Mafia III, while it didn't exactly fulfill its potential, tried to tell a darker revenge tale that ultimately ended up falling a little flat. It turns out that the game's planned opening was to be quite a bit darker and it was deemed so rough out of context that it doesn't even exist anymore.
The opening to Mafia III as it released shows protagonist Lincoln Clay participating in a robbery and then all the events that propel his revenge story forward. At Brighton's Develop Conference hosted by GamesIndustry.biz and recorded by Eurogamer, executive producer Andrew Wilson and director Haden Blackman explained the original intention.
"We've never really talked about this anywhere," Blackman said. "We went back at the eleventh hour and added a cold-open to the game that was a really violent prologue which basically shows Lincoln and a couple of his friends getting ambushed by the mob. It's super-violent and Lincoln has to resort to violence to escape. This cold-open was going to explain why he left for Vietnam."
"He ends up killing a cop and has to flee to Vietnam," Blackman continued.
Blackman explained that the original opening felt exploitative due to it having been added so late in the game. For such a major event in Lincoln's life, there were no real scenes or dialogue in the already-completed rest of the story dealing with it.
"That whole cold-open has been burned from our servers," said Wilson. "It literally does not exist. Because if ever that had come out without any context in any form it would have looked terrible, because disconnected from the game it's obviously even more shocking."