Ugh: Prey 2 Seems To Have Been Cancelled

By Jim Rossignol on March 24th, 2012 at 4:24 pm.


A NeoGAF poster has spotted that an announcement about the cancellation of Prey 2 seems to be in the pipeline. No official word from Bethesda yet, but tweets from a Human Head employee seem to back it up. I’m honestly really surprised by this. After Dishonored this seemed like Bethesda’s most promising title, as evidenced by our interview from late last year. It’s hard to tell what’s happening behind the NDA’d doors of a developer, of course, but this will be a terrible thing if it turns out to be true.

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130 Comments »

  1. ArtyFishal says:

    Damn. I was really looking forward to this, Prey is one of my favorite games

    • Irishjohn says:

      I was looking forward to it too, though Prey definitely wasn’t one of my favourite games. I wonder will any of the ideas from this project survive for another game? The decision to make this game a Prey sequel sometimes seemed a little arbitrary.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Yeah. It had a deeply stylish trailer, a promising interview, and no sign of MAGICAL NATIVE AMERICAN COMING TO TERMS WITH HIS ANCESTRY.

        What a shame unfortunate event.

    • Torgen says:

      God forbid someone try to make something different, with a little depth.

      This is depressing. I was really looking forward to this.

    • fish99 says:

      Aside from the name the game really had no connection with Prey.

      • lurkalisk says:

        I believe it did, they just hadn’t elaborated much. The protagonist from the first was going to be in it in some capacity as well.

      • MadTinkerer says:

        Some of us who liked aspects of the first and hated other aspects (such as the protagonist) saw this as 100% the right decision.

        And besides, at the end, the protagonist of the first game
        [SPOILERS!]
        chucked everything into the sun. Literally every place you had visited in the game (the aliens grabbed the bar, so even that) got incinerated, along with 100% of the bad guys and whoever didn’t quite make it off in time.
        [/SPOILERS!]
        So the second game wasn’t ever going to have the same setting or antagonists anyway.

        • fish99 says:

          In which case why call it Prey 2?

          I don’t think it’s a good trend to see licenses misused like this to sell games which have no connection to the original to the unsuspecting buyer. I’m well informed enough not to buy them, but many people aren’t.

          I also quite enjoyed Prey and would like a sequel that at least has some elements from the original, but I look at videos of Prey 2 and see nothing I recognize as the Prey universe, or any gameplay elements from Prey.

          • MadTinkerer says:

            The same reason that Half Life 2 is called Half Life 2? HL2 has only slightly more in common with HL1 than Prey 2 does with Prey 1.

            If there’s more to the universe, which certain early development videos of Prey implied, then there’s nothing wrong with setting further adventures in those other worlds. Those other races enslaved by “Mother” came from somewhere.

            Besides, Prey ended on blatant sequel bait. It’s a ham-fisted, utterly mediocre moment overshadowed by all the good and bad that came before it, so it’s easy to forget, but the very end of Prey is sequel bait. So there were plans for a sequel all along.

          • fish99 says:

            Oh come on, almost every character, weapon and enemy from HL1 recurs in HL2. The gameplay is nearly identical too.. It’s clearly the same universe, just a number of years later after an invasion and occupation.

            Also Prey ending on a hinted sequel is irrelevant, because they’re not making that game. They’re just making a random game that has no connection to Prey and using the name to help sell it.

    • Special Agent Brown says:

      This game could survive if picked up by another company, similar to the way True Crime: Hong Kong survived as Sleeping Dogs.

  2. MrMud says:

    Saw this on Eurogamer earlier today. A real shame if it is true.

  3. Jimbo says:

    Always weird when games with good buzz get cancelled. That’s half the battle won already.

  4. DarthGadget says:

    This game looked pritty badass,it was what I had hoped Star Wars:Bounty Hunter would be like back in the day.Dang it look so gooood :(.

  5. westyfield says:

    Damn, this was looking awesome. Right up my neon-lit, rain-soaked alley.

  6. ChromeBallz says:

    History repeats itself…

    I wonder whether we’ll be seeing Prey 2 somewhere in 2018 or so.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I hope not, because the Prey 1 that got released was pretty naff compared to the Prey that was originally concieved. It’d be a shame to see that same downgrade happen to this.

