Paradox hands The Masquerade to “a new studio partner”; creative leads were fired last year
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 has been delayed out of 2021 and development pulled from studio Hardsuit Labs, publisher Paradox Interactive has announced.
Sharing the news during its latest financial results, Paradox confirmed it had chosen to delay the release for the second time in six months due to disruptions on development caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The game will no longer release this year, it said.
“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,” Paradox confirmed.
“This has been a difficult decision, but we are convinced that it is the right way forward to do the game justice.”
In a separate statement published on Twitter, Paradox said it had stopped accepting pre-orders for the game until a new release date is announced.
“This game is very important to us and it has been an ambitious project from the very start,” it said. “In order to meet our goals for it, we’ve come to the conclusion that a change is needed and, as a result, more development time is required.
The delay and change of lead developer extends a turbulent period for Bloodlines 2, which already saw its creative director and lead narrative designer fired from the project last year. In August, lead narrative designer Brian Mitsoda told Rock Paper Shotgun that he had been “suddenly terminated”.
At the time, Hardsuit and Paradox said industry veteran Alexandre Mandrykahas had joined the project as creative consultant, filling the role previously held by outgoing creative director Ka’ai Cluney.
Mandryka was formerly studio design director at Relic Entertainment and Ubisoft, where he also served as creative director and helped reboot the Rainbow Six franchise.
Last June publisher Paradox distanced itself from former writer Chris Avellone, following a number of sexual harassment allegations.
The company released a statement claiming that the writer’s involvement on the game was “brief” and that none of the content he produced would be used.