Just two months after firing two key people in the development process, the team at Hardsuit Labs has lost another narrative designer from Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2.
Senior narrative designer Cara Ellison has apparently left Hardsuit Labs for a similar position at League of Geeks, the developer of anthropomorphic fantasy strategy title Armello. League of Geeks announced her new position in an offhanded fashion on Twitter, and Ellison herself effectively confirmed in her own Twitter feed. A spokesperson at Hardsuit Labs confirmed Ellison’s departure in a statement to PC Gamer. “We can confirm that Cara Ellison has decided to leave Hardsuit Labs and is no longer working on Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2,” the spokesperson said. “Cara brought fresh ideas to the project and many of her contributions will be present in the game launching next year. We thank her for her work on Bloodlines 2 and wish her the best in all of her future endeavors.”
While this is the third major departure of an individual working on the narrative side of the project, this is the first one which appears to be completely voluntary. Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is scheduled to be released sometime in 2021.
Food For Thought
There’s some very unusual language in Hardsuit Labs’ statement. The phrase “many of her contributions will be present” suggests that there were more contributions which will not be present for one reason or another. It also suggests, indirectly, that contributions by Brian Mitsoda prior to his termination may have been removed for one reason or another. No similar language was used when he was fired, which may indicate that there’s been a significant shift in the narrative direction from where it was originally headed. Between this departure, the firing of Mitsoda and creative director Ka’ai Cluney, and the problems Paradox Interactive has gotten into with their QA department, this game’s future seems hazy and unusually grim.