Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines II

Yeah, this game has definitely moved into the “Wait and see” category. I am expecting a broken mess at release with an overall narrative full of contradictions and otherwise a complete mess.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a game being taken away from a developer completely, to be handed over to a different one by the publisher.

Didn’t the FF7 Remake swap devs midstream?

While there have been warning signs for quite a while now, I would not be surprised if the whole pandemic thing and remote collaboration issues contributed to this fiasco.

Maybe Duke Nukem Forever counts on this one.

I’m sure I’ve heard of other cases, but I can’t recall any of them right now. :(

Rollercoaster Tycoon World changed developers not once but twice after being announced by Atari, and we all know how that turned out so not the greatest of precedents. That’s the only I have any recollection of so far, I feel like there have been other such instances though.

Happened multiple times with Starcraft Ghost before the project was just scrapped.

The Guild 3 - still in early access - has been through at least two developers so far.

Oh good point. And it’s not…in terrible condition. I really, REALLY liked The Guild 2, and while 3 certainly doesn’t have the same magic, it’s playable, and it’s not bad. I’ve put a decent number of hours into it.

I mean it really all depends on where things were, right? They lost the lead writer awhile back, so if core systems are in place and they are mainly lacking in narrative, it might not be a complete disaster.

On the other hand, it could be a miserable mess of a failure, and that would make me very sad.

Yeah, this isn’t a new thing. Publishers have yanked games away from devs and tasked another studio to either finish or restart development before.

I will say that I’m having a hard time thinking of an instance when that happened and the finished product actually turned out better than mediocre. Maybe Prey? Although that was a completely dead license that was just pasted onto a game Arkane was already developing.

Dead Island 2 was pulled from Yager.

Starcraft Ghost… oh, nope.

I think the best thing that will come out of this project will be the Jason Schreier long-form retrospective.

Poke this one with a stick. Actually, wind back the clock until you get the point when they fired the original writers with zero warning, and poke it with a stick then

Yeah, I can’t think of a time when a development was moved from one team entirely and the game didn’t suffer for it. Maybe the Splatterhosue reboot? Usually it would only work if the project gets rebooted and begins development from the ground up again.

A Seattle-based developer on Resetera shared these thoughts on the current situation:

I’m going to take a radical different perspective. The game that Mitsoda and Cluney were pushing for and wanted to make just wasn’t marketable in 2020, which led to their removal. Paradox and HSL attempted to pivot and salvage, but the task was just too great.

The game was in a weird spot. A $30 million budget RPG that was probably too niche and a team that had never made anything of comparable scale before. The developer, which is partially owned by Paradox, is surrounded by massive studios that can offer staff better salaries which could go some way to explaining why recently their website had quite a few senior positions vacant for long stretches of time.

To me the big question is who could have Paradox brought in to salvage the project? What independent mid-tier studios are left? Yager, Sumo Digital, Spiders?

Based solely on my admittedly limited time spent with Greedfall, Spiders doesn’t seem like a terrible choice to pick up this game. Good call.

It’s interesting that Paradox didn’t actually name the studio getting this hot potato. Leads me to believe they’re not even done negotiating the contract.

Wow, if this White Wolf brand and community person tweets are anything to go by the new team’s mandate is a broad one! If it wasn’t for sunk cost fallacy I would say there’s a good chance the game would be cancelled by now.

Maybe Harebrained Schemes have taken over the project? I believe they’re owned by Paradox.

This makes me sad. VTM:BL is an enduring classic. Dead State was a rough indie title, but Mitsoda knows his dialogue trees.

At first I was like: :O
And then I was like: you know, they did 3 dialogue-tree RPGs before MW. Maybe they can scale up…