Hardsuit Labs, the studio that previously worked on Paradox's troubled Bloodlines 2 project, has been acquired by the Irish video game services company Keywords Studios.
As reported by Gamesindustry.biz, Hardsuit was acquired for an undisclosed amount, joining 70 other developers to form part of Keyword's 'Create' services line, which offers assistance to other developers and publishers on tasks including porting, remastering, and co-development. This falls in line with much of Hardsuit's work since the company's foundation in 2015, with the studio having provided support work on series like Call of Duty, Gears of War, State of Decay and Crash Bandicoot 4.
Of course, Hardsuit Labs is best known for its abortive development on Bloodlines 2, sequel to the cult classic Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. Bloodlines 2 appeared to be shaping up well when we previewed it back in 2019. But after repeated delays and key figures like writer Brian Mitsoda and Creative Director Ka'i Cluny being removed from the project, Bloodlines 2 was taken out of the studio's hands and delayed indefinitely.
The game's history since then has been extremely hazy. At one point it risked being cancelled entirely, and publisher Paradox has refused to reveal the game's new developer, but the game is apparently in good hands, and there's still a tiny chance we might see it launch this year.
The reasons for Hardsuit losing development duties on Bloodlines were never made clear. But the controversy clearly hasn't put Keywords off, and Hardsuit's founders Andy Kipling and Russell Nelson will continue to lead the business post-acquisition. Keywords' announcement is typically all sunshine and rainbows too. "Hardsuit is a high-quality studio that works on some of the world's largest franchises, and we are excited to welcome Andy, Russel and their team to Keywords," CEO Betrand Bodson said. "The business is a great fit for our Create service line and strengthens our existing offering for some of the strongest intellectual properties in digital entertainment."