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Former Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 devs hit with layoffs

Update: Hardsuit Labs confirms layoffs, says "decision was not made lightly"

Update: Hardsuit Labs have confirmed the layoffs, saying they were "unable to provide work for a small number of individuals". More below. (Original story from March 2nd)

Hardsuit Labs, the studio that worked on Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, appears to have laid off a number of staff. Multiple employees took to Twitter last night to reveal they'd lost their jobs, and it seems the entire narrative team have been affected. This comes just a week after Paradox Interactive announced Hardsuit would no longer be developing Bloodlines 2.

"So unfortunately there were layoffs at Hardsuit Labs, and the entire narrative team including myself were affected," narrative designer Nicole Stanford tweeted.

It's unclear exactly how many of Hardsuit's staff have been made redundant besides the narrative folks, though narrative designer Anna C. Webster says she was laid off "alongside the rest of the narrative department (and many others)". This includes narrative lead Samantha Wallschlaeger and senior narrative designer Jordan Mychal Lemos.

This news comes just a week after Paradox Interactive announced they were removing Hardsuit Labs from Bloodlines 2, and would be finishing the project with a different studio. The game will no longer be coming out in 2021, and has been delayed indefinitely. Paradox still haven't disclosed who'll be taking on its development.

Bloodlines 2 has faced multiple setbacks and seen its fair share of troubles over the last year. Back in August, Paradox delayed Bloodlines 2 into 2021, and just a week later they revealed they'd fired then-narrative lead Brian Mitsoda and creative director Ka'ai Cluney.

Paradox and Hardsuit have yet to say anything on official channels about last night's layoffs. I've contacted them both for comment.

Update: Last night, Hardsuit Labs responded to RPS confirming the layoffs. They don't offer specifics on how many staff were let go, or go into the details of why, though they say they are helping those affected find new work. Here's the full statement:

"While we worked hard to source some great work opportunities for the studio to move forward with, we were unable to provide work for a small number of individuals and thus made the difficult decision to part ways. This decision was not made lightly and was done so only after we felt we had exhausted the opportunities to avoid such a layoff.

"For the affected team members, with their permission, we are reaching out to partners and fellow studios in hopes that we can assist in placing our former colleagues with new opportunities. We sincerely wish the very best to our former colleagues and thank them for their contributions to the studio and our projects during their time here.

"Hardsuit Labs continues to move forward with existing and new opportunities, as well as current work on several yet unannounced projects. We look forward to sharing additional information on these games when we can in the future."

Disclosure: Former RPS columnist Cara Ellison was previously a narrative designer on Bloodlines 2.

About the Author

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Imogen Beckhelling

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Imogen is a lore enthusiast and lover of all the fun shenanigans game communities get up to. She spends too much time playing Overwatch, and not enough time having interests that aren't to do with video games.

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