Bloodlines 2 senior narrative designer Cara Ellison has left the project

(Image credit: Hardsuit Labs)

In August, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 developer Hardsuit Labs announced that it had parted ways with both lead writer Brian Mitsoda and creative director Ka’ai Cluney. Reasons for their release weren't given, but Mitsoda suggested that it wasn't a happy split, saying that he was unaware of any problems, and that his firing came as a complete surprise.

Today, publisher Paradox Interactive confirmed that senior narrative designer Cara Ellison has also left the project, and is no longer with developer Hardsuit Labs. Rumors about Ellison's departure began to swirl after fans noticed that she'd removed references to the project from her Twitter profile; Armello developer League of Geeks also recently announced that Ellison had joined it as senior narrative designer.

"We can confirm that Cara Ellison has decided to leave Hardsuit Labs and is no longer working on Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2," a Paradox spokesperson said. "Cara brought fresh ideas to the project and many of her contributions will be present in the game launching next year. We thank her for her work on Bloodlines 2 and wish her the best in all of her future endeavors."

It's possible that the move reflects the natural evolution of Bloodlines 2 development—that the narrative design is finished and so Ellison's work was effectively done. But in August, Bloodlines was delayed into 2021, suggesting that work was definitely not nearing completion, and it's not hard to see the removal of Mitsoda and Cluney a week later as a sign of deeper trouble. The statement that "many of her contributions will be present in the game" is also interesting: I would expect that as senior narrative designer, the story it tells would be primarily her responsibility.

Paradox declined to comment on when Ellison left the project, or how it will impact the development of Bloodlines 2. I've emailed Ellison for more information, and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.