Major changes have been made to the development team behind Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, including the firing of two key personnel.
Last week, developer Hardsuit Labs and publisher Paradox Interactive announced the game was delayed into 2021 and were planning organisational changes for the remainder of the project.
Now those changes have been detailed in a statement on the Bloodlines 2 website.
Lead narrative designer Brian Mitsoda -- who wrote and designed the original Bloodlines -- and creative director Ka'ai Cluney are no longer part of the team.
The decision was "made by the leadership of Hardsuit Labs and Paradox Interactive." No reason for their dismissal is given.
In his statement to GamesIndustry.biz sister site Rock Paper Shotgun, Mitsoda says his role was "suddenly terminated" on July 16.
"That this came as a shock to me is underselling it," he said. "I've worked on Bloodlines 2 for almost five years. The story and main cast was initially conceived in my living room. I helped develop the pitch for Hardsuit Labs and helped pitch the project to Paradox in Las Vegas. I've been in charge of the narrative since the beginning, working long days and sometimes weekends to deliver a successor to Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, and I've never been led to believe that I hadn't succeeded."
He adds that he was also involved in the PR and marketing side of things, despite the fact that press and crowds "trigger my social anxiety," which "took a mental and physical toll" on the designer.
Rock Paper Shotgun observes that his name often appears prominently in marketing materials such as trailers, given his role on the original.
"I'm incredibly disappointed and frustrated to say that this is where it ends for me on the project," Mitsoda continued. "I was not part of the conversations that led to the decision to delay production, and to my knowledge, there were no delays caused by the Bloodlines 2 narrative development.
"It was a pleasure to work on this game and with many people at Hardsuit Labs and Paradox and I'm sorry I won't be able to see it to the end."
In their own statement, Hardsuit and Paradox said: "We appreciate, and value, the contributions of Brian and Ka'ai, which were instrumental in establishing the game's storyline and dark tone and have helped to ensure that we are making a true successor to the iconic bloodlines.
"We wish them both the best in their future endeavours."
Replacing Cluney is Alexandre Mandryka, who will take on the position of creative consultant. He has more than 20 years' experience working on games in the Assassin's Creed, Far Cry and Warhammer 40,000 franchises.