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Default VtM: Bloodlines 2 - Brian Mitsoda & Ka'ai Cluney Fired

August 20th, 2020, 01:05
Paradox have issued a press statement advising that Lead Narrative Designer Brian Mitsoda and Creative Director Ka'ai Cluney are no longer involved with the making of Vampire - The Masquerade: Bloodlines 2. RockPaperShotgun have an email statement from Brian Mitsoda about the matter.

Hi everyone,

Paradox Interactive and Hardsuit Labs have some important updates to share today. We recently shared that we were making some organizational changes to the Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 team, as promised, we will now give an update on what that means.

Lead Narrative Designer Brian Mitsoda and Creative Director Ka'ai Cluney are no longer part of the team at Hardsuit Labs. 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.

With that, we are excited to announce that Alexandre Mandryka has come aboard as Creative Consultant, filling the Creative Director role for Bloodlines 2, and will help us in the final stages of development. Alexandre is committed to following the vision that is in place, and successfully bringing Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 to the fans.

Alexandre has been in the industry for more than 20 years and has worked on iconic franchises such as Assassin's Creed, Warhammer 40,000, Far Cry, and more. With a long history of shipping excellent franchises, we are excited with what Alexandre brings to the game and the World of Darkness.

These changes to the team are focused on one thing: to bring you the best possible Vampire: The Masquerade game. We will share further updates as they occur.

We thank you all for understanding.
More information.
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August 20th, 2020, 02:44
Game PR and marketing isn't any better than politicians.
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August 20th, 2020, 04:49
I just was reading comments about this on a youtube gaming news report, and some are suggesting it may be politics related.

That the game was originally said to be heavily political, and some are saying that maybe this caused the recent firing, as if perhaps it turned out too "political", or possibly off-putting to gamers of different political persuasions?

I dunno, its interesting though, if we get more info about this. I have not been following this game really to begin with, so others may know more than me about what this might be about.
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August 20th, 2020, 08:13
Having read on RPS and Paradox forums I only know that no one outside of the company seem to really know why this happened. There are rumors about everything from politics, to creative differences, to difficulty cooperating, to bad management, to collateral damage from firing the other guy… And so on. Maybe we'll know eventually?
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August 20th, 2020, 08:37
I think they've made a mistake in not being more honest about the reasons for this. Releasing a statement saying "we love those guys! They're great! We fired them! We brought in a guy who does shooters! We're excited!" misses the mark and sets the wrong tone, especially in light of Mitsoda's slightly shellshocked comments to RPS (which presumably they might have anticipated). Now there's going to be a load of negative speculation to fill the information void they left, which won't stop any time soon.
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August 20th, 2020, 08:53
in this divided times, i have a hard time believing this is due to incompetence / poor behavior alone , and not polarized people on issues on a game that thrives on values and culture.

just hope the right side won.. not the left
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August 20th, 2020, 09:46
Isn't Paradox a Swedish company while Hardsuit labs seems to be located in Seattle? If so, they should at least pretend to follow the Scandinavian philosophy of handling employees which is very different to the American one. Suddenly firing people due to political views, difficulty of cooperating, creative differences, etc. isn't a part of that philosophy. People get moved to other tasks for those reasons, not fired suddenly. Sudden firings often come down to sexual harashment, racistic views, drug abuse, theft of intellectual content, etc. or major economic difficulties in leader positions. Pure speculation, though…
Last edited by largh; August 20th, 2020 at 09:59.
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August 20th, 2020, 11:06
Hmmm. Certainly won't be playing this one anytime soon. Both Brian and his wife are legends in the cRPG genre and firing him has taken away any credibility Hard-suit Labs got in the first place by hiring him. I'm not sure if people remember but before Bloodlines2 Hardsuit basically had nothing to their credit. Very concerning indeed.
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August 20th, 2020, 11:14
I have obviously missed something. Mr Mitsoda does not seem to have delivered a big and/or bug-free success anywhere. He disavowed his alpha protocol work, VTM 1 was, to be polite, about as bug free as the Everglades. Some NWN expansions, a large failure Torment and?????
What ami I missing? That CV doesn't equate to legend to me.
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August 20th, 2020, 11:41
Originally Posted by Hurls View Post
I have obviously missed something. Mr Mitsoda does not seem to have delivered a big and/or bug-free success anywhere. He disavowed his alpha protocol work, VTM 1 was, to be polite, about as bug free as the Everglades. Some NWN expansions, a large failure Torment and?????
What ami I missing? That CV doesn't equate to legend to me.
What have bugs got to do with anything, he isn't even a developer? Brian basically created the entire narrative for Bloodlines. There wouldn't be a Bloodlines 2 worth a damn without him. Bloodlines is what made him a legend.
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Last edited by bjon045; August 20th, 2020 at 11:57.
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August 20th, 2020, 12:20
Now I'm officially sorry that I invested my Christmas steam card to preorder this game (one of my first preorders in a long, long time). I'm a fans of Mitsoda's writing and characters (also in Dead State) and from the letter it seems that he doesn't even know the reason for his departure.
I'm obviously financially invested in this game, so I hope it still turns out well.
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August 20th, 2020, 12:36
Oh god. We can only hope they don’t butcher the narrative too much, especially if BM was indeed fired for having political themes in the game.
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August 20th, 2020, 12:39
I find this all very odd. It's not that unusual to see a high-level departure from a project, but it's typically by some sort of mutual arrangement, where the PR gets worked out. It's very odd to see a senior guy fired at the eleventh hour, and publicly say, "WTF just happened?"

