Human Dead: Dishonored Dev Rumored To Be On Prey 2

By Nathan Grayson on May 31st, 2013 at 9:30 pm.

Here at RPS, we’re not often in the business of reporting rumors, but this one’s too much of a doozy to leave inside the colossal organic womb ship from which all rumors are born. Prey 2‘s been MIA since time immemorial, with various rumblings of strikes, stall outs, and near-cancellation the only things even vaguely resembling a warm trail for us to follow. Now, however, according to Kotaku and Prey 2 fansite Alien Noire, Dishonored developer Arkane has – allegedly somewhat reluctantly – taken the reigns. THE PLOT THICKENS. Watch it ooze and burble after the break.

Apparently Arkane Austin (as opposed to the studio’s other branch in Lyon) is completely rebooting the troubled – though exceedingly promising-looking – bounty hunter, with a new planned release of 2016 vastly improving upon the old version’s “probably never”. Here, however, is the most interesting bit:

“Bethesda had been trying for a few months now to convince Arkane to work on the game. Last week, the tipster says, Bethesda finally forced their hand: Arkane would develop Prey 2, scrapping all the work that Human Head has done and starting from scratch.”

“Some people at Arkane Austin are upset about this decision, but higher-ups at the company are telling the team to forget that it’s called Prey 2 and just treat it like a new System Shock.”

For its part, Bethesda’s refused to comment, and original Prey 2 developer Human Head is keeping quiet for now.

If, however, it’s all true, then wow. Definitely didn’t see any of this coming. And while I want a new System Shock just as much as any adult whose youth consisted of actively and violently fearing that Shodan was lurking in the walls of his life, Human Head’s vision of Prey 2 looked like its own scuzzy, multi-eyed parkour creature. If Bethesda really did decide to put it out to pasture, consider me heartbroken.

Obviously, though, all of this is far from confirmed, and I plan to do some digging of my own. If I’m able to unearth any other details, you, RPS reader who I secretly love more than all the others, will be the first to know.

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61 Comments »

  1. Monkeh says:

    I just hope Arkane will develop what Prey 2 was going to be.

    Prey 2′s gameplay sounded very interesting and this seems like an awesome fit, developer wise!

    • onsamyj says:

      But it’s gonna be (very?) different game.

      It would be way cooler if there was “Pray 2” from HH and another game, what they want to do themselves, from Arkane.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        I would personally be over the moon with a blade runner type open world, with a system shock ‘simulation’ ethic. Deus ex meets Deckard.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I felt just the opposite. Human Head’s vision looked really cool, and I’m sad we won’t see it, but if Arkane is going to do this, then a System Shock-style game makes a lot more sense. Arkane specializes in Looking Glassery, and I think they should stick with that philosophy.

      • mnsdaytfet says:

        As of right now the Austin team, or at least parts of it, are working on the 3rd piece of DLC, The Brigmore Witches. Whether anybody at Lyon is involved in that is hard to tell, as is what either team will be up to once that is released. http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/21/news/companies/

        • ResonanceCascade says:

          Speaking of System Shock, the bots here get more insane every day.

          • GepardenK says:

            Wow…this is getting scary. Imagine if that url turned into something clever too. We might actually have bots contributing with interesting remarks and giving us valuable on-topic links!

            Where will this end?!

          • Grey Poupon says:

            They just pick parts of comments further down the page and post them as a reply to an earlier comment. It’s a lot more mechanical and simple than it might seem at first.

  2. onsamyj says:

    you, RPS reader who I secretly love more than all the others

    Me?!

  3. Adriaan says:

    Makes you wonder how far they actually got with it at Human Head, I remember a fair few ingame looking screenies having been released before cancellation.

  4. Vagrant says:

    I saw Prey 2 at PAX Prime (2011?) and it was the best thing I saw at the show. I would weep neon tears if we don’t get at least some of what they envisioned.

  5. MichaelPalin says:

    There is a fan site of Prey 2… why?

