A series of unusual developments in the making of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 continue to unfold. In the last month, Paradox Interactive & Hardsuit Labs made the decision to fire creative director Ka'ai Cluney and narrative director Brian Mitsoda, both for unspecified reasons.
The developer and publisher of Bloodlines 2 announced the decision in a statement on their website, and Mitsoda has spoken out about the firing to Rock Paper Shotgun. This announcement comes after Bloodlines 2 was delayed earlier this summer. It was initially scheduled to be released later in 2020, it will now release in 2021.
It's unclear if Cluney and Mitsoda were dismissed because of the game's delay or for other reasons. For his part, Mitsoda told Rock Paper Shotgun that he was "not part of the conversations that led to the decision to delay production." He also denied that the delay had anything to do with the narrative design team.
Hardsuit Labs and Paradox Interactive's decision comes in a tough summer for game developers. Not only are a normal series of game delays being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but tales of misconduct at companies like Ubisoft and other studios are highlighting that working conditions for developers are more stressful than have been previously let on.
The lack of transparency over this decision to fire two key leads creates a scenario that only seems to benefit Paradox and Hardsuit management. Game development is a complicated process, but the decision to fire two leaders on the game's development at the 11th hour is a worrying decision that raises questions about conditions on the development team.
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