It’s been a long time since Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, the most recent game based on White Wolf’s World of Darkness card game, made its release. In fact it’s been 15 years, and there have been rumors of the series returning to video games ever since. First EVE Online publisher CCP Games had the rights to Vampire, but Paradox Interactive picked up all White Wolf Publishing IP in 2015. Now it’s looking like Paradox is teasing a new Vampire The Masquerade game, and it’s doing it through a Tinder dating app parody.
“Tender” purports to be a beta for a web-based “soulmate algorithm,” but it’s clearly more than that, in fact it seems to be a full ARG. It starts by asking you for your Paradox Interactive account, clearly showing that whatever this is is made by Paradox. There’s blood imagery all over the site, the questions are framed as “quests,” and the whole thing feels more like creating a character. In fact, it most feels similar to how players chose what type of vampire they’d be in Bloodlines.
The questions quickly get sinister, such as asking what image represents you best out of a blood splatter, an evil clown, a ghost girl similar to Sadako from The Ring, and a pile of maggots. Other questions include a list of interests that include “Chaos Magick,” “Demonology,” and “Murderers,” and how you’re feeling out of a list of negative emotions. Of course, it also asks your blood type. After completing the initial questions you get further quests, which get increasingly weird.
Continuing the ARG theme outside the app, there are supposedly secret codes hidden in videos, “leaked” memos from Tender’s CEO, and an investigation into the website. Paradox has spoken previously about its plans to develop Vampire The Masquerade and the other White Wolf properties, with outgoing CEO Fredrik Wester saying, in his end of year report for 2018, that “progress is being made” towards adapting the IP. We’ll have to see if this particular ARG leads to Vampire as it unfolds.