  6. KillahMate says:

    Prey 2 is alive! YES!
    It’s just a rumor! NO!
    Arkane is working on it! YES!
    It’s a different Arkane from the Dishonored crew! NO!
    It’s a next-gen game, with plenty of development time alloted! YES!
    Arkane are being forced into it and aren’t happy! NO!
    They’re patterning it after System Shock! YES!
    The intriguing original Prey 2 concept is being completely scrapped! NO!
    Nathan loves me! YES!

    My head hurts.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Pretty much, although if “another System Shock” actually means “brand it as System Shock 3 and put SHODAN in it”, that’s very much no.

      Every time a villain fails to destroy the world, it lessens them.

      • KillahMate says:

        If Ken Levine wants to prove to the world how out-of-the-box he really is, he’ll make System Shock 3 and have SHODAN win.

  7. feffrey says:

    If they make the game like the live action video they did it should be pretty awesome.

    • KillahMate says:

      Are you referring to the E3 cinematic trailer? This one http://youtu.be/5h2TkpFEsn8 ? Because if so, I’m fairly certain that apart from the first 20 seconds or so, that was all CGI. Superb work, no doubt about it.

      • Cleave says:

        Eh looks nice and all but what’s that got to do with Prey? As in why even call it Prey? Looks like Deus Ex with dumb looking aliens.

        edit: Just watched the gameplay demo. Looks great, shame it was canned. Still not sure why they needed to call it Prey though.

    • jeowchoi says:

      What might have been: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ey4Vtve2iI
      *Actual gameplay begins at 0:33

      The game looked very polished, I’m baffled as to why Bethesda is completely starting over.

      EDIT: link fail, doh.

  8. Creeping Death says:

    What is the deal with the Prey franchise and massive delays? :/

  9. Maritz says:

    Trying to work out if “taken the reigns” is a pun that’s too clever for me to get, or whether it’s just a typo.

    • LTK says:

      Probably just a mistake. You would take control of a project like taking the reins of a horse, but not the reign of a horse, because horses do not reign. Except for those in Equestria.

  10. Shuck says:

    So what’s happened with Human Head? This is very strange. Starting over would get expensive… The only times a studio I’ve worked for had a publicly announced project taken away and given to someone else, either the studio was shutting down, or we had never actually been working on the game in the first place (despite the publisher’s press releases). Neither seems to be the case here. There was that “strike” at the studio – did they decide to drop the game, or did Zenimax get punitive and take it away to punish their insolence (which seems all too plausible)?

    • scatterbrainless says:

      My thoughts as well; I hope that RPS takes the time to follow-up on both the truth of the rumor and, if true, the story behind such a move.

  11. JiminyJickers says:

    I liked the original idea a lot. If they scrap it, I’m going to be sad.

  12. Beelzebud says:

    I still don’t understand why a Prey sequel is necessary, especially if it will have nothing in common with the first game.

    • onsamyj says:

      Human from Earth, who get snatched during extraterrestrial attack and find himself in hostile alien environment. You shoot stuff. Nothing in common, yes.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        Nothing generic about that.

        • Caiman says:

          Human wakes up with no memory. On space station. Attacked by aggressive creatures. Discovers the place is run by hostile AI that wants to destroy all life. Human runs around and shoots stuff.

          Nothing generic about that.

      • Cleave says:

        Er the first was about a native american who was abducted and tried to free humanity, this was going to be about a cyberpunk bounty hunter.

        • onsamyj says:

          And your point?

          I don’t get you people, you groan when there is CoD after CoD, after CoD, but then devs trying to evolve franchise, you groan too. And it’s not like “Quake” series, there only 4 is sequel to 2, or transition of “Syndicate” from RTS to FPS, there are enough similarity there, if you not blind.

          Was there complains after anoncment of “World of Warcraft” in line of “we want only RTS!”, I wonder?

          • Cleave says:

            no I thought it looked like it could be great, I just don’t really see what it has to do with Prey. Mind you I’m basing that on watching a 5 minute demo so..