  7. TheBrainninja says:

    I heard some speculation somewhere that maybe Prey 2 was too ambitious for this generation of hardware, though I never heard anything that sounded outside their abilities. If that is the case, or at least is one of the reasons why the project was maybe canned, I would be pretty bummed about that. Let the PC run with it! Bring it to the neXtBox or PS4ever some point in the future!

    I hope these rumors are baseless, but with every passing hour that seems less and less likely.

    • Torgen says:

      Too ambitious for the outdated consoles, is more like it. And everyone *knows* you can’t make money on a PC-only title….

    • El_MUERkO says:

      If console power is the case then they could easily have pushed the boat out for the PC version, sold a tonne of copies on the PC then released the Super Ultra Mega Special Edition on the Nextbox 430 :/

    • pilouuuu says:

      I think that developers should start testing waters with next-gen titles on the PC. Then later they’ll just need to convert to the consoles. But developers like to do it the wrong way…

  8. SkittleDiddler says:

    The original Prey is highly overrated IMO, but this one looked really promising. Bummer.

    Just another reason to put Bethesda on my blacklist, I guess.

    • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

      UNDERrated, more like.

      It seems you can’t post an article about Prey OR Prey 2 without a bunch of people popping up to express how much they hated the original. It seriously seems to draw the Dragon Age 2 levels of hatred and I’m not sure it deserves it.

      It had gravity manipulation, and portals, and scale tricks, but meh, who cares about that, now a Native American protagonist, that’s a dealbreaker!

      • MD says:

        So a large proportion of the people who dislike it dislike it because they’re racists? That seems like a bit of a crazy insult to throw around without any evidence.

  9. mrwonko says:

    Might not have been very similar to Prey, but it sure looked interesting anyway. Would be a shame if it was cancelled.

  10. TychoCelchuuu says:

    HUGE FROWNY FACE

  11. caddyB says:

    Better if it’s canceled if it was going to suck otherwise.

    • LTK says:

      Did it look like it was going to suck?

      • caddyB says:

        You never know if they could really make all those great ideas they were talking about a reality though. It looked and sounded great, but that is also.. kind of hard.

        • LTK says:

          That’s just as true for any other ambitious game that gets announced. I’d have preferred it to have been finished and bombed than not having been finished at all.

          • Zelius says:

            I understand how you might have preferred that, but it doesn’t make much sense, financially.

          • lurkalisk says:

            Profitability depends quite a bit on how it looks, not whether it’s good. The first few weeks are the most important, and Prey 2 definitely had what it takes to sell well initially. So it’s set to sell at least a decent amount. If it’s good, everyone’s happy. If it’s bad, at least we know and Bethesda would likely make their investment back.

          • Xocrates says:

            Duke Nukem Forever sold less than 500.000 copies on it’s first month, and that was one of the most hyped and anticipated games ever made.

            It’s entirely reasonable to assume that if the game was bad, even with good marketing, Bethesda did not expect to make the money back and just decided to kill it before the cost rose further.

          • LionsPhil says:

            DNF really wasn’t hyped in the everyone-wants-it way by the time it was released, unlike this—it was just widely known. It had become a running joke driven by curiosity to see what had emerged from its tortuous journey through a developmental large intestine, and the early response was that it was a stinker.

          • Xocrates says:

            Regardless, DNF had way more visibility and interest than this one, even if only due to its status as a joke. I would be willing to bet that the amount of people interested in getting DNF was greater by an order of magnitude compared with the people interested in Prey 2.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Strange. It never stopped all those games that did “suck” from being released. Why break a tradition? :P

          But really, it’s sad when so much work goes into something for it to come to nothing. Looked rather unique. Not 100% space marines stuff.

  12. simoroth says:

    I’d like to point out that although the cancellation is very likely, those tweets don’t back it up.

    Short sighted marketing departments and executives sometimes stop developers from discussing their work at conference because they are idiotic and think that they are giving away secrets to the competition or polluting their marketing drive with things they don’t understand.

    • Vandelay says:

      Quite. I was about to post to say that the tweet is only in reference to Zenimax pulling the Human Head talk out of GDC. Doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence, but it is certainly not acknowledging the game being dropped.

      Game looked awesome though and was definitely one of my most anticipated titles.

