The Mafia series is one of the title series of 2K Games and the marketing plan behind it was ambitious. Mafia II ended on a cliffhanger between the two main characters Joe and Vito. The challenge was to come up with a way to explain the last 30+ years and why Vito was currently in New Bordeaux (New Orleans inspired), the fictional city Mafia III was set in.
We ended up using in-lore fictional newspapers, ads, brochures, FBI case files, and postcards as our storytelling devices to help bridge the gap between Mafia II and III and tease fans of what’s to come in in the latest game.
Tech: Photoshop, Illustrator
Platforms: PS4/XBOX One/PC
The postcards were sent between Vito in New Bordeaux and Leo in Empire Bay. But so the FBI couldn’t find any incriminating text, we put the postcards through 2 different styles of cyphers. The most common one is the Caesar Cipher where you shift all the letters over. One fan figured out our cipher in 5 minutes of posting our first postcard. The second type of cipher is a blackout, where you read every 3rd word or 2nd word in the code. This was inspired by inmates and their letters outside jail often use these types of blackout cyphers to communicate to members outside prison.
Fans really enjoyed decrypting the Caesar Cipher and even asked us to give them a harder challenge. They couldn’t get the blackout cipher as easily. We waited one week to post the deciphered postcard for fans that didn’t see the cipher in the comments or if they couldn’t figure it out. All the images taken for the postcards were screenshots taken from ingame locations.