        • Ringwraith says:

          They did mention Tommy would make an appearance to tie it together, and I think the plane the person was on was sucked up by the same sphere-thing Tommy got trapped in.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Bethesda already spent so much buying the IP and running it halfway through development with Human Head that they probably figure in for a penny, in for a pound.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      In Prey’s defense, about 2/3 of it is seriously awesome. I love it so much I was willing to play past the tragically lame parts again to get to the awesome stuff. It is a deeply flawed game, and not nearly as cleverly written as the devs thought they were, but a huge chunk of this game is some of the best experiences I’ve had playing an FPS.

      The constant team changes behind the scenes no doubt contributed to the schizophrenic nature of the final game, not to mention how little survived from the original prototypes, but some amazing levels survived the process. It’s a pity about the awful bits: the entire ridiculous storyline, annoying and unlikable protagonist, and the beginning and very final levels book-ending the good parts. But in the middle, there’s a gem of almost-a-whole-game that I really, really quite enjoy.

      So there’s definitely potential for a sequel to be all-good.

  13. Teovald says:

    Arkane Austin ? Wasn’t Dishonored developed by the French Arkane ?

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      It was both. Sounds like they might be thinking about splitting it into two actual studios, instead of just two locations.

      Also worth noting: I remember hearing that Harvey Smith recently moved to France, so even if this is true, it sounds like he’s probably working on something else.

      • Teovald says:

        haa. Thanks for the clarification. That’s the first time I hear about Arkane Austin and since Arkane is originally french studio I was a bit confused..

  14. Ernesto25 says:

    Loved prey for all its flaws, was kind of interested how prey2 would turn out and still am after this news.

  15. Justin Keverne says:

    Arkane was one studio in two locations for Dishonored, I believe the split was fairly even, though I think Austin had the edge in programmers and systems designers. Looking at the Zenimax Careers page Arkane Lyon are now recruiting for a range of programming and design positions so it’s possible they are looking to become a two project studio.

    As of right now the Austin team, or at least parts of it, are working on the 3rd piece of DLC, The Brigmore Witches. Whether anybody at Lyon is involved in that is hard to tell, as is what either team will be up to once that is released.

    I’m keen to see whatever Arkane do next though I’d hope it was something they were invested in rather than a project decreed from “on high”. That said what little was shown of Prey 2 look like it could have been really special so it’s a shame to see that disappear into the ether.

  16. kwyjibo says:

    The Kotaku article is basically, “We heard this rumour, and we have no idea if it’s true, so we’re not publishing. But then someone else pulled the trigger and stole all our potential page views! Fuck it, here it is. Whatever, this is internet journalism!”

    • kwyjibo says:

      Here’s my rumour, which may or may not be true – but if you publish, so will Kotaku and the rest of the internet.

      Failed Kickstarter project, Kung Fu Superstar is to be an Xbox One exclusive, will feature in Microsoft’s E3 keynote.

      This could be an RPS exclusive!

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      In fairness, if the games industry itself weren’t so unprofessional and secretive all the time, resulting in constant leaks from disempowered employees, there would be no need for this kind of rumour-mongering.

  17. MadTinkerer says:

    “forget that it’s called Prey 2 and just treat it like a new System Shock.”

    From Quake-style twitch shooter with extremely neat tech ideas and super-cheesy character designs (original Prey prototype), to dev-hell via at least three entire team changes, to finally releasing on modified Doom 3 engine with not-quite-so-cheesy storyline and some SERIOUSLY AWESOME level designs but a few serious flaws which keep it from greatness, to yet another new team resurrecting some of the old ideas and adding a ton of their own for the sequel, to that being scrapped and the whole thing being given over to the Dishonoured guys who are effectively told to make it into an immersive sim.

    Wow.

    So, in summary: other than the perspective, and maybe a gameplay mechanic involving portals, Prey 2 will literally share nothing in common with the original vision for Prey 1. And probably not much with the final version of Prey either. Not necessarily a bad thing, but what a rollercoaster ride behind the scenes to get to this point!

