Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 was nearly cancelled instead of getting a new developer

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Header

The troubled development of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 almost saw the game cancelled outright instead of having the project moved to a new studio, it’s been revealed.

Speaking in an interview with Nyhetsbyrån Direkt (via Avanza and Google Translate), Paradox Interactive CEO Fredrik Wester said, “When we lifted the game from the original developer, we had a long review in case we should end the game or run it further. Then we were actually prepared to close the production completely. But we got a pitch that we thought was convincing enough to run, played on and we have very good hopes that it will be a good game that meets the players’ expectations.”

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 was originally in the hands of Seattle-based Hardsuit Labs, the studio having pitched the game shortly after Paradox Interactive acquired White Wolf and the World of Darkness IP in October 2015. However, problems seemed to rear their head in 2020, with Paradox forced to delay the game. Creative Director Ka’ai Cluney and narrative lead Brian Mitsoda were both shown the door, and senior writer Cara Ellison departed soon after, all with little explanation.

Then, in February 2021, Paradox announced that Hardsuit was no longer working on the game and that they would be collaborating with another developer to finish it up. Who that developer is is actually still unknown, though Wester said that it is “a very reputable and talented developer”.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Screenshot

Given the game’s struggles, it’s no surprise that Paradox will seemingly be a bit more cautious going forward. Wester said, “I would like to see how Bloodlines is received before we bet the next big money in the genre,” which follows on from the company’s change of CEO and decision to focus once again on the core grand strategy and management titles that they have had the most success with.

Paradox Interactive has had a tumultuous couple of months. CEO Ebba Ljungerud stepped down and Wester returned to the position just as allegations of sexual discrimination and bullying at the company emerged. The company is currently working with an external company to “conduct a thorough review of our process and a comprehensive employee survey”, but Wester himself has had to publicly acknowledge that he has contributed to the toxic workplace in the past, making a public statement on the matter. Further investigation by Eurogamer has highlighted a “culture of silence” at a company not previously able to deal with harassment.

Nyhetsbyrån Direkt via Avanza and VGC

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