Vampire: The Masquerade—Bloodlines 2 has lost its narrative designer and creative director in one fell swoop, and it seems to be a surprise to these two employees (via Destructoid).

Brian Mitsoda, who was the lead writer on Vampire: The Masquerade—Bloodlines, has been blindsided by this outcome. “That this came as a shock to me is underselling it,” he said in a statement to Rock Paper Shotgun. “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 admitted that the PR and marketing of the anticipated game had been “difficult” due to his anxiety. “Bloodlines and the fandom of the game mean the world to me,” he continued. “I'm incredibly disappointed and frustrated to say that this is where it ends for me on the project.” He added that he is very proud of the work that has been done thus far, and it was a “pleasure” to collaborate with the narrative developers of the upcoming game. In addition, Alexandre Mandryka will be replacing creative director Ka'ai Cluney. Mandryka has credits on the Far Cry, Warhammer 40K, and Assassin's Creed franchises.

Paradox Interactive, which is the parent company of Hardsuit Labs, issues its own statement on the situation. “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,” said the company. “We wish them both the best in their future endeavors.”

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 comes to PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PlayStation 4 in 2021.

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