    • Caiman says:

      I loved Prey as well, but given the turbulent history of the Prey IP I’m not surprised Arkane wouldn’t be too happy about being linked to it! Assuming this is all true of course. At this stage, anything sounds plausible.

  18. Danny says:

    Great news.

    Bethesda: I kindly ask you to let Humanhead go so they can Kickstart the spiritual successor to the best MP melee game in history: Rune.

    Thank you.

    • Cleave says:

      oh my god I completely forgot about Rune, I loved that game so much! I’m sure the CD will be kicking around somewhere, might install it :D

  19. Freud says:

    Why are they trying to make two completely unrelated sequels to an insignificant IP? Prey came and went without people paying much attention to it.

    I guess with someone making another Rise of the Triads and Shadow Warrior, there is something about marginal IPs that evoke nostalgia among developers.

    • F3ck says:

      Prey seemed like a game people sort of noticed after the fact. It had some cool ideas (though some we’ve already seen better executed) and I think mostly it had potential.

      I believe the hope is, with the benefit of some hindsight and some tlc, it might very well be a better version of the original.

  20. Penicillin says:

    I’m with you Nathan, this news is heart-breaking. The game that Human Head envisioned is just begging to be made. If Bethesda was willing to throw all of that into the trash and cut their losses, then there must have been some serious flaws we never saw. Either way–heartbreaking :(

    I’ll always take a new System Shock style game, but without Ken Levine and under intense scrutiny/pressure from a big-budget publisher, I’m sure we’ll get something more in common with Dead Space. I’m seeing a linear corridor shooter with decent action and atmosphere, but with none of the exploration and desperation of a true System Shock :(

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Have you played Arx Fatalis or Dishonored? If Arkane is going to make a rebranded System Shock game, I believe they’ll do it properly (even Dark Messiah had some System Shock-like stuff happening). The people over there are diehard fans of the series. Just as fanatical as idiots like me.

    • Bart Stewart says:

      I find this puzzling. I didn’t play Prey, so I don’t have any lust for a sequel to it. I did see a description of Human Head’s Prey 2, and thought it sounded intriguing, though. I wouldn’t mind seeing that game get made.

      On the other hand, my eye-ears definitely perked when the words “System Shock” hit them. Of all studios, the only one I would trust to handle a proper sequel is Bethesda/Arkane. Why does anyone still think Ken Levine should be, wants to be, or even is capable of being the designer of a good System Shock 3? For one thing, he wasn’t the only person responsible for System Shock 2 — Jon Chey was there, too, along with folks who didn’t leave Looking Glass to start Irrational.

      Maybe more importantly, each of the three BioShocks from Levine has lost more and more of the core design features that made System Shock special. From the original player-centric design, where there were usually multiple ways to solve a wide variety of tactical problems, we’re reached the point in Levine’s games where it’s about fast-paced action (quickly killing a bunch of identical enemies in the open) to get the next pellet of Our Totally Awesome Narrative. Even quicksave has now been removed in the shift away from player agency toward “just keep pushing those Forward and Shoot and Vigor buttons and enjoy the show.”

      At this point I know better than to think even Bethesda/Arkane would deliver a true System Shock successor without the various fetishes associated with developing for consoles as the primary platform. (Though the new boxes might improve that a little.) Even so, better them — who at least try to offer some respect to player choice — than Irrational, based on the directions all these studios have taken in the games they’ve chosen to make.

  21. Zyrxil says:

    Here’s a big rumor/drama dump from Neogaf that may shed a light on things. Summary: Bethesda has a history of not playing nice with the independent studios it contracts to develop for it, which is why Obsidian didn’t end up with bonuses, and Arkane Studios had to sell itself to Bethesda. They did the same with Human Head, but it back fired, which is why they’re now redoing Prey 2 from scratch even though it’ll cost a ton of money- if they don’t use the license, they lose it.