    • Commisar says:

      yes, RPS took that comment WAY out of context.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      From the perspective of a marketing director though, this isn’t bad publicity. People are talking about the game even though there’s nothing to announce. If it’s still business as usual, this is effectively a free publicity drive and all they have to do is come out and say “nope, we’re still making the game” and it gets people talking.

  13. frenz0rz says:

    Bugger, I was quite looking forward to that.

  14. Unaco says:

    We don’t know any details about this yet… so it might be a bit hasty to throw outrage at Bethesda, or say this is a terrible thing. The game looked and sounded great… wonderful concept, great ideas, and the devs were saying all of the right things in the interviews and releases. But… it was quite ambitious, quite an audacious type of game to be making… and it was slated for release this year. We’d seen some footage of it… but not much… and that which we did see seemed pretty linear. It could be that Human Head weren’t delivering or weren’t able to deliver the game that they had intended… that the interesting ideas and concepts and gadgets and open ended world and approach to bounties, weren’t being pulled off. Could be that what was intended as a somewhat immersive sim type FPS was just a sub-par shooter.

    Bethesda might have just saved us from Daikatana 2.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      >The game looked and sounded great… wonderful concept, great ideas, and the devs were saying all of the right things in the interviews and releases. But… it was quite ambitious, quite an audacious type of game to be making

      Yes. I thought it sounded lovely, but at the same time I thought – “Wow, this can’t be cheap to make”. Big, open world, open levels, non-linear story (I think it was hinted at?) and jawdropping graphics….

    • caddyB says:

      I couldn’t say it better myself. No really, I tried.

    • Acorino says:

      It’s true that Prey 2 sounds very ambitious, but this is true for pretty much all games published by Bethesda, isn’t it? I just hope this rumor isn’t true. I was very much looking forward to it. But I wondered why we heard so little about it recently…

    • Xerian says:

      Even more so when realising that Beth arent the deciding factor, but ZeniMax are.

    • Harlander says:

      Bethesda might have just saved us from Daikatana 2.

      On the other hand, they might have ‘saved’ us from something great.

      I’ll keep my grumbling powder dry, though…

  15. LifeSuport says:

    Bethesda, striving to be come the new EA, Activision of this decade…

    • Unaco says:

      Human Head… almost as bad as 3D Realms.

      • MadTinkerer says:

        I keep forgetting Prey 2 isn’t by 3D Realms, because Prey was originally started at 3D Realms shortly after DNF.

    • magnus says:

      Oh really, just because of ONE cancelled game? (enourmous sigh/headdesk)

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        You obviously haven’t been paying attention to Bethesda’s current track record, eh?

        • ResonanceCascade says:

          They published some crappy games and have QA issues. TEY MUST BEE EVEEL!

          • caddyB says:

            And Paradox seems to be well liked.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Not evil, just irresponsible. As a AAA game developer and publisher, they should know better.

      • Kaira- says:

        Well, there’s also the fact of completely disregarding customers while knowing to launch a game with a gamebreaking bug which hinders the ability to enjoy a game. What game is it? Why, it’s Skyrim. On PS3. Source here. Then there’s the case of Obsidian’s bonuses, but I wouldn’t personally count it, though it shows something about their morals.

        • Jenks says:

          What did Bethesda do wrong in terms of Obsidian’s bonuses? They failed to meet quality expectations (as usual), so they didn’t get their bonus. In business, almost doesn’t count. Bethesda did absolutely nothing wrong.

          • Acorino says:

            Measuring quality based on an arbitrary Metacritic score is not what I would describe as the right course of action…it’s not like such scores are something of a reliable metric. For one, scores are given by reviewers based on intuition than on anything else. And then how do you arrive at a fairly weighed score, anyway? And how do you account for reviews on sites that don’t give any score at all, like Ars Technica, Kotaku and Rock, Paper, Shotgun?
            Not to forget the stupidity of converting all kinds of different score systems into a single one. When IGN gave New Vegas a 9, how could this be interpreted on the MetaCritic scale? Is this like a low 9, a middling 9 or a high 9? What is a low 9 anyway? 90%? Or something like 87 if we would account for rounding up?
            And what is about all the reviews that weren’t counted? Because the reviews that MetaCritic picks are just a small and pretty arbitrary selection. Some reviews by german publications like GameStar and PC Games are accounted for, but what about this review by gamezone.de? With its score of 9,1 it might have made all the difference…

            No, I think this just another way for Bethesda to weasel their way out of bonus payments. I can understand the criteria of commercial success, but a Metacritic score?

