Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, the long-awaited sequel to the ill-fated original Bloodlines, has been hit with a delay that will see it shifted to later in 2020 - as a means, the development team claims, of avoiding the missteps of the original.

The third entry in the computer role-playing game (CRPG) series based on the Vampire: The Masquerade pen-and-paper RPG - after Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines - Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 is a game that by all rights shouldn't exist. The original, published by Activision in 2004, effectively killed developer Troika Games: Released in direct competition with Valve's Half-Life 2 and in a buggy, unfinished state, the game didn't sell nearly enough to prevent Troika closing its doors in 2004. Despite this, and thanks in no small part to a fan-patch series developed by former Troika devs which fixed many of the issues with the game's launch version, the game became something of a cult classic in later years - and it's this too-little-too-late popularity that has driven the development of Bloodlines 2 as a direct sequel.

Originally scheduled for a Q1 2020 launch, however, Bloodlines 2 has been officially delayed - thanks to a desire to avoid walking the same path as the original's rushed launch. 'Today, we have to tell you that we need some more time to get you the game you've been waiting for,' a development post signed by Hardsuit Labs' Andy Kipling and Brian Mitsoda. 'Although Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 will still launch in 2020, we have decided to value quality over making the Q1 launch window.

'There are some things we wanted to hit under all circumstances when we set out to follow in Bloodlines’ footsteps: A deep, branching storyline; fascinating and amazingly acted characters; the rich universe of the World of Darkness. We firmly believe that we’re on the right track to get you all of this. On the flip side, there’s the responsibility to avoid some of the issues that plagued the first game, which was famously launched too early. Over the last few months, it became clear that to stick to our original date would risk repeating that mistake. We won’t do that. In the end, everyone working on this game wants to offer you the best Bloodlines 2 we can. This hasn’t been an easy - nor our first - choice. Throughout 2019 we have been improving our processes and growing our teams, however it soon became clear that this alone won’t allow us to deliver the quality we want at the date we promised.'

Neither HSL nor publisher Paradox Interactive have offered a revised launch date, though it seems likely the title will now be bumped to the second half of 2020.

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October 14 2021 | 15:04