    QUOTE: You guys know Bethesda owns Arkane, so they can make them do whatever they want them to do. During production of Dishonored, Bethesda started to arbitrarily reject milestones. In doing so, the then-independent-Arkane had to find ways to pay their staff since successful milestones are what feeds the bank. Knowing that Arkane wasn’t making their milestones on time and potentially going to suffer internally, such as loosing staff, or ultimately shutting down, Bethesda’s parent company Zenimax stepped in to help Arkane out by floating them loans during this “quality issue” period. That seemed nice of Zenimax to help out Arkane, right?

    Now since Bethesda had been rejecting milestones because they didn’t believe Arkane was maintaining the quality they originally promised, Arkane’s also severely behind schedule because time has been spent correctly and addressing Bethesda’s issues with previously rejected milestones.

    Since Zenimax is also the company that’s invested in Bethesda, they start telling Arkane they have serious concerns about their ability to finish the Dishonored. Even though they originally floating them loans to keep Arkane running, they now give them an ultimatum: pay back the loans or sell them the studio for some piddly amount. If Arkane doesn’t do either, then Zenimax will take them court for breach of contract since they’re now so far behind in the project.

    Remember, it’s because Zenimax’s company Bethesda has been rejecting milestones that put Arkane behind in the first place.

    The outcome is Arkane reluctantly sold their independence to Zenimax so they could continue the creative work they started and at the very least have public recognition for their efforts.

    This is why Bethesda can tell Arkane to do whatever they want them to do now.

    What would you do if you were making Prey 2 and started wondering why Bethesda was suddenly treating you differently? You’d start looking at past independent developers Bethesda has had deals with to understand if it’s a developer issue or a publisher issue. When you discover Bethesda started to reject milestones at not only Arkane, but Splash Damage and inXile, you start to see a pattern. Knowing the fate of Arkane, if you were the Prey 2 developer would just sit there and see what happens or would you confront the publisher?

    +

    QUOTE: Human Head has their own version of idTech. This is the only version that supports open world gameplay. Arkane on the other hand only has experience with Unreal. Because of these differences the project has to be restarted. There’s no way it’ll ever be what Human Head created, since Bethesda doesn’t have source code for Prey 2. Even if they did, it would take them months to decipher it and I can’t imagine Human Head cheerfully helping them out.

    Also, it’s going to cost Bethesda 10x more to have a different company do anything with Prey 2 than let Human Head finish it. The only developer they own which has the man-power and lower costs to make Prey 2 is Arkane Austin. Machine Games might have been a possible candidate but we know they’re now working on Wolfenstein. Any other independent developer would either scoff at the low-ball figure Bethesda was offering or simply not have the experience to pull it off after some trial run. With Arkane, they can at least point to similar game mechanics despite being a completely different beast under the hood.

    +

    QUOTE: A few years ago Zenimax received a large investment to acquire talent. I think it was $150 million or something. When you have a board of directors that include Jerry Bruckheimer and Donald Trump’s brother as well as the original investors who want Zenimax to “acquire talent”, then you’re going to have members asking why Zenimax isn’t making money outside of their core Bethesda studio (Scrolls and Fallout).

    Since Zenimax botched Demon’s Forge with inXile and Brink with Splash Damage, they had to bank on Arkane’s Dishonored and Human Head’s Prey 2. Arkane is what is today because of Bethesda. Dishonored is a success because of its original creators. Prey 2 is a strange IP though, since it was Bethesda’s only sequel at the time and previously owned by the Radar Group. Doom 4 has had its own issues. Wolfenstein wasn’t even known about when Prey 2 started having whatever happened to it.

    Both Doom 4 and Wolfenstein’s rights were purchased along with iD Software. There’s no reverting of ownership after no use. Prey 2 on the other hand could revert back to the Radar Group if it’s not used by a certain time or declared cancelled.

