Velvet Velour was one of many reasons why Bloodlines was awesome.
Velvet Velour was one of many reasons why Bloodlines was awesome.

Thanks to my brother I just learned that White Wolf has been bought by Paradox, the Sweden-based publisher of well-received RPG Pillars of Eternity. White Wolf are known for their World Of Darkness and Vampire… series of role playing games. The news is significant to me because Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, released on PC in 2004, is one of my all-time favourite RPGs. Despite being riddled with bugs, the game is hugely memorable and remains a benchmark of video game storytelling and atmosphere. The prospect of new games set in this universe is hugely exciting.

White Wolf merged with Icelandic developer CCP in 2006, shortly after the release of Bloodlines. CCP are known as the company responsible for MMORPG Eve Online, and for many years worked on making an MMO set in the World of Darkness universe. This project was blighted by a number of adverse factors and was eventually cancelled for good in 2014 after nine years of development. The game sucked in a huge amount of resources and more importantly ensured that no other WoD video games were developed during this period. There was a very good article in the Guardian abut this last year. It seemed that CCP had decisively wasted the legacy of Bloodlines, and as if to add insult to injury they even resorted to legal action against a fan-made reboot of the original game.

Well, it seems that there is now cause for hope. Paradox have bought White Wolf outright and will maintain it as an independent entity with its own team. Here’s the best part: they have already stated their plans to release “several” new digital games based on the IP. The prospect of a successor to Bloodlines on the PC or next-gen consoles is one that fills me with excitement and is not something I ever expected to see, frankly. Given Paradox’s involvement with the release of Obsidian’s Pillars of Eternity, there is every reason to hope they will give the franchise the kind of support and attention it deserves to thrive.

One would imagine Paradox will have to fight off developers keen to work with this IP, which has massive potential among women and older gamers. For now I might go and check out some of the tabletop or pen and paper WoD games to whet my appetite.

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