20 years of one of the most successful Czech video games ever: Mafia

Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven

Mafia was created in the studios of the Brno-based company formerly known as Illusion Softworks by video game developer Daniel Vávra. It quickly gained a lot of die-hard fans thanks to its strong plot, cinematic elements and sophisticated gameplay.

Mafia | Photo: Illusion Softworks

Vávra drew heavily on his favourite film Goodfellas (know as Mafiáni in Czech) for inspiration. The narration style played a big part in the success of the game, which is interspersed throughout with humorous and satirical mafia scenes. In Czechia, the excellent sales figures also owed some of their success to the famous actors that voiced the characters, such as Marek Vašut, Petr Rychlý and Dalimil Klapka.

Over two million copies of the game have been sold to date, and in an online auction on Czech site Aukro, the original unboxed PC version of the first Mafia game sold for CZK 60,900.

Mafia II | Photo: Illusion Softworks

Thanks to the success of the game, foreign video game developers started to become interested in the Brno company, and at the start of 2008 it was acquired by American giant Take-Two Interactive Software and renamed 2K Czech.

In 2010, a second equally successful sequel came out, which sold almost 3.5 million copies worldwide. The third and final instalment was released in 2016 and sales surpassed both of the previous two games.

Photo: 2K Games