A letter to our fans regarding the launch and our commitment to Bloodlines 2

Entrexia

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I do agree that they should give out more information to people who made their pre-orders. Here are my guesses on the release date. From what I hear, games that are set to be released on the PS5 are not allowed to be released more than six months after the console's launch. Also, Paradox mentioned on the game page that the DLCs will be out at the end of 2021 max. So, I would peg the release date no later than march 2021. This would give a thorough window for sales. Nearing late 2021, the initial sales will begin to dip, and this is where they will release the DLC to boost the game.
 
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RagnarokCzD

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A friend told me that the release date is confirmed for October
Im sorry, but in that case your friend is probably just speculating. :(
I i dont mean it cant be released in October, it definitely can .... but it was not confrimed so far. :-/

I believe when it will be finaly confrimed, all social media will be full of it ... sadly, there will possibly be no WoD news this week, so we have to wait for that one too.
 

Enish

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Given the state of the original game on release, and the fact we might never see this property handled with attention to depth again if this iteration isn't a success, I will happily give them all the time in the world they need.

Working remotely is difficult as well. I know this studio had issues with that in the past, judging from this Dead State postmortem.

4. Remote Team Communication Issues

Communication breakdown can happen even when everyone is under the same roof, but when you’ve got a team spread out over multiple time zones, the odds are pretty good that communication will break down.

And it did.

There was an inherent difficulty in tracking progress: Sometimes emails wouldn’t be answered for 24 hours, builds would hit a major snag and need to be reuploaded, or critical bugs wouldn’t be fixed for a day. Without the team in the same room, meetings went overlong, issues took more time to explain, and momentum/excitement about progress was less tangible. New builds would not always go out on a timetable that was helpful for the Seattle team, where the majority of DoubleBear team members were located.

A large amount of gatekeeping of certain systems and code exacerbated delays greatly, and frequently, team members would have to log on at early/late hours to discuss work or fix a bug. We improved communication over time, but many of our delays can be attributed to communication issues and not having a centralized team. If you’re going to use remote team members, make communication a top priority and prepare for the issues that it can cause.

*edit: to clarify, this is NOT the same team, but a team run by Brian Mistoda, who is the narrative lead on Bloodlines 2 (and likely brings the lessons from this experience to bear in his Paradox partnership via Hardsuit Labs). Suffice to say, what I quoted above would imply to me he is a boss who frowns on remote development arrangements, yet that's precisely what the world has forced them into.
 

Enish

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Take all the time you need. Launching against Cyberpunk 2077 might not have been an ideal arrangement anyway.

I'd rather have a solid and well optimized effort that will fruit DLC and sequels. You'll have my support whenever it may come.
 

Ridixo

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I just want to say this: people compere the game and CP2077 a lot with the situation between BLI and Half-life. I, for one, prefer BLII to some high budget futuristic mod for the GTA. Which is what CP2077 has degenerated, Deus Ex: Human revolution is a better Cyperpunk game than CP2077, at least for me. So thanks HSL and PDX for the hard work you put on the game. My best wishes to you, keep your health and have a good week :D
 
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Enish

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I just want to say this: people compere the game and CP2077 a lot with the situation between BLI and Half-life. I, for one, prefer BLII to some high budget futuristic mod for the GTA. Which is what CP2077 has degenerated, Deus Ex: Human revolution is a better Cyperpunk game than CP2077, at least for me.

You'd have a stronger argument denying the effect of Half Life 2 on the sales of Bloodlines #1, given the genre differences. Cyberpunk 2077, being nominally classified as an cRPG, seems a strong contender, and not one to be dismissed irrespective of your personal feelings. Low grade GTA clone or no, it has clearly galvanized a lot of attention from the market, thus making it a legitimate competitor to the sales prospects of Bloodlines 2.

This isn't the place to debate the merits of CD Projekt Red's effort, but I'm of the opinion you're mistaken. There is quite a bit of "RPG" under the hood of their design, as a recent multi-page german article has revealed (it detailed the attribute systems, and other elements I've not seen explored in the the English language press).
 
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RagnarokCzD

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Oh come on ...
That was different age ... when, and where did you learned about existence of Bloodlines?

Personaly i find out this game exists 6years after release, and it was just bcs of my friend, that just find out bcs of his friend ... no idea where he get it. :D

How can you even try to copare that to worldwide anouncement two years before release across multiple platforms, with its own official sites, two official discords (dunno how many unofficial), dozens of unofficial youtube channels, forum, twitter, twitch, promo actions and last but not least quite huge fanbase bcs of first game? :-/
Wich of those things Bloodlines had?

I honestly dunno if im the only player on the globe who do this, as it sometimes in this "release with cyberpunk will be misstake" debates seems. :-/
But i cant understand how can you think that release any game can affect succes of another game. :-/
Yes, there are people who will rather buy CP than BL ... and yes, there will be people who rather buy BL than CP ... and if those people wish to play both, they probably will sooner or later buy both, also concidering how long you allready can pre-order both, i believe that most (maybe not all, but most) people that wish to play both, allready payd for both. :-/

So yes, i get it there can be some effect on initial sales, but please someone tell me this:
What difference it makes if people who wish to play Bloodlines, but also wish to play Cyberpunk, and also wish to play Cyberpunk sooner (wich is the only group that can possibly decerase any Bloodlines 2 initial sales profit), and also refuse to pre-order those games (wich they could do more than 12 times since anouncement, if they cant afford to buy more than one game per payment) ...
What difference it makes if:
A) Bloodlines 2 will be delayed 2-3 months after Cyberpunk, so they dont colide.
B) Bloodlines 2 will be released same day as Cyberpunk, and those people that i described here will buy/play it 2-3 monts after?

