Bethesda Talks Prey 2, Denies Arkane Involvement

By Nathan Grayson on August 2nd, 2013 at 10:00 am.

Nope. No Corvos here.

Where once Prey 2 burned as bright as an exploding star, it’s now nearly blipped out of existence. Strikes and stall-outs allegedly sidelined the promising sequel for many moons, and talk of cancellation wrapped a rapidly tightening noose around its neck. But then, a twist: rumors rushed from the Internet’s every exceedingly awkward orifice door that Dishonored developer Arkane had taken the reins on the beleaguered bounty hunter because, well, Bethesda got kinda pushy about it. However, as part of an interview during QuakeCon, I asked Bethesda’s Pete Hines about the situation, and he told a very, very different tale.

“No,” he told RPS when asked if Prey 2 has moved from Human Head to Arkane’s human hands. “All of that stuff, I have no idea where it came from. The Human Head Prey 2 thing is the Human Head Prey 2 thing. Arkane is over here, and they’re doing their thing, and that’s for them to work on. We’ll be ready to talk about what they’re working on when it gets closer to release.”

That is, um… OK. Quite definitive. Frankly, I was very surprised. So then, what is happening? Well, Hines was adamant about one thing: Prey 2 isn’t down for the count. It wasn’t up to snuff previously, but it will get there – in some form or another.

“It just wasn’t where it needed to be,” he admitted. “It wasn’t meeting expectations that we had and – in some respects – Human Head had. We’re not just gonna proceed with a plan of putting this thing out until that gets addressed in a way that we feel like will be worth all this time and attention.”

“Yes, we could ship it and put it in a box and be done with it, but it won’t meet anybody’s expectations. Not ours, not yours, not the consumer’s. It’d just be like, ‘What happened to this?’ Well, that’s what we would like to know. It’s not fun to make a call to pull back the reins on something like that and say it’s not coming out this year. It’s certainly not an easy decision, especially after you spent years and millions and millions of dollars creating it.”

So Bethesda’s called for a mulligan. But clearly, people were extremely excited about what Prey 2 at least looked like it would become. I asked Hines if the plan was still to pursue something resembling that vision, if not an entirely similar path to realizing it. At that point, unfortunately, he got a bit cagey. A long, brow-furrowing pause, and then:

“It probably doesn’t help me to define that any further. The reason that it got delayed the way it did is because it was not hitting the quality bar that it was supposed to and needed to. That was ultimately the problem. It had nothing to do with what it was trying to do. It just didn’t hit the quality bar. It’s kind of like Wolfenstein, which is getting delayed to next year because it’s showing promise, but it needs more time and polish to hit the quality bar we expect. Prey 2 is not the first time that we’ve moved something because of that. It’s gonna come down to quality.”

Well, that’s something at least. Kind of. Whoever’s working on Prey 2 right now, I wish them the best. Here’s hoping we get something meatier to chew on soon. But until then, I guess all I can say is see you, space cowboy noir detective parkour alien man creature thing.

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51 Comments »

  1. RedViv says:

    Oh well. I do hope to see this brilliant futuristic and non-dirty-brown shooter, some day.
    At least we know it’s safely under the management of a company that is so very known for caring about bugs and technical stuff so much!

  2. tnzk says:

    I actually wanna write something substantial but….. oh fuck it.

    Preying it sees the light of day.

  3. FurryLippedSquid says:

    “We’re not just gonna proceed with a plan of putting this thing out until that gets addressed”

    This doesn’t sound like the Bethesda I know & love.

    • deadly.by.design says:

      Maybe Bethesda is more objective with projects that aren’t internally developed. That didn’t keep Rogue Warrior from being a disaster, but it’s been years since that happened. Maybe they’re getting better.

      Maybe.

  4. Jekhar says:

    I never played the first one, but what i heard about the sequel sounded very interesting. Let’s just hope it turns out better than all the other projects that have been on the cooker for so long. +1 for the Cowboy Bebop reference, Mr. Grayson.

    • Robbert says:

      Prey 1 had been in development (on and off) from 1995 until 2006 and it was an amazing game.

      • Jekhar says:

        My friends told me differently, which lead to my avoidance of the game. That, and my tiredness of shooters at the time.

