On September 26, 2023, I believed that Vampire The Masquerade Bloodhunt was going to meet its demise. Initially, it was announced that the game’s microtransactions would be removed, but Bloodhunt community developer Tobias Solem confirmed to PCGamesN that “the Bloodhunt servers will continue to be live, and we will continue with our timed content releases.” He admitted, though, that the game didn’t reach the necessary player base to sustain further development, leading to the decision to halt it.
Bloodhunt was released in April 2022 and provided a brief revival for the VTM franchise. However, a year and a month later, Sharkmob revealed that active development of the battle royale game had ceased, and in-game purchases would be removed on September 26, 2023. Surprisingly, the day before, on September 25, the developers announced that microtransactions would remain enabled and plans had been postponed. While this news is thrilling for those who continue to support the game, it falls short of our expectations.
Now, let me clarify: Bloodhunt had its flaws. It launched with the Nosferatu clan dominating the game (a surprising change for the World of Darkness’ most despised clan), and nerfs were implemented too late. The release of the duos mode was disappointing, and the excessive wait times in matchmaking killed the excitement before it could even begin. Coupled with the prevalence of cheaters ruining matches, it became a recipe for the game’s eventual demise. Not even the charming Ventrue and mysterious Tremere witches could save it.
However, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t devastated. I invested countless hours into this game, even purchasing the original founder’s pass. I convinced my partner to play it during the early stages of our relationship, and my love for Bloodhunt introduced me to the captivating world of VTM tabletop. I even created my first male custom character in a video game—and he was incredibly attractive. Of course, as a Toreador, he had to be. Move aside, Astarion, my Muse is a genuine vampire.
Setting personal feelings and infatuations aside, Bloodhunt introduced some interesting mechanics. The ability to stack different buffs by consuming Blood Resonances added an enjoyable strategic element to the gameplay. Nosferatu players, for example, always found Melancholic blood to be a great choice, while Brujah players preferred Choleric for increased melee damage. This strategic aspect added depth to a genre that often revolves around simply eliminating opponents.
I also appreciated the short side-quests assigned by the various Primogens. Though brief, these missions provided additional lore to immerse players in the game’s world, making it feel more authentic. Furthermore, Sharkmob’s rendition of Prague remains one of my favorite maps to date. I could spend hours stealthily perched on cranes as a Saboteur or Prowler, observing the city streets below. Alternatively, I could relax in the Divine Disco and soak in the atmosphere. The flickering lights of the Burning Church, casting a gentle glow on every corner, made Sharkmob’s Prague a top-tier video game map.
Moreover, Bloodhunt exudes style. The character cosmetics are stunning and provide a strong incentive to progress through the battle pass. There isn’t a single “bad” item in the collection—especially because you can acquire Mia’s outfit and embody the epitome of Toreador supremacy. The customization options are limitless, and the character designs truly capture the essence of VTM. While Bloodhunt nailed the concept, it struggled to survive in an oversaturated genre.
After all, whether you adore them, despise them, or feel indifferent, it’s no secret that Apex Legends, Warzone, and Fortnite dominate the battle royale genre—some might argue they define it on PC. It’s similar to the dominance of League of Legends and Dota 2 in the MOBA genre or World of Warcraft in the MMORPG realm. How many “LoL killers” or “WoW killers” have tried and failed? Can you even recall their names? I certainly can’t.
When Fortnite exploded in popularity, everyone attempted to jump on the bandwagon (or battle bus). However, no one could replicate its success. Fortnite not only defined the genre but also attracted both adults and children. It established partnerships with major brands, transcended boundaries, and carved out its unique cultural space. While it may not be as talked about as before, Fortnite still reigns supreme in the BR genre—everyone else merely exists in its shadow.
Of course, Apex Legends is the exception. While some of us mourn the missed opportunity for Titanfall 3 (I’m guilty as charged), the lackluster reception to Call of Duty: Warzone 2 left a void in the market. Apex Legends filled that void with excellent balance, sleek characterization, and outstanding gameplay.
Bloodhunt was always at a disadvantage compared to these two established giants. Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines doesn’t enjoy the same level of popularity as Titanfall, and while Bloodhunt had a fantastic concept, it couldn’t generate the same instant following as Apex Legends’ stealthy release.
As a new day dawns on Prague’s World of Darkness, it’s disheartening to see Bloodhunt struggle despite its potential. The servers will remain active for now, allowing players to continue their hunts, but with development largely ceasing, I will never witness what a Malkavian would look like in Bloodhunt. With the reconfirmed release of Bloodlines 2 and an ongoing playthrough of the original Bloodlines, I still hold hope that the VTM franchise will experience the renaissance it deserves.