game.

It felt like a great 10-15'ish hour game that was filled with a bunch of busywork to stretch it out a lot longer. Instead of keeping the focus on the story it wants to pad itself out and have you constantly following the same repetitive gameplay loop over and over and over. It gets tiring really fast, and it's a shame too, because what's store as far as the story/characters go are decent and I felt like if they would have kept it like Mafia 1 with it's story focus and kept it tight it would have been a great game.
 
Feb 17, 2017
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With Mafia 3 it was a new developer and things changed. Gone was the story focus to drive you, gone were all "realism" factors meant to immerse you, cops didn't give a shit if you were speeding, running lights, anything. Fuel? Who needs fuel? Just like GTA you can drive like a maniac and no on bats an eye, cause that's totally immersive.
As someone who has played and enjoyed all of the Mafia games, I can say without hesitation that the "realistic" aspects of the first game were nothing more than annoyances. The cars were already slow enough as they were and on top of that, you were forced to drive under the speed limit and stop at red lights? And manage fuel? Really? "Realism" isn't inherently good. I don't enjoy driving slowly or sitting in traffic or buying gas in real-life. Why would I enjoy doing those things in a game? Also, there's no point in creating an open-world if there's nothing to do in it. Adding interesting content to an open-world is always a good thing.

No, the biggest flaw with Mafia 3 was the lack of narrative context for most of the missions. Narrative context is incredibly important for many people. It's the reason why GTA and Witcher 3 are so beloved despite the fact that their gameplay and mission design are actually pretty formulaic. Same goes for the Portal games. Without the clever writing and memorable characters, nobody would have cared about the series. Wolfenstein II received such critical acclaim because of its writing, not its gameplay. You could take the missions in Mafia 3, add some interesting characters and stories and bam, people would love it. Probably would have won some GotY awards too.
 
Jun 3, 2009
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As someone who has played and enjoyed all of the Mafia games, I can say without hesitation that the "realistic" aspects of the first game were nothing more than annoyances. The cars were already slow enough as they were and on top of that, you were forced to drive under the speed limit and stop at red lights? And manage fuel? Really? "Realism" isn't inherently good. I don't enjoy driving slowly or sitting in traffic or buying gas in real-life. Why would I enjoy doing those things in a game? Also, there's no point in creating an open-world if there's nothing to do in it. Adding interesting content to an open-world is always a good thing.

No, the biggest flaw with Mafia 3 was the lack of narrative context for most of the missions. Narrative context is incredibly important for many people. It's the reason why GTA and Witcher 3 are so beloved despite the fact that their gameplay and mission design are actually pretty formulaic. Same goes for the Portal games. Without the clever writing and memorable characters, nobody would have cared about the series. Wolfenstein II received such critical acclaim because of its writing, not its gameplay. You could take the missions in Mafia 3, add some interesting characters and stories and bam, people would love it. Probably would have won some GotY awards too.

The realism aspects I enjoyed. It helped the world feel more believable and immersive because you couldn't just drive like a maniac anytime you pleased (unless you wanted tickets).

This meant that the times when you DID have to drive fast and chase people or get away it carried a weight of suspense that often times is lacking in most other driving games. Because you normally wouldn't drive that way and had to be weary of drawing attention.

Also these things can be optional, it's an easy thing to have as an option so those of us that like that aspect can have and those that don't want it don't have to.

As far as the world and having nothing to do, what I mean is that the game focused you on the story, instead of "filler" side content (like Mafia 3 does). IT was night and day.

I played through Mafia 1 and 2 fully engaged in the story and characters from beginning to end. The drive to see the story unfold and what happens to the characters is all I needed.

Mafia 3? Much like the GTA games, I get sidetracked, I get bored, I eventually lose focus and either don't finish the game or go off to another game and come back down the road.

I preferred Mafia because of it's story focus rather then just making a world and filling it with a bunch of other things to get your attention off the main storyline. That was something MAfia 3 tossed out the window in favor of a bunch of "Busywork" that amounts to doing the same things over and over with slight story elements dripped here and there as you progress.
 
Oct 22, 2013
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It did NOT fail, series will never end.

Was the gameplay repetitive, hell yea..but speaking of Story, was insanely AAA Godfather good..gorgeous to look at on the X, well crafted detailed city of New Orleans back in the 60s (was it?)..like i said, no complaints here.
 
Jan 14, 2018
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Indeed, Mafia III did not "fail." It performed fine.

This topic is a textbook example of the logical fallacy known as begging the question. This is further highlighted by the OP's omission of explaining why they think it failed.


Edit: Furthermore,


$TTWO's Mafia III sold 503K at Oct 2016 NPD USA Retail Software (310K on PS4 and 193K on XBO).+122% higher than Mafia II's 2010 debut (227K)
You're doing a lot of faulty reasoning yourself.

1. Does he say it commercially failed? If not, then it might've been referring to it as a critical failure with its comparatively low metacritic score of 68. It might further refer to the public perception of Mafia 3's quality.
2. "X2 sold Z% more than X1 in Y region. X2 was a success." Doesn't really work. It's the budget, in terms of cost of development and marketing that has a huge impact on how many units must be sold to break even and end up with a surplus. For it to be considered a commercial success there's two possible metrics. 1. In terms of providing a sizable profit. 2. In terms of growing the franchise for further market share for future titles. I haven't found any data yet to give a good understanding of its commercial accomplishment, at best a dubious rumor saying they'd need to sell 8 million to break even.
3. The terms "failure", "fine" aren't defined in terms of qualification, leading to a lot of subjectivity in judgement.
 
May 10, 2009
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Yeah but these aren't the kind of things that prevent a game of these production values from succeeding. Numerous open-worlders have awful combat and repetitive yayayaya but I sincerely doubt the johnnies in gamestop are turning their nose up for that reason. The game just looks like a generic GTA knockoff.

I think their decision to make the MC black was good but I feel like they didn't do enough with it. There were hamfisted attempts at showing racism in the time period but if that were more a central tenant of the game, people would go crazy for that. BP was received very well b/c it had a well done and entertaining review of "race politics" or whatever you'd call it.
The truth is the mafia people care about is 1930s-1950s Italian mobsters. The traditional Al Capone types. Throughout this game, I felt like I was playing more of a Black Panthers character than a member of mafia, or what I think of when I think mafia. It would be like a Yakuza game based in the United States. You play Yakuza for the story line and what we think of as traditional yakuza members.
 
Nov 22, 2015
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Mafia 2 is fantastic.

Doesn’t get the credit it deserves at all. Especially the prison sequence. Then you get released and it’s the 50s and the licensed soundtrack is updated 😲
Not just that, but the cars you were driving at the start of the game are now old bangers, more rare and the roads are now full with more modern cars. It was like walking out of a prison into Mafia 2.5

Fantastic game.
 
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