Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 developer has been rocked by a big change to the creative team.
This week, the Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 development team lost two of its most public-facing leads. Publisher Paradox announced that lead narrative designer Brian Mitsoda, and creative director Ka’ai Cluney are “no longer part of the team.”
According to the blog post breaking the news, the decision was jointly made by Paradox and developer Hardsuit Labs. The company has brought on Alexandre Mandryka, who joins a creative consultant to see the game through to the finish line.
“These changes to the team are focused on one thing: to bring you the best possible Vampire: The Masquerade game. We will share further updates as they occur,” said Paradox.
Mitsoda, however, tells a different story. Having worked on the original game, Paradox was happy to put him front and centre when promoting the game, and fans of the original certainly felt that the sequel was in safe hands with him around.
In an email to Rock Paper Shotgun, Mitsoda claims he was terminated from his role on July 16.
“That this came as a shock to me is underselling it,” he explained.
“I’ve worked on Bloodlines 2 for almost five years. 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.”
Mitsoda also said in his statement that he “was not part of the conversations” that lead to Paradox’s recent decision to delay the game to 2021.
“It was a pleasure to work on this game and with many people at Hardsuit Labs and Paradox and I’m sorry I won’t be able to see it to the end. I spent years on some of the best characters and dialogue that I ever wrote. It’s meant a lot to hear from the Bloodlines community and I do hope that what’s finally delivered is as satisfying as I intended it to be,” he added.
Just two months ago, Paradox and Hardsuit were dealing with the PR mess every studio that recently worked with writer Chris Avellone had to. The companies ended up removing all of his work from Bloodlines 2 following multiple allegations of misconduct against him.