If you’ve been following the development of Paradox’s Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2, you’ll know this game has struggled from pretty much day one.
Things just got a lot more difficult, with Paradox today announcing that the game will be delayed past 2021, all preorders have been closed down, and that developers Hardsuit Labs have been removed from the project.
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) February 23, 2021
This news is obviously a little worrying for those who were looking for an immersive, RPG vampire simulator. Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines (the original) was a bit of a cult classic, so expectations are high for the sequel.
Some might also be experiencing some Dead Island 2 or even Cyberpunk 2077 flashbacks. Dead Island 2 has been chopped and rehashed what feels like dozens of times, and no developer wants to risk the fallout of another CP2077 rushed-game debacle.
Who are Hardsuit Labs and why have they been removed from the project? Well, there has been no official news as of yet, although it’s suspected the game has been lurking in dark and murky development hell.
Hardsuit Labs were acquired by Paradox back in January 2018. The studio had worked on Blacklight: Retribution previously, a highly-rated cyberpunk first-person shooter that released in 2012.
Despite the dark name, Blacklight: Retribution is about as far away as you can get from an immersive Vampire RPG, so this might be where some of the problems began for Vampire.
That being said, Hardsuit has worked on Vampire for at least 2-3 years at this point, and switching developers at this point can only mean that progress had ground to a halt, or that it just wasn’t working for Paradox.
How does a game shape-up when you switch studios last minute? Well, there are all sorts of rumors surrounding what’s going on with Vampire, including the removal of writer Chris Avellone following sexual assault allegations.
Paradox has officially announced that they have found a new partner studio to finish the game in Hardsuit’s stead. Picking up a game that’s been in development for years and pushing out of the door? Yeah, there’s good reason to be worried.
For those that pre-ordered the game back in 2019 – we understand, Vampire is a unique game without much competition on the market – you might have to wait a bit longer. For those who haven’t preordered yet? You should wait and see how this one plays out.