For those not familiar, World of Darkness is an RPG franchise launched by White Wolf Publishing in 1990 about supernatural creatures—vampires, werewolves, wraiths, that sort of thing—who live on the boundaries of our real world. There are also several videogames based on the same setting, at least one of which—Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines—is well-regarded and fondly remembered.
EVE Online studio CCP Games acquired White Wolf in 2006 as part of its big plan to make a WoD MMO, which sadly fell through in 2014; a year after that, White Wolf went to Paradox, which set hearts aflame by greenlighting Bloodlines 2. Alas, that has come to grief as well, at least temporarily, as developer Hardsuit Labs was booted from the project and the whole thing was “delayed indefinitely” in February.
Christine Boylan, a writer on shows including Castle, Constantine, Cloak and Dagger, and the Punisher, has signed on to the project, as has Shadow and Bone showrunner and executive producer Eric Heisserer.
“Eric and Christine are among the most extraordinary creators working today,” Hivemind president and co-founder Jason Brown said. “They’re also gamers who have played in WoD since it began. It’s a rare opportunity when the connection between storyteller and story runs this deep, and that is the alchemy which has led to many of our favorite and most culturally resonant franchises.”
To be honest, I feel a certain hesitancy about this whole thing. I love Bloodlines, it’s one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played, but it’s also an exception to the rule established by all the other entirely unremarkable World of Darkness games floating around out there—and don’t forget that Bloodlines itself didn’t exactly set the world on fire when it was new. The other side of that coin is, of course, The Witcher, and if Netflix can spin an obscure story about a Polish monster hunter into small-screen gold, who’s to say Paradox and The Witcher’s production company can’t do the same with World of Darkness?
Specific titles and release targets haven’t been announced yet, but are expected to be revealed “in the coming year.” Hopefully we’ll have some word on Bloodlines 2 by then, too.