Has there ever been a point when you’ve looked through your gaming library and wondered, “Huh, whatever happened to this title?” Well, I’ll be taking a look at videogame standalones/franchises and the lead up to their eventual absence. With that being said, today I’ll be asking the question: “Whatever Happened to… Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines?”
Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I have to say, with the amount of leaked materials that were coming out before E3, I was starting to think there wasn’t going to be anything left to talk about for this section. That being said, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and I found a way. So before anymore content is released prior to the event, let’s get into it.
Thanks go out to the recent release of Vampyr for reminding me of this title because I’m going to be analysing the rise and fall of classic vampire role-playing game, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. Previously released as a tabletop roleplaying game in 1991, it wasn’t until the distant future of 2004 where the game would find a home on the online scene. By only being available on PC, Bloodlines was quickly taken in by gamers and praised for its narrative work and world-building (for the time of course).
Critics’ reactions were quite similar in regards to praise, with many of them deeming the story, characters, and world as being all effective and entertaining. No game is flawless though, as the combat and graphical capability were considered to be less than desirable. This was the norm for such games, however, as titles like Deus Ex and System Shock were also near masterpieces if not for the combat and visuals.
Moving from development to developers, Bloodlines was created by an American studio called Troika Games. The title would be the last for the team, however, as they would not be able to keep funds going for any of their future projects. Notably, Bloodlines was also published by Activision who, around the same timeframe, had been involved with other gems such as Doom 3 and GUN.
That being said, despite the good fortune from its initial release and the solid team surrounding the game, not much of the title has been heard of for quite awhile. One would assume that a remaster for such a popular property would be on the horizon but alas, it seems there is no news yet.
So this begs the question, if Bloodlines is considered to be one of the best narrative titles around, and franchises like Deus Ex and System/Bioshock are still going, then why haven’t we seen any news? Well back in 2004, there were actually rumours of a game coming out that would be set in the same universe as Bloodlines, (Werewolf: The Apocalypse, another of White Wolf’s tabletop roleplaying games) but those plans eventually were unfortunately scrapped along with the development team. The most recent update came from the people over at Paradox Interactive, who now own the rights to the standalone. In 2015, The CEO had stated on PCGamesN that “when the time is right, I guess a sequel will find its place in the market.”
With that in mind, I suppose only time will tell if we as fans get another chance to journey through the world of Vampire: The Masquerade.