Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 Kicks Out Narrative Designer Brian Mitsoda

Developer Hardsuit Labs Publisher Paradox Interactive Series Vampire The Masquerade Genre RPG Platforms PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Monetization One Time Purchase Purchase (Some links may be affiliated) Epic Store Steam

Lead Writer for Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines

Today, Paradox Interactive, and Hardsuit Labs have elaborated on the organization changes that were announced be coming last week to Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 in a new announcement. The first, and perhaps most notable of these changes is that Lead Narrative Designer Brian Mitsoda, who worked on the original Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, is no longer part of the team at Hardsuit Labs.

This comes after last week they announced Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 delay, and fills in what they said they would discuss. Nor is Mitsoda the only presence leaving the team. Further shaking things up Creative Director Ka'ai Cluney is also no longer part of the team at Hardsuit Labs. Both decisions were made as a joint decision "by the leadership of Hardsuit Labs and Paradox Interactive". In their statement they wish both of them well, and say that they 'appreciate' and 'value' their contributions and that they were instrumental in establishing the game's story and dark tone.

To help fill the creative void, the team announced Alexandre Mandryka will be coming onboard as a Creative Consultant, filling the role of Creative Director and helping them finish the final stages of development. The plan is to follow the vision that is in place, and finish it. Mandryka runs the game design consulting firm Game Whispering, and previously has served as studio design director at Relic Entertainment, and before that was the Creative Director at Ubisoft among other positions when there between 2005 and 2010. He has worked on games in the Assassin's Creed franchise, as well as Far Cry and with the Warhammer 40,000 IP.

This will apparently be a shift in general work that he has done for a while, often with action-adventure, RTS, or FPS games, but he has in the past worked as a world and quest designer on Saga of Ryzom, meaning that he does have some experience in RPGs.

Quick Take

This appears to be about finishing the project. Mitsoda has had issues at times getting projects running towards a good state of completion (VTMB 1 – though there are extenuating circumstances, and Alpha Protocol both come to mind), and with the status of the game, apparently they decided to bring in someone who has experience shipping large games to finish the project. Based on the lines of 'follow the vision' it doesn't seem that Alexandre is being brought in to overhaul the direction in any way.

It doesn't come without cost. Both Mitsoda and Ka'ai have been prominent faces for the project, presenting works and Mitsoda in particular was discussed when they announced the project. The hope with this anouncement is presumably that they are able to finish the project without further delays and in a good state.

What do you think of this announcement? Does the departure of Mitsoda concern you about it being true to Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines? Let us know in the comments below

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