Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is having a bit of a rough go of it right now, as not only has the game been delayed into the abyss of 2021, two of the game’s major creative leads have been laid off from developer Hardsuit Labs.
In an announcement posted on the game’s official website, it was confirmed that Lead Narrative Designer Brian Mitsoda and Creative Director Ka’ai Cluney were both fired as part of a “joint decision made by the leadership of Hardsuit Labs and Paradox Interactive.”
“We appreciate, and value, the contributions of Brian and Ka’ai, which were instrumental in establishing the game’s storyline and dark tone and have helped to ensure that we are making a true successor to the iconic Bloodlines,” the announcement said. “We wish them both the best in their future endeavors.”
Along with announcing the removal of two of the game’s creative leads, Hardsuit Labs and Paradox Interactive announced Alexandre Mandryka would be coming on to the team as a consultant, having previously worked with developer on games like the original Assassin’s Creed, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, and Splinter Cell Double Agent.
“These changes to the team are focused on one thing: to bring you the best possible Vampire: The Masquerade game. We will share further updates as they occur.”
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As you can imagine, Mitsoda and Cluney are probably not feeling as optimistic about the situation, with Mitsoda issuing a statement to Rock Paper Shotgun that claimed his removal from the project and firing was sudden and “frustrating.”
“That this came as a shock to me is underselling it,” Mitsoda said in his statement. “I’ve worked on Bloodlines 2 for almost five years. The story and main cast was initially conceived in my living room. I helped develop the pitch for Hardsuit Labs and helped pitch the project to Paradox in Las Vegas. I’ve been in charge of the narrative since the beginning, working long days and sometimes weekends to deliver a successor to Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, and I’ve never been led to believe that I hadn’t succeeded.”
Mitsoda signed off his statement to Rock Paper Shotgun saying that he hopes a semblance of his work and effort in the game over the past five years is reflected in whatever the final product is.
“It was a pleasure to work on this game and with many people at Hardsuit Labs and Paradox and I’m sorry I won’t be able to see it to the end. I spent years on some of the best characters and dialogue that I ever wrote. It’s meant a lot to hear from the Bloodlines community and I do hope that what’s finally delivered is as satisfying as I intended it to be. Thanks to all of you who supported me throughout the project.”
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2021 after being delayed out of its originally scheduled 2020 release date.