Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2, the sequel to the popular 2004 vampire RPG, is making a comeback after its troubled development last year. Set to be released in fall 2024, the game is now being developed by The Chinese Room, a renowned UK studio known for its atmospheric games like Dear Esther and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Publisher Paradox Interactive has promised to reveal more details about the game in January.
The game’s setting remains the same, taking place in a modern-day version of Seattle during winter. However, The Chinese Room has made some changes to the gameplay mechanics and RPG systems. The protagonist has also been transformed from a young vampire to a powerful Elder, providing a fresh and unique experience for players. The Elder has been awakened from a long slumber, adding an element of discovering the world anew. Creative director Alex Skidmore emphasized these changes and the opportunity for players to roleplay and immerse themselves in the game.
The development of Bloodlines 2 has seen a significant shift. The previous developer, Hardsuit Labs, has left little behind except for some art assets. Originally announced in 2019 for a 2020 release, the game faced numerous delays and the departure of its creative leads. Paradox Interactive eventually ended their partnership with Hardsuit in 2021 and began searching for a new studio to take over development. The Chinese Room joined soon after.
The Chinese Room, based in Brighton, UK, has had its own challenges along the way. After gaining recognition for its narrative-driven games, such as Dear Esther and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, the studio faced financial difficulties in 2017, resulting in layoffs and office closures. However, they were later acquired by UK studio group Sumo Digital and have been rebuilding since then. Alongside Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2, the studio has also announced the upcoming release of Still Wakes the Deep, a first-person narrative horror game.
Players can expect the signature immersive worlds that The Chinese Room is known for, but with new elements and surprises. Skidmore expressed his excitement for creating something true to the studio’s DNA, while still pushing boundaries and offering players a unique experience.