Paradox Interactive CEO Ebba Ljungerud has said he does not expect Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 to be released during the first half of 2021.
Ljungerud has stated this in a conversation with Swedish financial publication Placera. Developer Hardsuit Labs, which is making the sequel to the 2004 cult-classic, originally intended for the launch to happen in the first quarter of 2020. The game was delayed to the second half of 2020, then to 2021. Now, it’s more likely that it’ll come out until the second half of 2021.
“I do not think it will come in the first half of the year, but we will see,” said Ljungerud. Running the page through Google Translate reveals that he says the schedule for the game has been affected by both staff dropouts and the pandemic.
Back in August of this year, two leads on the project were laid off. In an announcement, it was confirmed Lead Narrative Designer Brian Mitsoda and Creative Director Ka’ai Cluney were fired as part of a “joint decision made by the leadership of Hardsuit Labs and Paradox Interactive.” Mitsoda issued a statement to Rock Paper Shotgun, claiming his firing was sudden and “frustrating.”
“I’ve worked on Bloodlines 2 for almost five years,” Mitsoda 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.”
Near the end of October, it was announced that Cara Ellison, the game’s senior narrative designer, had left Hardsuit Labs. Before both of these instances, a contributor on the project, the prominent game designer Chris Avellone, had his work on the project scrapped following (but not directly cited as a result of) allegations of sexual assault and harassment. In a statement to GameSpot, a Paradox Interactive representative stated Avellone’s role in the game was brief. “Through an iterative creative process, however, none of his contributions remain in the game that Hardsuit Labs is continuing to develop,” they said.
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Ljungerud also says the delays led to Paradox deciding to adapt the game for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. This, too, has affected the delay in the title’s launch. “To be able to develop for the next generation, you have to have development kits from the manufacturers,” he says. “And I’m pretty sure that both Sony and Microsoft were affected by the pandemic because they did not have that many development kits.”
He expresses that they would like to know internally when they can release something before announcing it. “It looks like it can be seen that we are investing a lot for the future, so there are definitely things in the pipeline. There is a long way to go until next year is over.”
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is currently slated for release on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S in 2021. In addition to the major title, a Vampire: The Masquerade battle royale is also in development by Sharkmob.