We recently included Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 (opens in new tab) on our list of games that we can’t believe are still in development (opens in new tab). We haven’t heard anything substantial about it since early 2021, after all—we don’t even know which studio is working on it at this point. But Fredrik Wester, CEO of publisher Paradox Interactive, recently said, again, that everything is fine.
“Bloodlines 2 is in development and we will let you know more when we are ready,” Wester tweeted yesterday in response to a fan inquiry. Earlier today, he pinned that tweet and added, “The game is in good hands and we look forward to showing you more when the team and the game is ready.”
The focus on the needs of the team as well as the game is interesting. Bloodlines 2 was announced in March 2019 with a high-profile livestream (opens in new tab) featuring narrative lead Brian Mitsoda—who was also a designer and writer on the original Bloodlines—and senior narrative designer Cara Ellison. The emphasis was squarely on the storytelling, in other words, which was a reasonable approach for a sequel to an RPG as famously deep as Bloodlines.
But that story never seemed to resolve into anything beyond broad strokes, and just a couple years later the wheels fell off completely: Mitsoda (opens in new tab) and Ellison (opens in new tab), along with creative director Ka’ai Cluney, left the project in 2020, development was “delayed indefinitely (opens in new tab)” in February 2021, and developer Hardsuit Labs was taken off the project and laid off staff (opens in new tab) a month later.
Wester implied in October 2021 that everything Hardsuit had come up with was being scrapped, saying that Bloodlines 2 was almost cancelled outright (opens in new tab) until “we got a pitch that we thought was convincing enough to run.” Paradox confirmed shortly afterward that the game is still in development (opens in new tab) but declined to name the studio working on it, so the team “can fully focus on the game development” and not have to deal with fans pestering them for details.
Unfortunately, it sounds like it’ll be awhile yet before we get any further insight into what’s actually happening with Bloodlines 2. Asked about whether the game will appear at this year’s PDXCon (opens in new tab), which runs September 2-3, Wester said, “Unfortunately not this time (opens in new tab).” Hopefully we’ll have better luck in 2023.