        • Guvornator says:

          It’s pretty good – not sure I’d say amazing, but there’s quite a lot of innovative design. The bit where you walk into a vast room filled with planetoids, and then realise that, far from being just set decoration, they are actually a valid part of the room you can jump to is worth the price of admission alone.

        • Iskariot says:

          Prey 1 had some cool new features at the time, but the game was not that interesting I felt. I stopped playing halfway though and that is saying something for a completist like me.

          Prey 2 on the other hand seemed to fulfill all my unfulfilled Star Wars dreams. Playing a bounty hunter in an open alien city world sounds more than appealing to me. I always wanted a Star Wars game like that staged in Nar Shadaa.

      • Keyrock says:

        I certainly wouldn’t call Prey amazing, but it had some cool ideas. I was saddened when Prey 2 was announced and they replaced Tommy with Generic White Male Protagonist. The Native American spiritual aspect of Prey was part of its charm.

  5. KeeperKrux says:

    This whole Prey 2 situation is a giant mess! “Quality” issues, developer strike rumours, cancellations, dev switching. What the heck is going on?

    • Kobest says:

      The screens look great imho, and it would be great if we could see something from the lengthy gameplay we go recently. Those 10 minutes of the game made me want to pre-order the game easily!

  6. Geger says:

    if “human head” not working on “prey 2″, then they work on “rune 2″?

  7. elfbarf says:

    The game would have to be pretty terrible if it didn’t even meet Bethesda’s expectations. Most of what they publish is garbage.

  8. Metalhead9806 says:

    After publishing Games like Rogue Warrior, Brink and Wet Bethesda has been much more strict when it comes to quality assurance.

    They pushed back Doom 4, Prey 2 and Wolfenstien. I consider this a good thing, I would rather games release one or two years latter if it means we get quality experiences and not garbage like Duke Forever and Aliens CM.

    I wish more publishers took games back to the drawing board instead of pushing out unfinished products for a quick buck.

  9. fartingstranger says:

    Oh I guess its back from the dead

  10. GameCat says:

    They’re doing it wrong. They should call it just Prey, not Prey 2.

  11. Mittens says:

    Dat quality bar. Hope it has caramel.

  12. kwyjibo says:

    My guess is that Prey 2 would have been late, pushing it out beyond the current console generation.

    Choice would have been carry on, and release it anyway, but get ignored by marketing/press. Or retool it for next-gen specs.

  13. Adriaan says:

    Too good, too bad

  14. Deadly Habit says:

    Why do I have the feeling Bethesda and Zenimax are full of shit on this one.

    • MobileAssaultDuck says:

      Because they’re a business.

      Much like lawyers, the best way to figure out if a businessman is bullshitting you is to check if his mouth is moving.

    • itsbenderingtime says:

      Never trust anyone who uses the word “consumer”. It’s the telltale scar of someone who has gone through an MBA soul-removal operation.

    • jonahcutter says:

      My brain tried to read your sentence as: “Why do I have the feeling Betamax is shit”.

      It’s probably a little late to be tipping to that.

  15. Paul says:

    I would not be surprised at all if Hines was full of shit. It might be possible they tried to push it on Arkane, they refused, and now the game is languishing and waiting for Machinegames to finish Wolfenstein, who will then proceed finishing Prey 2.

  16. Vesuvius says:

    This feels pretty one-sided, I’d like it if RPS would address the earlier allegations that Bethesda / Zenimax were intentionally obstructing / deny approval to Prey 2 so that they could put Human Head in a vulnerable position and then buy them out.

  17. waltC says:

    Why is it that companies become so fixated on the names of previous games? Why not just do a new game that includes everything they’d like to include? I doubt there is much if any marketability left in “Prey 2″, so why not just go with something else and concentrate less on the name of the game and a lot more on making the game itself a must buy? Beats me.

  18. Aerothorn says:

    It’s worth noting that Pete Hines is sort of the commiserate snakey PR guy, and has a long history of intentionally misleading or outright lying (like his claim that Blood Moon didn’t exist). Not saying he’s not being honest here, but I wouldn’t take him at his word.

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