          • caddyB says:

            It doesn’t matter if it’s Metacritic score or if my grandfather’s game review website that only he reads himself gives it a certain amount of stars or something. I love Obsidian as much as the next guy, but If you don’t meet the amount that’s agreed upon earlier in the contract, nobody owes you anything. It’s sad, and it’s wrong to measure how good a game is based on it’s Metacritic score, but if they signed it that way, that’s how it’s going to be.

            It sucks to be a developer without your own publishing arm, it seems.

          • Acorino says:

            Sure, those are the terms, but I think we can agree that they are pretty stupid terms? And that the difference between a 84 and a 85 has little to do with the quality of the concerned game?

          • caddyB says:

            Yes I agree but like I’ve said, it makes all the difference when you need a 85 to graduate and get 84 instead. That’s just how things work.

    • Shooop says:

      By making a quality game that was released too early but continues to be patched?

      Yes, that is so much like EA and Activision who purposely cripple a game right from release and tell everyone there is nothing wrong with it, that they’re right and everyone else is wrong.

  16. HermitUK says:

    I was really looking forward to this. Previews certainly made it sound like something I wanted to play.

  17. D-e-f- says:

    It received so much praise last E3, I was really looking forward to this … well, I still am. Holding out hope!

  18. Bfox says:

    I wonder if this is another publicity stunt by way of getting people to talk about it again, whatever, game looked sort of promising.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Making people think your game isn’t coming out sounds like a really stupid publicity stunt. “Gee, let’s confuse the consumer so they don’t even know if our game is actually being made or not.”

      The fact that the Doom 4 rumors got a swift denial and this got a “no comment” tells me that something fishy is going on, be it a major delay or a cancellation. I can’t imagine that we’re going to hear that it’s all just peachy.

  19. MadMatty says:

    This is so weird, the gameplay video and concept semmed quite promising

  20. Demiath says:

    That’s a shame; it looked really good, most of the press coverage have been very positive, the concept was solid open world stuff which should have been doable, and there were no prior indications that the development was troubled in any way.

  21. Beelzebud says:

    Let me guess: It was using idtech5, and they couldn’t get it running good without significant re-writes of the renderer.

  22. empyrion says:

    Human Head just cannot seem to get a break. I have to say that this is really unexpected, as I got the impression that they were quite advanced in the development process. Are we sure we are not talking about a large postponement instead of a cancellation?

  23. Petethegoat says:

    I guess this is the perfect time to see if Kickstarter can work for games with an AAA budget, eh?

    • Torgen says:

      Except that Bethesda probably owns all the code and art, seeing as how they were paying Human Head to make the game.

  24. Derpentine says:

    Beelzebud – no it was tech4 with heavy modifications.

    Anyway – Bethesda were not concerned about the engine or anything like that, it seems to be around release dates and changes to the content. They stopped paying the guys at human head, who carried on working for a few months.

    Publishers, dinosaurs that need to be culled.

  25. zontax says:

    It’s like they don’t want to make profit.

    It’s one of the few games I’ve really been looking forward to.
    and you would expect that Bethesda has some room to take risks after the HUGE success of skyrim.

  26. Wreckdum says:

    I still remember the first time I crawled through that vent then turned around and it was a different room… MIND = BLOWN. I can’t believe no one else did that until Portal… Or more people aren’t using it now.

    • mrwonko says:

      Well, there’s Antichamber, at least.

      • LTK says:

        I think Antichamber is in a different league altogether. Not so much “MIND = BLOWN” as an infinite loop of “MIND = BLOWN = MIND = BLOWN = MIND” printed on a Möbius strip.

    • LionsPhil says:

      That kind of trickery had been done before Portal: the original Unreal Tournament engine can do it. (And the very original, cancelled Prey did it all properly, so could pull off stuff like portals that are part of complex moving level geometry.)

    • Thiefsie says:

      I believe Forsaken (Descent Clone on hi tech back in the day) had physically improbably rooms ‘portals’ as well which I found to be refreshingly mind bending.

  27. Dowr says:

    Damn it. God damn it! Although I have no reason to expect Prey 2 to be good (sequel to a bad game and published by Bethesda) the concept really interested me and could of been a great game if the developers really nailed the execution.

