Mafia III, the upcoming sequel in the guns ‘n’ everyone’s a bad guy series from Hangar 13 and 2K Czech, has no confirmed release date. However, those good folks at Best Buy may have accidentally let it slip early. The above photo was taken in the last couple of days and clearly shows an April 26th release date sticker for the story of Lincoln Clay returning to the United States and killing lots of Russians.
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Posted by IGN, at the time Gamestop was also listing it as the same release date before reverting it to the more obviously placeholder date of the last day of 2016. That is what the publishers are explaining the leak with in their official statement:
“Mafia 3 will release in calendar 2016 during Take-Two Interactive’s fiscal year 2017. No official release date has been announced at this time. It is common practice for retailers to list placeholder dates before an official release date has been announced due to the requirements of their operating systems.”
This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Placeholder dates are generally the last day of the year, and if they aren’t the chance of two companies agreeing on it randomly are fairly small. Equally, there’s no reason for this to be printed out and put on a shelf if it’s just for backend server purposes. Gamestop reverting to the standard end-of-year date also suggests to me that the other date is real, but embargo’d information they weren’t yet meant to be reveal.
Devil’s advocate might say that they saw Best Buy’s date and copied it, or visa versa. April 26th is, for what it’s worth, in financial year 2017 for Take-Two. We’ll likely find out for sure soon.