    It could be Zenimax realized they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar with Human Head from a legal standpoint and it created some sort of stalemate. Zenimax’s CEO is Robert Altman who was previously a lawyer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_A._Altman. Maybe there’s some period of time they were waiting out to legally do something else with Prey 2. Or they just couldn’t find a developer with the talent or time to do something with Prey 2 until now, since they obviously didn’t want to work with Human Head anymore.

    +

    UPDATE

    Also in further context a post was made which I guess should show that Bethesda had a history for not always playing nice:

    QUOTE: Back in 2001 Bethesda Softworks published Echelon in US – the title developed by russian developers Madia. They didn’t pay a single cent from boxed sales of the game. Developers wrote an open letter in which they have honestly detailed the whole affair but Bethesda still refused to pay. Battling in american courts is an expensive and time consuming affair, so apparently they decided not to take it to the court.

    Here is the letter:

    Many people have recently asked us to give our explanation to the present unfavorable state of affairs around the Echelon patch. Not only journalists, but also numerous gamers have sent us hundreds of messages, asking why we do not release the long-expected patch to the game. Gamers’ complaints and rebukes have been especially painful to us, as we understand that they have also suffered from the conflict. Still, we long kept silence in hopes to resolve the conflict amicably. But now the time has come to tell all the truth, as it is impossible and useless to keep silence any longer. All this is terribly disappointing to us, the authors of the game. Still we believe that our game not only brought troubles to those who bought it…We believe that many people enjoyed playing it. When – 4 years ago – we started developing the game, none of us had had an experience of making a full game of this size from the beginning to the end. We could not even imagine then how many difficulties we would be confronted with, and how long the way to the master would turn out to be. The development of Echelon took three years and a half of arduous toil in a small office with no sanitation (cockroaches, the spill tank that never worked, etc). We constantly had no money (we could afford only food then). We had to work on completely outdated computers and with only one 19200 modem for all.

    As we had no experience, we often made mistakes and had to begin from the very beginning again and again. While we were developing the game, the technologies, which are the most important for the gaming industry, dramatically changed three times; and three times we had to re-make almost everything in the game. At times we gave ourselves up to total despair, and thought of closing the project-And anyway, we believed that one day we would finish the game, and we braced ourselves and got back to work.

    In two years, our Russian publisher Buka signed the publishing agreement with the well-known American publisher Bethesda Softworks. According to the contract, Bethesda was to pay 250000USD in advance (this sum was divided into 5 parts, each of which was to be paid on our finishing a certain stage of development) and to carry out a good advertising campaign in the USA and Canada. The royalty, which Bethesda was to pay us were really small (7%), and we knew that Bethesda had not published any successful products in the last couple of years. But still, we believed that Bethesda would sell the game well in North America (which is one of the world largest and the most important territory for the gaming industry).

    We really delayed the release of the game. It would be silly to hold it back now, as everybody knows it, and besides we have just given you the reasons of the delays. We agreed to pay all penalties specified in the contract. Moreover, Bethesda had the right to terminate the agreement at any stage of development, but they did not. They even paid two of the five 50000 USD payments they had to pay according to the agreement. Therefore, we finally completed Echelon, and Buka sent the American master CD to Bethesda. It was perhaps the only mistake, which our Russian publisher mad, but it was A RELLY BIG MISTAKE. The point is that Buka sent the master even in spite of the fact that by that moment they had not yet received the payment , which Bethesda had been to make on the receiving of the beta of Echelon, and even in spite of the fact that though the American release date had already been announced then, there was not advertising campaign at all. Still we believed that the game would be successful and many people would enjoy playing it.

    Echelon is our first project. We devoted three years of our lives to it, and tried very hard to make a good game. And it is natural that after the release, we did not loose interest to Echelon. Our interest even increased. We must admit that however had we tried, we were unable to fix all the bugs in the game (though they all were found after the master was sent to Bethesda) and to complete everything we had designed, because of the lack of time at the final stage of the development. Still we believed that we had created a REALLY GOOD game, a game, which many people would like and enjoy playing.