Only difference i can find is that those fans who like Bloodlines 2 more, and maybe even wish to play Bloodlines 2 sooner will have to wait for some people who dont even like this game as much as they do. :-/
Im sorry, if this feels harsh, but that is not good way to care about your customers. :-/
 

Bear Squared

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A friend told me that the release date is confirmed for October, remember that dev diaries are getting further apart, there may be a new one soon, and another one before the release date.

October this year? Didn't they already contradict that? Also, is your friend credible? No offense intended, but unless they work for HSL (not Paradox), I would view any info with doubt, as really only HSL probably knows how far the game is really out (the publisher is sometimes the last to know unless they're really keeping an eye on things, and PDX has too many projects to really keep close tabs on this one).

I'd rather see less dev diaries and more progress on the actual game (especially useless dev diaries). I also can't help but wonder how much of a time waste non-essential dev diaries are that could be spent on the game. Also, when a game is delayed, that means you have to keep doing dev diaries to fill in the void unless they issue a statemtent that they're going dark for a while (which it feels like they should, if only to focus on work).
 

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October this year? Didn't they already contradict that? Also, is your friend credible? No offense intended, but unless they work for HSL (not Paradox), I would view any info with doubt, as really only HSL probably knows how far the game is really out (the publisher is sometimes the last to know unless they're really keeping an eye on things, and PDX has too many projects to really keep close tabs on this one).

I'd rather see less dev diaries and more progress on the actual game (especially useless dev diaries). I also can't help but wonder how much of a time waste non-essential dev diaries are that could be spent on the game. Also, when a game is delayed, that means you have to keep doing dev diaries to fill in the void unless they issue a statemtent that they're going dark for a while (which it feels like they should, if only to focus on work).

That was stated on Monday. The news that the game was delayed until 2021 came out on Tuesday. So this is old conjecture that isn't applicable anymore.
 
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Eber

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I really hope they don't do it until the game actually enters real QA, ends production of content, and focuses on bug-fixing (which should be many months before it's ready to ship).

I agree. Instead of potentially forcing yourself into a corner to try to make a deadline and then delaying once again, it is better to just stay silent on any release window. As you said, once all the main features are on a live version, with only tweaks and other minor additions to include, then make an announcement. Seems to be the safest option for them and the community. Just my two cents.
 
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Bear Squared

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I agree. Instead of potentially forcing yourself into a corner to try to make a deadline and then delaying once again, it is better to just stay silent on any release window. As you said, once all the main features are on a live version, with only tweaks and other minor additions to include, then make an announcement. Seems to be the safest option for them and the community. Just my two cents.

Agreed. I think the only advantage to not waiting that long is if the public has a strong reaction to a piece of shown content that's too late to change (like with the art), but the problem is there's been so much of that already another course-correction probably is going to hurt the title even further. I would have thought the approval process at both studios would have been strong enough not to let those assets and trailers get approved, but maybe that's why the Creative Director and PDX Producer got the axe. :( If so, as unfortunate as it is for them, it could be a good thing for the game.
 

Marc_Hicks

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I agree. Instead of potentially forcing yourself into a corner to try to make a deadline and then delaying once again, it is better to just stay silent on any release window. As you said, once all the main features are on a live version, with only tweaks and other minor additions to include, then make an announcement. Seems to be the safest option for them and the community. Just my two cents.

Yes, I do feel that Hardsuit's only real misstep, was in giving a Q1 2020 release window, initially. Had they left it at a 2020 release date, then they would have had greater freedom of Movement on a final release date.
 
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Bear Squared

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Well, 2020 would have been broken anyway, but granted, there's a remote chance they could have had something to show in the interim. While I want news and some game mechanics (I don't even fully understand the game design for this title yet, would be great to get more on that if it exists - the fact they have to hire a systems designer, though, doesn't give me much hope there), I'd gladly trade silence from Hardsuit for more substantial reveals and some artistic improvements to make up for the previous trailers and footage (not counting the old IGN one, which really was a torpedo and was a definite misstep on Hardsuit's part in addition to everything else that has happened).

Also, while newbs might buy it, "2020" can also raise more questions without more specifics and may not have helped the case instead of raising more "but WHEN in 2020" especially for players saving their money, but obviously, giving Q1 2020 was verrrrrry optimistic to the point where I don't know if production and the execs knew what was going on with the title or they needed to let some people go to get a clearer channel of communication on the issues.

I do know if I was the Paradox producer continually giving surprises to Paradox about Hardsuit's lack of progress and also had to answer for the art quality, I'd probably have pushed for a removal and restructure of those employees and the reporting chain. Still, it sucks all around that it wasn't caught earlier - might be symptomatic of PDX being in Sweden and Hardsuit in Seattle, PDX might be better served by having a producer on-site to keep an eye on what Hardsuit's doing and rather than rely on updates, see the truth for themselves.
 
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