The troubled development of the sequel to Vampire: the Masquerade just got a lot more troubled, with publishers Paradox announcing tonight that not only will the game not be released in 2021 as originally planned, but that developers Hardsuit Labs have also been removed from the project.
In a statement made as part of Paradox’s latest earnings, the publisher says:
We have now chosen to postpone the release of [Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2] further, and we will not be launching the game in 2021. 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.
Oh boy. Masquerade’s sequel has been beset by problems for years now, from writers and creative directors being fired from the project to repeated (and significant) delays. Still, this is video games, where major speedbumps and delays aren’t exactly unusual (look anywhere from Cyberpunk to Halo Infinite to Anthem for examples).
To remove an entire studio from the game they made (well, started) is something else, though, and it’ll be interesting to see just how much work this “new studio partner” has done by the time this game releases. If it ever releases.
A second statement on the game’s website adds a little more detail, saying, “Since we cannot at this time communicate a new release date, we’ve also decided to stop accepting pre-orders for the time being.”
The site also thanks Hardsuit for their work to date on the game, adding, “We’d like to take this opportunity to honor Hardsuit Labs for their efforts and thank them for their hard work on the project. The studio has done a tremendous job in laying the foundations for the game and we hope that you, the community, will also appreciate their contribution to Bloodlines 2.”