Development hell doesn’t always have to indicate length – sometimes, a game’s development can go sideways in just a short period of time. Case in point, publisher Paradox Interactive’s Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, a title announced in 2019 that has since been almost canceled, swapped to multiple developers, and more.
When Bloodlines 2 was announced in 2019, there was a ton of excitement around it. It was a sequel 15 years in the making, after all. Things seemed to be progressing well after Bloodlines 2’s announcement, too. It received trailers showcasing the Brujah Clan, the Ventrue Clan, full story videos, and more. Paradox Interactive announced in 2020 that Bloodlines 2 would be coming to Xbox Series X, and then right after, the publisher announced it would target PlayStation 5 as well.
That’s a lot of content about Bloodlines 2, right? Surely the game was well on its way to being released. Well, in August of 2020, Paradox and then-developer Hardsuit Labs announced that Bloodlines 2 was delayed to 2021. Let’s call this moment in the sequel’s development timeline the moment it entered hell.
Shortly after that delay, the game’s lead narrative designer, Brian Mitsoda, and its creative director, Ka’ai Cluney, announced they were no longer working on the project at Hardsuit Labs. Two months later, Paradox Interactive announced that Cara Ellison, Bloodlines 2’s senior narrative designer, had left Hardsuit Labs.
Fast forward to February 2021 and Paradox Interactive announced that it had fired Hardsuit Labs from the development of Bloodlines 2. A month later, Hardsuit Labs suffered layoffs. According to PC Gamer, Paradox Interactive picked another studio to work on Bloodlines 2, a studio it hasn’t formally named, and the Bloodlines sequel was delayed “indefinitely.”
There’s no word on how the development of Bloodlines 2 is going at the moment, but hey, Paradox Interactive announced Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodhunt, a battle royale set in the same universe as the Bloodlines game, and released it into early access, so that’s pretty neat.