Paradox Interactive’s year-end report for Q4 2020 revealed the game’s postponement and its studio’s departure. In the lead-up to the announcement, the company cited the ongoing pandemic as the reason for several delays. It focused specifically on Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, confirming the project needs more time and will not be launching in 2021.
The biggest news, however, was the reveal that Hardsuit Labs will no longer be working on the upcoming action-RPG. No reason was given for this “difficult decision”, other than it being “the right way forward to do the game justice”. The project will carry on without them, in the hands of a new developer.
Interestingly, it seems as though the new studio will be finishing Hardsuit’s work, instead of starting from scratch. The report states, “we have started a collaboration with a new studio partner to finish work on the game”. This indicates there will not be a full reboot of development. Instead, significant refinements and improvements to the existing game are more likely.
The official website for the game released a development update this morning in wake of the news, reaffirming Hardsuit Labs’ departure and the further delay into 2022. They also thanked the studio for its work on the project so far.
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.
A Troubled Development
Bloodlines 2 was initially due to release in March 2020. However, the game suffered from two further delays, firstly into late 2020, and then into 2021. Today’s news pushes it out even further into 2022, topping off an extremely unsteady development cycle.
Hardsuit Labs have looked to be in trouble for a while, with the frequent delays not being the only factor. Last August for example, the studio sacked two of its lead developers with no explanation. Shortly after, they lost their narrative lead designer, which caused even more disruption for the team.
And now, as of February 2021, the game is completely changing hands for unknown reasons. It’s unclear if any of the team from Hardsuit will remain on the project, and be shifted over to the new studio. Nevertheless, the implementation of a whole new development team is a drastic decision, implying serious changes need to be made.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 will be available on PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC via Steam. However, as of today, Paradox has confirmed they will not be accepting pre-orders for the time being. The game is now aiming for a 2022 release, under a brand-new developer.