  28. mcwizardry says:

    Hope it’s not true, there were a lot of elements to the game that seemed promising.

  29. Hoaxfish says:

    This just feels stupid, especially since it seemed so far along, and seemed like a genuinely “new thing” compared to a lot of the other stuff in the current market.

  30. Yuri says:

    A shame. The concepts that the devs liked to talk about really had me excited for Prey 2. :(

  31. Turbobutts says:

    It’s over, Bethesda have defected to the dark side.

    • magnus says:

      A massive face plam is the only conceivable response I can make to your post.

      • Tokamak says:

        Yeah, everyone knows that Bethesda has been a wolf in sheep’s clothing for quite a while now.

        • JackShandy says:

          Game development isn’t divided into people who want to make you happy and people who want your money. It’s just a big mass of people who want to do both.

  32. Iskariot says:

    How in the name of the gods of gaming is this possible?
    The game sounded so promising and unique. It was on the top of my list.
    I so much would have liked to play a bounty-hunter in een alien open city world.

    Perhaps Lucas Arts could pick up on the idea and create a game called ‘Nar Shaddaa’. Just copy the Prey 2 idea but in a Star Wars setting and you are golden.
    I would sell my soul and pay with my blood to be able to finally play a memorable non-MMO Star Wars game again.

  33. Drakedude says:

    Damn it. Damn it all to hell. This had better not be true, and if it is I DEMAND A FUCKING KICKSTARTER!

  34. rocketman71 says:

    Rage was released and Prey 2 is cancelled?.

    Great work, Bethesda. Great fucking work. And another “notch” up the scale of shitty publishers. EA, Acti and Ubi are waiting for you up there, guys.

  35. jplayer01 says:

    So, where’s the petition I need to sign?

    • Drakedude says:

      +1 all the fucking way. I can accept a delay. But not it being cancelled. Hell no.

  36. Muzman says:

    All we know is that the GDC talks were cancelled, don’t we?
    Couldn’t that just mean they missed a target or two and they’re not going to do any such PR until it’s back on track?

  37. Artista says:

    I prey this isn’t true.

  38. JackShandy says:

    This seems like jumping to conclusions – or it would, if Bethesda weren’t being silent on it. I don’t think there’s a lot of evidence that Prey 2′s cancelled, but why wouldn’t Bethesda speak up if it wasn’t?

  39. Kadayi says:

    Damn it, that sucks. I was looking forward to this one.

  40. Max.I.Candy says:

    actually this hasnt surprised me all that much.
    had a funny feeling about this from the start.
    would of been on my list if it became real.

  41. Navagon says:

    Oh come of it! They published Rouge Warrior and released Brink and Rage in unfinished states and then they cancel this one? Prey 2 looked stunning. I don’t buy it. There’s got to be more to this.

  42. Xaromir says:

    To be honest: I see it as finished. No every great game needs a sequel.

    • Acorino says:

      It is more a sequel for marketing purposes than for anything else. It has little to do with the first game regarding the story, setting, gameplay and characters involved. Well, the aesthetics are pretty similar, I guess.

  43. pilouuuu says:

    Here we go… All attempts at creating something ambitious, original or different destroyed… Maybe they were annoyed that it was not like COD…

  44. newprince says:

    It’s like STALKER 2, only more cancelled.

    Seriously though, I played a good amount of the original only because the MP was somewhat interesting (we played the MP demo when I was a game tester at THQ. Ah… memories). It had some novel ideas in that game, but the single player was laughably bad IMO.

    This game seemed like such a departure that it was hard to get a feel of what it actually was. That seems to work for games like GW2, but not for a game like this. Meh

  45. StaticMigrant says:

    This better not be true. I liked the setting, the idea, the gameplay and everything they’ve shown us so far, even if it was not a huge amount. My “interesting FPS of 2012″ list is already too small anyway… it would be a real shame if it missed this game.

  46. Silphatos says:

    Nice commercial Bethesda.

  47. Coldblade says:

  48. kud13 says:

    Really?
    this was the most promising game of last E3.

    great job, Bethesda.

  49. RagingLion says:

    Nnnooooooooooooo. (is my probable response if it made good on what it seemed to already be showing that it was doing)

  50. daphne says:

    Depressing. I was very interested in this game, and I’m someone who plays raw FPS (i.e. no significant bleeding from other genres) once every few years or so.