The unfortunately titled Vampire: The Masquerade -Bloodlines 2 almost died earlier this year before a pitch saved it. In an interview by Nyhetsbyrån Direkt (via Avanza) the CEO of publisher Paradox Interactive, Fredrik Wester revealed that they were prepared to close production on the game after “the hard decision” to pull developer Hardsuit Labs off the game.
Paradox began a long review of the game’s development and considered ending it entirely. Luckily, they got a pitch from “a very reputable and talented developer” that “we thought was convincing enough to run.” This in turn lead to Paradox’s statement back in February regarding another delay but with the game continuing development under a new development studio.
We still have no idea which studio has picked up the reins of development for Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 however, so we’ll just have to wait and see what the result of that decision will be. That being said, we already know that previous delays were due to several disruptions in the staff lineup during development (in addition to complications from the on-going pandemic.)
In June last year, it was revealed that writer Chris Avellone was let go by Techland from the development of Dying Light 2 thanks to multiple sexual harassment allegations being brought against him. In response, Paradox released a statement citing that the writer’s involvement on the game was “brief” and that none of the content he produced would be used.
Later in August, a statement on the Bloodlines 2 website went out saying that both lead writer Brian Mitsoda and creative director Ka’ai Cluney have been let go from the dev team. Brian Mitsoda, who was also the lead writer on the original Bloodlines at Troika Games, responded to an email from Rock Paper Shotgun, revealing “That this came as a shock to me is underselling it,” and that he had never been led to believe that he hadn’t succeeded.
Alexandre Mandryka took over the role of creative director but a couple months later Cara Ellison left her position as senior narrative designer to join League of Geeks, the developers behind Armello, also as senior narrative designer with presumably similar duties. It was said then that the work she’s done on the game would be retained while Samantha Wallschlaeger takes over her post.
By February 2021, Hardsuit Labs was dropped by Paradox as the main developers of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 and the week later suffered layoffs. After merely a few months with the company, Samantha Wallschlaeger, along with the entire narrative department including Anna C. Webster, Nicole Stanford and others were laid off because they’d been made redundant.
Let’s hope the rest of development goes more smoothly. Paradox CEO Wester said that he’s interested to see how the game performs before investing more into the genre. “I would like to see how Bloodlines is received before we bet the next big money in the [role-playing game] genre. There is a huge desire […] so I absolutely do not want to close any doors.”
Okay! So all the reasons that Bloodlines 2 almost died was a bit too depressing for my taste. Vampire fans might want to look forward to another game but in the same vein (“same vein, heh.” — editor). Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is a narrative driven adventure set in the World of Darkness that is scheduled for release on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S on February 2022! Here’s the latest trailer.