The sharp-eyed folks at RPG Codex noticed something interesting yesterday: In late April, White Wolf Publishing filed for a trademark on “Vampire Bloodlines,” to cover “downloadable publications in relation to role-playing games; downloadable publications in relation to computer games; video game software; application software for mobile phones; computer game software.”
That's not the zippiest bit of writing ever, but it is exciting. Vampire: The Masquerade—Bloodlines is one of the finest RPGs ever made—not arguably, not maybe, it just is—and also one that's been sorely neglected since its release all the way back in 2004. Could the new trademark mean that we're finally going to get the sequel it so richly deserved?
White Wolf, unfortunately, declined to be very helpful in the matter: In response to my inquiries, CEO Tobias Sjögren said only, “While we don't comment on specifics what I can generally say is that we constantly work with renewing and strengthening our trademarks making sure we got them correctly registered in all countries and categories relevant.”
But consider this: White Wolf and all its properties were acquired last year by Paradox Interactive. Paradox Interactive published Obsidian's 2015 fantasy RPG Pillars of Eternity, and will do the same for the recently-announced Tyranny. And Obsidian—this is where it gets good—recently signed up Leonard Boyarsky, who was the project lead on Bloodlines, and is thus now back together with Tim Cain, who worked as a programmer on the game.
That's a long way from confirmation that Smiling Jack is back, obviously, but it sure sounds good, doesn't it? And given the resurgence in old-school RPGs we've enjoyed over the past few years—Wasteland, Divinity, Torment, Underworld, Bard's Tale, even Baldur's Gate—I'd say it's worth keeping fingers crossed.