Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Announced

Whelp.

I’m reading the statements and besides some private personal beef exploding suddenly, I don’t see how this decision makes any sense. Are they going to make major narrative changes for a game that is already delayed?

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Waiting for Patrick to have “been hearing things” about this and hopefully provided context.

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Yeah, I’m totally mystified by this. Would really like to know what’s up over there. I mean, the trailers didn’t look super promising imo, but it’s hard for me to believe that’s Mitsoda’s fault.

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My dark tinfoil theory is that Paradox is cutting ‘non-essential’ staff due to COVID. I’m guessing the writing is already done on the game.

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There must be plenty of other people you can let go before the lead writer and the creative director though, especially if they’re heavily present in the marketing. And the publisher does a big public announcement without agreeing on a communication strategy with the people involved? This seems really drastic.

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My thinking is that he wouldn’t post a big statement about if if they pulled him aside for misconduct.

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I had wondered about the gloves. As someone with near crippling social anxiety, something like that (unusual clothes) would actually make my anxiety worse, but I’m glad it helps him. It’s feels weird to hope that this is just some corporate awfulness, but here we are in 2020, and that’s the best we can hope for.

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The community manger on the office World of Darkness discord, (the one run by paradox) said that this decision had nothing to do with sexual misconduct.

I’m surprised they still have said NOTHING about why they were fired…

The fan reaction has been so vocal, you’d think they would say something by now.

Ugh, this is so weird too. Cara Ellison hasn’t posted on Twitter since June, and we all know what happened with Chris Avellone…

It all reads fishy in a pretty dour way. Like it’s not even “oo what’s the saucy beef between leads/execs” , it’s now rooted in the zone of someone’s done something so fucked that no one can talk about it.

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Well, speaking of Vampire I’m gonna be running a game in 5th Edition. My players want it in the tone of What We Do in the Shadows, so I’ve been trying to parse all the edgy crap out of the book and make it more palatable. I’m surprised the weird ‘Brujah can be nazis!’ and ‘Malkavians are INSAAANE’ garbage there is in there still. I thought a lot of it was edited out.

Anyway, we’re going to be doing a game set in Atlanta. Apparently the Second Inquisition has erased a lot of the Sabbat in the city, along with the call to the Middle East, so there’s lots of opportunity for different powers to make moves. I wanna have a couple of factions all vying for the title of Prince. One of which are the Southern Lords. I’m gonna give my players a lot of Johnny Reb to kill…

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Yo this thread needs some serious Rule 10.

Rule 10:

Remember that the games journalism community is small, our community is visible, and other personalities have been active here—act accordingly. Do not speculate on hires or personal lives of staff or personalities of this or any other site (and extend this courtesy to public figures in general); remember, this is a person’s livelihood. Their personal lives are not content.

Cara Ellison avoids social media because of what happened with GamerGate. No one on that team OWES us an explanation for what is going on in their personal lives. Baseless speculation helps no one.

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But I’m not speculating on Cara’s personal life, I’m speculating on the staff changes at Paradox.

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“Do not speculate on hires or personal lives of staff or personalities of this or any other site (and extend this courtesy to public figures in general) … Their personal lives are not content.

:man_shrugging:

Then I guess we should have deleted all the Last of Us 2 threads with all the speculating around Druckmann.

I mean, there was literally a whole article about Druckmann’s possible Israeli politics around the development of the game. That sure sounds like speculating to me.

That could have been REALLY bad, but I think they worded it alright.

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I think there is a fine line between important discussions about labor and journalism about labor conditions in the games industry—including alleged abuses of power—and rumor mill tabloid stuff. I feel like this falls into the second category.

Druckmann is the head of a studio that has multiple abuse and labor violation allegations. It’s important to talk about that to drive change in the industry. Hardsuit Labs doesn’t have those issues. Maybe all of the other labor and Me Too movement stuff in this industry has us trained to expect the worst, but the worst isn’t what’s happening there. So it doesn’t help to prod at it.

As for Druckmann’s politics? I also think looking at how someone’s politics inform a product that they’re making is not the same as taking one short article about someone being fired and then assuming the worst about that person, the game they were making, or the studio they worked for. It’s extrapolation of a scenario based on a lack of evidence.

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My take isn’t really on the labor problems, which is valid, but about the speculation about his past as an Israeli citizen somehow informs his work in the Last of Us 2. That has a SERIOUS problematic tendency to go down a antisemitic route. I’ve seen right wing conspiracy nuts and leftists claim they both are ‘anti-zionists’ which makes conversations around Israel a very precarious thing. I trust this site to be mindful of this, and I don’t mind a reading around Druckmann’s politics, in fact I probably agree with it, but if we’re following the rules that is a whole thread speculating Druckmann’s personal life. I’m not comfortable with it, honestly.

Hardsuit Labs doesn’t have those issues.

But that’s the thing though, it looks like it MIGHT have those issues with these firings. Paradox owns 30% of Hardsuit labs, so the order came through Paradox and Hardsuit enforced it. A gag order seems like its in some kind of effect seeing how no one is speaking on the matter, and from what information HAS come out, the firings don’t seem to be related to any abuse allegations. That leaves it in the territory of labor problems.

But I’m fine with dropping the subject and not speculating on what happened through other worker’s silence. We can just move on. I just get frustrated with how some discussion around certain devs seems encouraged, but then we have rule 10.

I mean, if Rule 10 is honestly being enforced, this whole thread shouldn’t exist:

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Moving forward in this thread, we’d like everyone to keep Rule 10 in mind, along with other rules. Think carefully about what you post and whether it could infringe on the Code of Conduct. There are ways to have this conversation without speculation.

I’m still looking forward to see how this game turns out, but it’s turning from excitement into apprehension.

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