The development woes continue for Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, with developer Hardsuit Labs being removed from the project by Paradox, who also confirmed the game would now be pushed back into 2022.
The news was confirmed during an end-of-year earnings call, where Paradox CEO Ebba Ljungerud stated that due to COVID-19, the publisher had to delay "planned but not communicated" releases within 2021, including Bloodlines 2. More damning though was the news that followed - the game's developers, Hardsuit Labs, will no longer be "leading the development," with a new studio partner being brought in to finish the game.
In case you are unable to access the website, you can read the Bloodlines 2 Development Update right here. pic.twitter.com/kdTp5gpBJe— Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 (@VtM_Bloodlines) February 23, 2021
It's unknown at this time who the new studio working on the game will be, but this is the latest in a long line of problems during the game's development, with many prominent staff members including the game's head writer, Brian Mitsoda, being fired without warning, with creative director Ka’ai Cluney, and a few months later, narrative designer Cara Ellison also leaving the project. The entire reason behind their removal remains unknown but seems to stem from creative differences, that clearly have not been resolved, between studio and publisher.
The removal of Hardsuit Labs is a pretty extreme move, and does leave me in some doubt about even a 2022 release date - this is a very big change given the game must be rather far along in development at this point. We'll be sure to keep an eye on the situation and report as we learn more.