White Wolf, the company behind the well-regarded though fiscally unsuccessful World of Darkness colon-fests Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption and its ambitious follow-up Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines, has been acquired from CCP - putting paid to the company's plans to launch a massively multiplayer on-line role playing game based on the franchise.
White Wolf made the transition from pen-and-paper role playing games to the computer with Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption, which put the player in the role of a medieval crusader who is bitten by the titular creatures of the dark and wakes up in a near-future America. Its follow-up, Bloodlines, was extremely ambitious - troublingly so for the company, which was castigated for launching the title in a parlous, buggy, unfinished state. The company didn't survive the bad press: it was acquired wholesale by Eve Online creator CCP in 2006, which announced plans to create a Vampire: The Masquerade MMO before cancelling the project in 2014. Bloodlines, meanwhile, went on to become a cult classic, with many former White Wolf staffers working for free on a 'fan patch' which resolved most issues and restored missing content.
Now, White Wolf is a CCP subsidiary no more: the company has been acquired by Paradox Interactive. 'Like Paradox’s games, White Wolf’s properties have dedicated, passionate communities. While there are similarities in spirit, White Wolf’s IPs have very different themes than Paradox’s titles, and deserve their own brand and team,' said Fredrik Wester, chief executive and president of Paradox. 'We have great respect for White Wolf’s gaming worlds and see big opportunities for their expansion in the future under our new subsidiary.'
The deal includes all White Wolf assets, including rights to the World of Darkness franchise in general and Vampire: The Masquerade specifically. Thus far, neither company has offered a hint as to what the company's first game post-CCP will be, beyond a comment from White Wolf's chief executive Tobias Sjögren stating that the two companies 'see great potential to expand [White Wolf's intellectual properties] in the future.'