In a quiet release to the Swedish press last month, Paradox Interactive CEO Ebba Ljungerud said that she did not believe Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 will release until the second half of 2021. This news follows Bloodlines 2 being delayed into 2021 this August. Ljungerud noted that a lack of development kits for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X has compounded delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected the speed of productivity across the industry as game studios adapt to remote work processes.
"To be able to develop for the next generation, you have to have development kits from the manufacturers. And I'm pretty sure that both Sony and Microsoft were affected by the pandemic because they did not have that many development kits," said Ljungerud to Placera. (That article, and Ljungerud's comments, are in Swedish.)
The sudden firing of the Bloodlines 2 narrative team at Hardsuit Labs this year, first Lead Writer Brian Mitsoda and Creative Director Ka’ai Cluney, then the departure Senior Narrative Designer Cara Ellison, came within a week of the release date delay. The development was a surprise to both the designers themselves and the wider games sphere, as the three had comprised much of the development team's public face. Those watching the game long-term may not be very surprised, as it has been delayed before, from early 2020 to late 2020—and that was before the pandemic.
Ljungerud also said that unannounced Paradox titles would be subject to delays. She noted that delays are part of the gaming business, and that they are "something we are used to handling."
The statements by Ljungerud were made to Swedish business website Avanza's Placera blog in mid-November, but only recently started circulating with English-speaking media. Ljungerud is Paradox's second CEO after co-founder Fredrik Wester stepped back from the role in 2018. Wester remains the company's principal owner and Executive Chairman.
For more on the long-awaited sequel to the cult classic Bloodlines, check out Everything we know about Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2.