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Offline Wilhelm-Streicher

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Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« on: August 19, 2020, 03:35:22 pm »
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.
https://www.bloodlines2.com/en/an-update-on-the-organizational-changes-for-bloodlines-2
WTF?!? Brian Mitsoda is not longer working on Bloodlines 2?!? This is really bad news for Bloodlines 2.I assume the work on the main game is mostly done but the DLCs and the big expansion could have use Brian Mitsoda.

Edit: Its getting worse. According to Brian Mitsoda he was fired.

“Until recently, I was the Narrative Lead on a videogame called Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 for Hardsuit Labs, Inc being published by Paradox Interactive (which owns 30% of Hardsuit Labs). After almost five years involvement with the studio, I was suddenly terminated on 7/16/20.


<blockquote> “Until recently, I was the Narrative Lead on a videogame called Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 for Hardsuit Labs, Inc being published by Paradox Interactive (which owns 30% of Hardsuit Labs). After almost five years involvement with the studio, I was suddenly terminated on 7/16/20.
That this came as a shock to me is underselling it. I’ve worked on Bloodlines 2 for almost five years. The story and main cast was initially conceived in my living room. I helped develop the pitch for Hardsuit Labs and helped pitch the project to Paradox in Las Vegas. I’ve been in charge of the narrative since the beginning, working long days and sometimes weekends to deliver a successor to Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, and I’ve never been led to believe that I hadn’t succeeded. Very obviously, I have also been involved in the PR and marketing side of things, even though it was one of the most difficult parts for me. I’m a pretty private person – press and crowds tend to heavily trigger my social anxiety (which, if you’ve ever wondered about the gloves, they are “armor” that make me feel less exposed in situations that trigger my anxiety).
Bloodlines and the fandom of the game mean the world to me. So I lent my legacy with the franchise, my name, and my participation in marketing efforts for the game, even when it was intensely difficult and took a mental and physical toll. This is all because I wanted to do what was best for the game and the team.
The pride in the work, the fan expectations, and the support from co-workers who started out as fans kept me going through this long five years. And I’m incredibly disappointed and frustrated to say that this is where it ends for me on the project.
I was not part of the conversations that led to the decision to delay production, and to my knowledge, there were no delays caused by the Bloodlines 2 narrative development. I am confident and proud of the work that I and my team put forward. When that work will be seen and what form it will take is unknown to me.
It was a pleasure to work on this game and with many people at Hardsuit Labs and Paradox and I’m sorry I won’t be able to see it to the end. I spent years on some of the best characters and dialogue that I ever wrote. It’s meant a lot to hear from the Bloodlines community and I do hope that what’s finally delivered is as satisfying as I intended it to be. Thanks to all of you who supported me throughout the project.”


https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2020/08/19/brian-mitsoda-has-been-fired-as-narrative-lead-on-bloodlines-2/
 </blockquote>
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 03:45:14 pm by Wilhelm-Streicher »

Offline Highwayman667

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2020, 04:27:11 pm »
WHAT THE EVER LOVING FUCK IS GOING ON :facepalm:  ??!!!

I'm sorry but this is just... horrible news. I don't want to rush but I hope there's an explanation for this.

Offline Happydeathclaw

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2020, 04:27:34 pm »
I always knew that moving of something from south-west to elsewhere is a bad sign, first Fallout turned into pseudofallout and now Bloodlines into pseudobloodlines.

Offline Wilhelm-Streicher

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2020, 04:38:25 pm »
WHAT THE EVER LOVING FUCK IS GOING ON :facepalm:  ??!!!

I'm sorry but this is just... horrible news. I don't want to rush but I hope there's an explanation for this.
I must say if Brian Mitsoda hasn´t done something similiar like Chris Avellone which would be only exception where i can unterstand his termination you don´t fire someone like Brian Mitsoda who was the face of this game. Paradox used him in almost all of previous marketing.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 06:19:07 pm by Wesp5 »

Offline Highwayman667

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2020, 05:01:51 pm »
I must say if Brian Mitsoda hasn´t done something similiar like Chris Avellone which would be only exception where i can unterstand his termination you don´t fire someone like Brian Mitsoda who was the face of this game. Paradox used him in almost all of previous marketing.
And NOW I'm freaking out... thanks Wilhelm :rofl: !


Seriously though, I was imagining something like that had occurred. As I said, I don't want to rush to conclusions but Mitsoda would never be able to bounce back from that.

If it wasn't, and this is just an issue Paradox had with Mitsoda, then the latter should sue for wrongful termination.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 06:19:24 pm by Wesp5 »

Offline Wilhelm-Streicher

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2020, 05:17:18 pm »
Seriously though, I was imagining something like that had occurred. As I said, I don't want to rush to conclusions but Mitsoda would never be able to bounce back from that.

If it wasn't, and this is just an issue Paradox had with Mitsoda, then the latter should sue for wrongful termination.
I don´t believe that Mitsoda has done something bad.
No, my current speculation is that the new guy Alexandre Mandryka is a consultant who focuses on coaching dev teams to improve development and focusing on the creative aspect just didn´t like Bloodlines 2 for what was / is.
In my opinion Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney wanted to make a improved and newer version of Bloodlines 1 but Paradox and Mandryka want a more mainstream game or should I say a Cyberpunk rival. And then Mandryka had previous worked on Assassins Creed and Far Cry.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 06:20:21 pm by Wesp5 »

Offline fylimar

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2020, 06:04:37 pm »
Yeah, that's it. I'm not excited anymore. I was about to preorder the game, but I won't do that. That's like doing Firefly without Joss Whedon - what a stupid decision.
“They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to Middle Earth.” ― George R.R. Martin

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Offline Critter

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2020, 07:14:34 pm »
Well, I said in the thread about the delay, that my hope for this game is almost lost and that there were red flags for bad development. Guess that's the proof now. Firing Brian will be the nail in the coffin for many people, the outrage on social media is already going wild. Canceled my pre-order now for good and I'll wait for release and reviews.