Also, as a writer, you'd think any dissatisfaction or conflict over his work and the content would have come up long before now.
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August 20th, 2020, 13:28
In the words of Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Ooh, that smell, Can't you smell that smell? Ooh, that smell." Basically something has gone on behind the scenes, and it wasn't something good.

Now lets put this in perspective without Brian Mitsoda and Ka'ai Cluney we wouldn't even have Bloodlines 2 getting made. Both of these guys spent years getting Paradox to fund it.
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Well give credit to the Codex they sniffed out that some of the upper management left, and he went by the name of Director Martin Ka'ai Cluney. He left Hardsuit in July.

He was supposedly a friend of Mitsoda from Obsidian, and probably the one who proposed the project, and brought Mitsoda on board. So it doesn't sound good.

Bottom line the only developer with RPG experience at Hardsuit.
Paradox just sat on the IP and did nothing with it. Bottom-line this firing just reeks of some type of office politics, and given NDA's are enforced. Doubt we'll know soon as usual.
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August 20th, 2020, 14:25
Originally Posted by TheSnarkyShaman View Post
Oh god. We can only hope they don’t butcher the narrative too much, especially if BM was indeed fired for having political themes in the game.
That reason seems unlikely. The story couldn't have been a secret suddenly revealed to upper management, who then fired him. I agree with @Ripper. This is odd.
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August 20th, 2020, 14:33
So what happened is idiot Paradox buried VtM: Bloodlines 2.
Brian now has extra emotional energy to start his very own project he was dreaming about for a long-long time! It was a major mistake from Paradox to anger an excellent developer, like Brian..
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August 20th, 2020, 14:35
Originally Posted by largh View Post
Isn't Paradox a Swedish company while Hardsuit labs seems to be located in Seattle? If so, they should at least pretend to follow the Scandinavian philosophy of handling employees which is very different to the American one. Suddenly firing people due to political views, difficulty of cooperating, creative differences, etc. isn't a part of that philosophy. People get moved to other tasks for those reasons, not fired suddenly. Sudden firings often come down to sexual harashment, racistic views, drug abuse, theft of intellectual content, etc. or major economic difficulties in leader positions. Pure speculation, though…
This is a bit off-topic, but Swedish law actually forbids companies from firing people for drug abuse without first offering them a chance at getting treatment. If they decline the treatment they can be fired (or if they go to treatment and then afterwards start doing drugs (or alcohol)).
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August 20th, 2020, 14:41
Originally Posted by mercy View Post
So what happened is idiot Paradox buried VtM: Bloodlines 2.
Brian now has extra emotional energy to start his very own project he was dreaming about for a long-long time! It was a major mistake from Paradox to anger an excellent developer, like Brian..
I don't mean for this to be offensive, but you often write in such a weird way.

Your last part made me think:
"Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. " quote from Brian "The Hulk" Mitsoda.
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August 20th, 2020, 14:46
Originally Posted by SveNitoR View Post
This is a bit off-topic, but Swedish law actually forbids companies from firing people for drug abuse without first offering them a chance at getting treatment. If they decline the treatment they can be fired (or if they go to treatment and then afterwards start doing drugs (or alcohol)).
Ooh, hope you guys don't have any coal mines, oil refineries, nuclear plants, etc. Goodness!
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August 20th, 2020, 14:49
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
Ooh, hope you guys don't have any coal mines, oil refineries, nuclear plants, etc. Goodness!
You'd be amazed how well a country can function without treating people like dirt. You should look into it sometime.
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