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Lead writer and director fired from Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2

‘That this came as a shock to me is underselling it,’ says Brian Mitsoda

Concept art of a Seattle pier for Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2.
Concept art for Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2.
Image: Hardsuit Labs/Paradox Interactive
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The publisher and developer of Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 have fired the game’s creative director and lead writer, and it doesn’t sound like it was an amicable departure.

Paradox Interactive and Hardsuit Labs announced the dismissals in a blog post on Wednesday, saying that Brian Mitsoda, who was also lead writer of the original 2004 game, and director Ka’ai Cluney “are no longer part of the team at Hardsuit Labs.”

“This was a joint decision made by the leadership of Hardsuit Labs and Paradox Interactive,” the statement said.

Mitsoda, in a statement to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, called the changes an unpleasant surprise. “That this came as a shock to me is underselling it,” Mitsoda said, noting his five years of work on the game. “I’m incredibly disappointed and frustrated to say that this is where it ends for me on the project.”

“I was not part of the conversations that led to the decision to delay production,” Mitsoda said. He was fired July 16. “To my knowledge, there were no delays caused by the Bloodlines 2 narrative development.”

Hardsuit Labs announced on Aug. 11 that Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 was delayed into 2021. The studio said it needed more time to complete a stable and polished product. Bloodlines 2 will launch on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One, with versions for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X also in development.

Polygon reached out to a Paradox Interactive representative to ask for further comment on why Mitsoda and Cluney were dismissed. The publisher declined to comment.