Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 Lead Narrative Designer Brian Mitsoda and Creative Director Ka’ai Cluney have been removed from the project. Paradox Interactive and Hardsuit Labs announced the studio shift on the game’s website, saying that the decision to remove the two leads was a “joint decision” made by the leadership of both the publisher and developer. The creative director role will be filled by Ubisoft veteran Alexandre Mandryka, who will be stepping in as a creative consultant.
“We appreciate, and value, the contributions of Brian and Ka’ai, which were instrumental in establishing the game’s storyline and dark tone and have helped to ensure that we are making a true successor to the iconic Bloodlines,” the statement says. “We wish them both the best in their future endeavors.”
Mitsoda and Cluney’s departure comes a week after Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 was delayed to 2021.
Mitsoda spoke with Rock Paper Shotgun just after the announcement of his departure, expressing his disappointment and surprise:
That this came as a shock to me is underselling it. 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 went on, saying that he was “not part of the conversations that led to the decision to delay production” on Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, and to his knowledge, “there were no delays caused by the Bloodlines 2 narrative development.” He leaves the project feeling pride in his work, knowing that he only ever “wanted to do what was best for the game and the team.”
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is planned to launch next year for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions are also in the works.