Folks Are Not Sold on the Idea of a Vampire: The Masquerade Battle Royale

The genre pivot feels at odds with the setting, according to some fans.

While Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is in some form of development hell, there is also a second game being developed in the universe set to launch next year. And it’s…a battle royale game?

The as-of-yet untitled game is being developed by Swedish studio Sharkmob, and will be the company’s first game. The announcement was accompanied by a short teaser and summary, which you can check out right here:

Experience the next thrilling evolution of Battle Royale multiplayer action games set in the cult classic Vampire: The Masquerade universe where vampire sects are at war across the streets and rooftops of Prague. Choose your playstyle, go solo or together, battling rivals and the hostile Entity who’s hellbent on exterminating all vampires. Use your supernatural powers, weapons and blood to become stronger in order to hunt, fight and survive the night. The game is scheduled for release in the later half of 2021.

Reception to the idea of a battle royale set in the Vampire: The Masquerade setting has been met with some pretty mixed reception at this point, with the announcement trailer having a 1.1k vs. 1.3k like/dislike ratio on YouTube as of this writing. Some folks are upset at the idea of a setting that is typically used for story-driven games like RPGs and visual novels becoming a stage for a genre with less focus on world-building and structure.

[via YouTube comments]

“Hey, remember that tabletop game about heavy roleplaying, political intrigue and manipulation? WHAT IF WE MADE A BATTLE ROYALE OF IT”

.. a battle royale game? I mean yeah okay being a vampire does lend to some insane power fantasies, but… What’s the subtitle here?Vampire the Masquerade: Actually, Fuck the Masquerade?’ The whole point of Vampire is that they have to hide their inhuman nature because if humanity did find out about them they’re outnumbered a million to one and humans have napalm, flamethrowers, and nuclear weapons. A battle royale is… well… interesting, but also sounds completely insane.”

In other news:

But there also just seems to be bled over frustration on developments surrounding Vampire: The Masquerade  Bloodlines 2, which has been going through a bit of development hell over the past year or so. The long-awaited sequel to the 2004 RPG has seen two recent delays that have pushed the game out in 2021, as well as a few high profile departures such as Narrative Designer Cara Ellison and Lead Narrative Designer Brian Mitsoda and Creative Director Ka’ai Cluney being let go from developer Hardsuit Labs. While Sharkmob and Hardsuit Labs aren’t the same studio or even working on related projects, that the game people want is still not out while the franchise is experimenting with genre has got people feeling a certain type of way.

Assuming there’s not another delay, Vampire: The Masquerade will be getting three games in one year (including visual novel Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong), all three of which seem to be targeting separate audiences, at least in terms of their very distinct genres. But if Sharkmob’s battle royale game is any good, it could hypothetically see support for months and years to come and keep the brand in the public eye. The teaser trailer doesn’t have any gameplay so there’s not much to go on, but RPG series have done plenty of genre shake-ups that have worked out in the past. The Persona series has had several spin-offs over the years that have gone into genres that would’ve sounded preposterous at the outset like a rhythm or fighting game, but those were pretty damn great, in my opinion. So let’s try and keep an open mind, at least.