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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 was recently delayed to 2021. The delay was accompanied by a quick statement talking about great ambitions and organizational changes, which is about as vague as it gets. But now, we get this announcement that elaborates on the above.
Basically, the game’s lead narrative Designer Brian Mitsoda and creative director Ka’ai Cluney are out, and instead Alexandre Mandryka of Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry fame will now be filling in for them as a creative consultant. Here’s the full announcement:
Paradox Interactive and Hardsuit Labs have some important updates to share today. We recently shared that we were making some organizational changes to the Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 team, as promised, we will now give an update on what that means.
Lead Narrative Designer Brian Mitsoda and Creative Director Ka’ai Cluney are no longer part of the team at Hardsuit Labs. This was 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. We wish them both the best in their future endeavors.
With that, we are excited to announce that Alexandre Mandryka has come aboard as Creative Consultant, filling the Creative Director role for Bloodlines 2, and will help us in the final stages of development. Alexandre is committed to following the vision that is in place, and successfully bringing Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 to the fans.
Alexandre has been in the industry for more than 20 years and has worked on iconic franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, Warhammer 40,000, Far Cry, and more. With a long history of shipping excellent franchises, we are excited with what Alexandre brings to the game and the World of Darkness.
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.
We thank you all for understanding.
If that seems a bit sudden to you, apparently it was just as sudden for the people involved, if Brian Mitsoda’s statement to Rock Paper Shotgun is anything to go by. Here’s an excerpt:
“Until recently, I was the Narrative Lead on a videogame called Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 for Hardsuit Labs, Inc being published by Paradox Interactive (which owns 30% of Hardsuit Labs). After almost five years involvement with the studio, I was suddenly terminated on 7/16/20.
That this came as a shock to me is underselling it. 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. Very obviously, I have also been involved in the PR and marketing side of things, even though it was one of the most difficult parts for me. I’m a pretty private person – press and crowds tend to heavily trigger my social anxiety (which, if you’ve ever wondered about the gloves, they are “armor” that make me feel less exposed in situations that trigger my anxiety).