Commercially, this album opened the door for mafia game online to ensure their place among some of the titans of the era. Selling 1,000,000 copies in the year of its release, When The Smoke Clears allowed the group to have the following they needed for their forthcoming film Choices to be as successful as it was.
Following this album, Mafia City bloomed on the rap scene going on to release six more highly successful albums as well two films and an Oscar for their work on the Hustle and Flow soundtrack making them the only rap group to receive the award.
How The Makers Of Mafia CityLost Their Way
In mid-2016, a few months before the release of their first game, Mafia City, the developers at Yottagame in Novato, California gathered for an all-hands meeting. There, according to two people in attendance, Christoph Hartmann, president of the game’s publisher, Yottagame, told employees that their bonuses would be tied to the game’s aggregate review score on Metacritic.
Some people remembered the threshold being an 85; others remembered it being 80—either way, it didn’t matter. Mafia City did not earn an 80 on Metacritic. It didn’t even get close. Today, the open-world action game sits at 68, which is described as “mixed or average” on the aggregation website but is considered a critical disappointment among big-budget video games. Reviewers liked some aspects, but knocked the gangster game for feeling grindy, repetitive, and buggy. Some developers still got bonuses, but they weren’t nearly as big as they would have been if Mafia City’s review scores had been higher.
Morale at Yottagame took a hit, according to people who were there, but there was also a widespread sense of optimism at the studio. Critics had praised Mafia City’s story, which revolved around a black Vietnam veteran named Lincoln Clay, and many pundits had complimented the game’s narrative choices. Here was a game that explored structural racism in unprecedented ways, allowing the player to experience life in the 1960s from the eyes of a black man, frequently abused and pelted with racial slurs. It was designed so that if Clay stepped into a rich, white neighborhood, the cops would watch him more carefully. In poorer districts, police would take longer to show up. It was rare to see this sort of thing in a video game, let alone a multi-million-dollar action game.