It's really a shame... to put it in Obi-Wans words: "You were the chosen one!"

Offline MooCHa

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2020, 08:46:04 pm »
Might buy BL2 in a few years when it is like £10 or less. otherwise, not all that bothered about it, then firing main talent... :facepalm: Not gonna get all annoyed about that. I'll leave it to twitter mobs to come to his aide :chinscratch:

Keep ya game that would've just been ok and alright at best. I was far from fapping about it anyway...
Regards...

Offline Highwayman667

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2020, 08:55:11 pm »
I don´t believe that Mitsoda has done something bad. No, my current speculation is that the new guy Alexandre Mandryka is a consultant who focuses on coaching dev teams to improve development and focusing on the creative aspect just didn´t like Bloodlines 2 for what was / is. In my opinion Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney wanted to make a improved and newer version of Bloodlines 1 but Paradox and Mandryka want a more mainstream game or should I say a Cyberpunk rival. And then Mandryka had previous worked on Assassins Creed and Far Cry.

Sounds like the more reasonable hypothesis I've heard so far.

It's a shame to even think that the choice now is to streamline the game. What a mess. Mitsoda should definitely sue Paradox out of their boxers.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 09:27:39 pm by Wesp5 »

Offline Talyn82

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2020, 01:57:01 am »
I just heard about this on another forum and immediately came here.  I never planned on buying this on day one.  But now because of this I won't buy it at all.  I do not like the Farcry and Assassin Creed games, so this new guy does not get me interested in the game.  I love Bloodlines 1, and Brian Mitsoda became one of my favorite writers next to Avellone.  So yeah no I'll stick with the original.
Vae Victus! -Kain

Offline DarkProphet

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2020, 06:30:38 am »
Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.  :holy: :sad:

Offline mdqp

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2020, 08:06:27 am »
Well, I guess everyone who was worried was right. I knew the wording was worrisome, but I hadn't expected Mitsoda being removed (although some sleuths over the Paradox forum had noted already that he had changed his Twitter bio, and had guessed correctly this was the case, so I had already entertained the possibility when I saw that). Now, I assume he is being fired together with the producer specifically because they felt there is something wrong with the writing, otherwise this makes no sense, right? No way they'd fire the lead writer just for generic artistic differences, at the end of the day, Mitsoda wasn't a lead for the entire project, just for the writing.

Maybe they felt the dialogue wasn't "hip" or immediate enough, and since he is friends with the ex-producer, they assume this friendship got in the way of the producer giving directions, allowing Brian free reign?

I mean, I can't even say if this is bad or not, without having seen the script. There are endless possibilities where this might sort of be justified (maybe it is bloated, and they wanted someone to trim it down but Brian refused, for example), but it's impossible to say without more insider knowledge (hopefully, Brian will be able to talk a bit more about what happened, although he says he was surprised, so there might not be a clear cut reason, actually).

Still, it's so bad for this to happen this late in development, I wonder what they think they can achieve with this move. At this point, even if we give them the benefit of the doubt and assume there are flaws in the writing, what do they expect to do at this stage, rewrite the whole thing?
Edit: Sorry, I meant Brian and the Creative Director (who also got sacked) were friends, not the producer.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 08:27:30 am by mdqp »

Offline Wesp5

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2020, 08:45:35 am »
Now, I assume he is being fired together with the producer specifically because they felt there is something wrong with the writing, otherwise this makes no sense, right?
Maybe. But it could also be the other way around, like the higher ups wanted to force changes to the game and the writing that those two did not agree to make! You should also be aware that the two German producers were moved away from Bloodlines 2 so I smell something there along the lines of "If you fire Mitsoda and Cluney we will leave the project too." So there must have been huge differences to remove four people at once! I'm curious what Cara Ellison and Rik Schaffer will do now...
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 08:50:22 am by Wesp5 »

Offline mdqp

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Re: Brian Mitsoda and Ka’ai Cluney have been fired
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2020, 09:44:07 am »
Maybe. But it could also be the other way around, like the higher ups wanted to force changes to the game and the writing that those two did not agree to make! You should also be aware that the two German producers were moved away from Bloodlines 2 so I smell something there along the lines of "If you fire Mitsoda and Cluney we will leave the project too." So there must have been huge differences to remove four people at once! I'm curious what Cara Ellison and Rik Schaffer will do now...
I am willing to bet Cara Ellison will go very silent and continue working on the game. They probably won't promote another official lead writer, but she'll be unofficially in the position (I mean, if they are crazy enough to let an unproven writer take the role, even if most of Brian's job was finished, presumably). Brian was fired a month ago, she must have known about it for a while now, and if by now she wasn't let go, it's because she'll stay on board.

Rik's position is less clear, as a composer he might not have as much of a direct "line" within Paradox or HSL, so he might have not known much. His role is also much different (I don't even know if his job is finished or not, to be honest).

 

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