When Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 was revealed by Paradox Interactive, fans of the cult-classic RPG were delighted that a dream sequel was finally on the way. Since that optimistic announcement, the game’s distraught and fractured development lead to multiple high-profile departures and, Paradox announced today, a full shucking of the game’s lead developer Hardsuit Labs.
In both their Discord and as part of their latest earnings statement, Paradox confirmed that Bloodlines 2’s developer was being fully replaced, which also meant that the game was not going to make its 2021 release window.
“We have now chosen to postpone the release of the game further, and we will not be launching the game in 2021,” Paradox’s statement reads. “We have also decided that Hardsuit Labs will no longer be leading the development of Bloodlines 2, and we have started a collaboration with a new studio partner to finish work on the game. This has been a difficult decision, but we are convinced that it is the right way forward to do the game justice.”
After suffering a delay in 2020, Bloodlines 2 lost many much-touted members of its team, including the first game’s writer, the studio’s founder, and its narrative designer. Hardsuit Labs and Paradox insisted that the game was nearly done and, despite the delay, things were still on track for a 2021 release. After today’s news, some retroactive suspicious glares can be cast toward that insistence.
Paradox did not indicate which studio would be filling Hardsuit Labs’ shoes, but did suggest that they have another developer lined up. In the meantime, Paradox has halted preorders for the game until they can determine a release date, if such a thing ever happens.
Removing an entire studio from an in-development game is not typically done, especially years into the project. There’s likely a much deeper story that neither Hardsuit Labs nor Paradox are willing to talk about right now, but if last year’s departures weren’t enough to worry about Bloodlines 2’s development, today’s news likely has a lot of fans biting their nails.