Responding to a request for comment, former Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Lead Narrative Designer Brian Mitsoda said his recent firing came out of nowhere as far as he is concerned.
Speaking to Rock Paper Shotgun via an email exchange later published on the site, Mitsoda clarified precisely how blindsided he was, adding "that this came as a shock to me is underselling it."
"I was not part of the conversations that led to the decision to delay production, and to my knowledge, there were no delays caused by the Bloodlines 2 narrative development," he told RPS. "I am confident and proud of the work that I and my team put forward. When that work will be seen and what form it will take is unknown to me."
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 was recently delayed past its already dubious 2020 release window and into 2021. Publisher Paradox Interactive announced a delay last week, making it just the latest in a long (and likely still growing) line of games pushed out of the console launch window this holiday season. Creative Director Ka'ai Cluney has also left the Bloodlines 2 team, though it's not currently clear whether their departure was driven by the publisher as Mitsoda's was, though it sounds like more of the same according to a statement put out by Paradox.
"This was a joint decision made by the leadership of Hardsuit Labs and Paradox Interactive. We appreciate, and value, the contributions of Brian and Ka’ai, which were instrumental in establishing the game's storyline and dark tone and have helped to ensure that we are making a true successor to the iconic Bloodlines. We wish them both the best in their future endeavors."
Bloodlines 2 never really seemed safe for a 2020 launch anyway, so while its delay makes sense, the staff changes have caught some offguard, namely those being removed from the dev team. Other recent delays include Xbox's flagship Halo Infinite and Bethesda's new experimental multiplayer shooter Deathloop, which pits players in 1v1 battles to eliminate targets or each other more efficiently. The holiday calendar is still shaping up and it's almost September, which means it's safe to expect more delay announcements before it arrives.