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Chris Avellone: What the Fuck Happened to Bloodlines 2?
Editorial - posted by Infinitron on Fri 16 July 2021, 23:36:33Tags: Chris Avellone; Hardsuit Labs; Paradox Interactive; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
Apparently, since his return to the public spotlight, Chris Avellone has been getting a lot of questions about Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 from fans who are curious to know what the hell happened to it. Today he published an article on his Medium blog to address that question. The long and short of it is that he doesn't know, but that didn't stop him from describing his involvement with the project in his characteristically entertaining fashion. Chris now seems somewhat regretful about the role he played in getting Bloodlines 2 greenlit on behalf of a studio that clearly wasn't up to the task of creating it. Here's an excerpt from his post:
The pitch meeting happened in Las Vegas. I almost forgot why it was in Vegas, but then I remembered it’s also where the D.I.C.E convention happens every year when there isn’t a pandemic.
If you’re not familiar with D.I.C.E., you’re not missing much. As one described it, it’s where game executives go to jerk each other off, pretend to facilitate contracts, give awards to themselves, and compliment each other on the hard work the developers at their studios do. The Biz Dev guys go there to feed on these same executives and devour them slowly from within like humanoid parasites from the movie The Bay. It’s all part of the vampiric theme.
So Paradox and Hardsuit were in Las Vegas for D.I.C.E. We, being schleps, went there without going to D.I.C.E. because we are not executives. I went because I wanted to help Hardsuit with the pitch, I had been working with Hardsuit for some time prior on the title, and to encourage the Paradox folks the pitch was a good idea because I knew the Paradox folks from years before. This “encouragement” was very selfish of me and in retrospect of all that was going to happen, probably kind of shitty.
Yes, selfish. Yes, shitty. Still, it wasn’t hard to rationalize. It had been so many years since the original, I wanted someone to do it, and I thought Bloodlines fans (including me) had waited long enough. I was mostly thinking of myself, though, because (surprise) I wanted to work on it in any capacity. Now that Paradox had secured the Vampire license, it seemed like it could finally happen… if we could just convince them to do it. Interestingly, Hardsuit didn’t even get 1/3 of the way through the Power Point pitch before we stopped it and just started to chat with Paradox about the project more informally to get them more engaged in the idea (Power Points are easy to zone out to). Paradox did get engaged. They agreed, put pen to paper, blah blah blah.
To fill you in on what I did on the project, since most people think I was booted from it last year (?) along with everyone else. This “news” is attributed to some poorly worded public statements from the usual round of idiots that got passed through a filter held by an idiot and poured into an idiot glass and then passed out to the public and marketed as a refreshing new mineral water that will ultimately pass through your bladder and into your toilet. Thanks for that, idiots. You could have just said, “contract was over.”
To explain my contract: I worked on Bloodlines 2 for almost 2 and a half years, from 2016 to mid-2018, then my contract came to an end. They didn’t use anything I wrote during that time, which was a number of major characters and side missions, check my LinkedIn. This made me sad, but it’s not my choice. The whole experience was like the last five minutes of Barton Fink (not the beach scene, the scene before it, know-it-all), but stretched out over 2 and a half years. Even if I had known all that work was useless, I’d have written anyway, even though its part of your life you don’t get back, so you can’t really dwell on it too much. I’ve been on projects where a LOT more got thrown away… as Bloodlines 2 proved for almost everyone on it in the end, apparently.
So what happened after? Why did the staff change? Why did it move to another developer? Did it actually move to a developer or is that bullshit?
To all of you asking: I have no fucking idea.