Something worrying is going on at Hardsuit Labs. Another key staff member working on Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 has left the studio. The most recent loss is Cara Ellison, who was the senior designer responsible for the game's narrative aspect. The departure was not announced publicly. It was noticed by the fans themselves, discovering that the developer removed the mention of Bloodlines 2 from her Twitter profile. The guesses of the players were confirmed shortly afterwards, when League of Geeks, a studio known for Armello, boasted of having just employed Ellison.
Asked for a comment, Hardsuit Labs and its owner Paradox Interactive confirmed the designer's departure, but refused to give reasons for this decision. It was also unclear whether the developer resigned or was dismissed. She was only thanked for her cooperation and assured that many of the elements she developed will be found in the game. Especially the latter is puzzling, as it suggests that at least some of her ideas will be abandoned.
It's worth mentioning that in August the main screenwriter, Brian Mitsoda, and creative director Ka'aia Cluney were fired, which was a big surprise for the fans. The fact that now also Cara Ellison has left the team may raise some concerns about the project.
It's not uncommon in the gaming industry to fire the people responsible for the story at the end of the project. At this stage their work has already been done, so getting rid of them from the team is unfortunately a viable move. However, the launch of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 has recently been delayed until next year, so the game is far from finished. The exodus of key developers combined with a considerable delay may suggest that there have been significant changes in the concept.
As a reminder, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 is coming to PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. It is due to launch in 2021 and so far the developers are unable to give a more precise date.
- Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 - official website