A week ago, we got the news that Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 got delayed yet again. Hardsuit Labs was vague about its reasoning by citing “organizational changes” as one of the factors for the delay. Now with a statement on the game’s official website, we know that the studio fired two leads from Bloodlines 2 with lead writer Brian Mitsoda and creative director Ka’ai Cluney.
“Lead Narrative Designer Brian Mitsoda and Creative Director Ka’ai Cluney are no longer part of the team at Hardsuit Labs,” the statement reads. “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.”
The replacement for Cluney will be Alexandre Mandryka as a consultant on the creative process rather than being a director like Cluney. Mandryka has had 20 years of experience in the industry. Most of that time was on Ubisoft flagship games like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry.
Mitsoda, who worked on Bloodlines 2 since the beginning, wrote to RockPaperShotgun about the situation through e-mail.
“That this came as a shock to me is underselling it. I’ve worked on Bloodlines 2 for almost five years,” he wrote. “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.”
When it comes to the delays, he believes that none of it was because of the narrative development process. He later concludes his explanation of the events that transpired by thanking his coworkers and the fans.
The two leads of the narrative team might be fired, but Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is on track to release next year.