    By now we have fixed a number of bugs in the game and made a few major additions to fulfill all wishes, which people who bought the game made. However, after days of permanent argument and thinking we decided not to release the patch for the American version of the game. Why? Because: We worked for three years and really expected our work to bring us some profit. We did not expect to gain millions. We sinply hoped that when we would finish the game, we would be able to at least make some presents to our friends and relatives, who helped us greatly all the time we developed the game, hoped to be able to take trips to some places with our girlfriends, goddamn, we simply hoped to be able to afford a good dentist! We also hoped that we would gain some start-up capital, which will enable us to begin a new project without getting into new debts.

    None of which has happened. Why? Because: For half a year now Bethesda has been delaying the 150000USD, which they ARE TO pay according to the contract, and moreover, it even refuse to give us the reason why. We have not been paid even for the beta. According to the contract, Bethesda should send us quarterly sales reports. Bethesda started to sale the game in May. By now Bethesda has sent us only the 2nd quarter 2001 report, which gave really ridiculous figures.The 2nd quarter 2001 report we have not received. The huge ad campaign, which Bethesda promised to carry out, it has not carried out (there were a few articles in some magazines….and that was it), and everybody understand how important advertising is for a game to be a success. But still, from some source we know that by now Bethesda has sold about 50000 boxes of Echelon in North America, which means that Bethesda has already made over a million on the game. We were simply shocked by such a way of doing business, and thought it would be humiliating to continue fulfilling the requirements of such a dishonest and treacherous “partner”, and to continue supporting “the partner” with new patches and add-ons. But still we believe that the Bethesda case is not typical of the American market, and soon we will be able to find a new American publisher for long and effective cooperation.

    In hopes of resolving the conflict amicably, long we kept silence, and quite a number of American players of Echelon got angry with us for that. And we must admit, peoples’ anger was JUST. Because the gamers could not understand, why THEY have to suffer from this conflict. Buka also had to keep silence, and still keeps it, because it IS to keep silence according to the terms of its agreement with Bethesda. And we must point to the fact that it HAS NEVER breached this agreement , though Buka’s reputation is greatly suffering from it. But it is useless and just impossible for us to keep silence any longer. The things that happen to Echelon – the game was left unfinished, it is impossible to release patches, angry messages on Bethesda’s forum – every single thing of it is causing us – the creators of the game – great pain. And that is why we wrote, what you have just read.

    Still we believe that our game is not thus bad, we believe that many people liked it, and we believe that this is not the end of its life.

    Pete Hines replied:

    We at Bethesda Softworks regret the issuance by Madia Ltd. of an “Open Letter” yesterday, which presented misleading allegations about Bethesda’s role as publisher of Echelon in North America.

    Bethesda has no contractual obligations to Madia. Madia developed Echelon for Buka, which in turn contracted with Bethesda to publish Echelon in North America. Bethesda has been in discussions with Buka concerning a series of contractual issues, including the late delivery of the game by Madia. We do not intend to address such matters in the press.

    Be assured that the Open Letter by Madia presents an unbalanced and false statement of facts concerning the game and Bethesda’s actions as the game’s publisher. And nothing in the discussions between Bethesda and Buka has prevented Madia from releasing an Echelon patch for fans of the game.

  22. kud13 says:

    Sad to hear this. Prey 2 footage that was shown @ the 2011 E3 was amazing, easily the most interesting game that year.

    Now, I’d like a new System Shock as much as the next 90s PC gamer, but faced with a choice of fighting Shodan for the third time in a space environment, and navigating a 3D (literally, Human Head promised us parkour and grappling in Prey 2), vertical alien city as a bounty hinter who’s not really out to save the world, but is just making a living, I’m going to have to go with a more original idea.

    It’s a real shame that Human Head won’t get to finish Prey 2. I hope Arkane do their best to make this a “Deus Ex meets Blade Runner”, rather than a “sci-fi Dishonored”: