The Smell Of Bullshit: Arkane ARE Making Prey 2

By John Walker on August 15th, 2013 at 9:50 pm.

It’s always such a lovely rosy feeling, having your time wasted, isn’t it? That’s what it’s looking like Bethesda’s Pete Hines and Arkane’s Raphael Colantonio may well have done to us in the last couple of weeks, when we were told what now appears to be rubbish about Prey 2’s development. When Nathan asked Hines directly whether Arkane had taken over development from Human Head, he replied with a definite, “No.” Seems he could have said “Yes.” They’re so easily muddled. And the emails go on to suggest that Colantonio considers the gaming sites that report on his games to be “press sneak fucks” when they stumble on the truth.

Kotaku have received emails that seem to show that Arkane has been working on Prey 2 this year, and that Human Head’s version is off the table. Which doesn’t quite tie in with what Hines told us a couple of weeks back:

“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.”

If these emails are accurate, at best you can put this down to wriggly words. Technically Arkane are rebooting from scratch, not using any Human Head code, so arguably it’s not “moved”. But yeah. It’s pretty obvious what implication was being aimed for.

But then comes Raphael Colantonio, who when Nathan asked,

“So you guys and Prey 2? Definitely not happening? I already asked Pete Hines, but just to be absolutely sure.”

replied,

“No. We’ve been looking at where that rumor came from, and I really don’t know.”

That’s a pretty definitive “No” there. As it happens, someone working at Arkane appears to have written these words in an email in May:

“Austin has officially been green lit for its own project! This is super exciting of course. Doing a new IP was not a possibility because it’s adding risk to the challenge of growth, so after going back and forth with Todd, Harvey, Ricardo, we decided that Prey 2 presented an interesting opportunity if we could reboot it. Zenimax accepted our pitch which was ‘the spiritual successor to System Shock 3′ [sic].”

And who was that someone? Why, it’s Raphael Colantonio. Perhaps he recently suffered a serious bump on the head? I think I can help point him toward where that rumour came from.

Oh, and the emails suggest that Colantonio holds the gaming press in extremely high esteem. After Kotaku originally discovered the rumours that Arkane were working on Prey 2 in May, they show he issued the following email to his team:

“Now that the news is out,
We’ll be contacted left and right by press sneak fucks who will want to know more.
Please don’t answer any of their requests.
Thanks”

As Kotaku reports, these emails make it pretty damned clear that Arkane’s Austin studio has been working on Prey 2 this year. Their French studio is developing Dishonored 2, with Smith in toe, but Arkane Austin has Prey 2. And we’ve had our time and yours wasted. Sorry about that.

And it’s such a shame, too. Because Arkane are damned talented, and a spiritual successor to System Shock made by them could be something spectacular. So why cloud it in this guff and go out of your way to mislead gamers? Dishonored indeed. All Bethesda are willing to say in response to our emails about it is:

“We aren’t talking about what projects are (or are not) in development, and we don’t have any update in status on Prey 2.”

If anyone from Human Head wants to get in touch with us press sneak fucks to let us know what happened on their side, they’re very welcome to.

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315 Comments »

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Top comments

  1. tonkinese says:

    You realise this is kotaku and most likely or could be bullshit

    • KeeperKrux says:

      Ridiculous. Bethesda and Arkane have been lying to Prey 2 fans for over a year.

      • dontnormally says:

        What seems likely is that RPS / other press asked them while the deal was in the process of being made.

        No stakeholder in a decision is going to say “yes” to the press when they have not yet said “yes” to the other stakeholders.

        *If* that’s true, despite the fact that any individual may have made up their mind, the fact that they had yet to concretely decide means “No” was truthful.

        Internal conflict was stumbled upon, methinks.
        Why else would damning internal emails be leaked?

    • John Walker says:

      First of all, do feel free to provide evidence of Kotaku ever having faked a story. Secondly, of course I have made efforts to verify this for myself.

      • orangeduck says:

        Well, this classic comes to mind: http://kotaku.com/5052203/what-is-the-xbox-pure-update

        • John Walker says:

          So, their reporting of a rumour from another site, that they stress is a rumour, even before highlighting how it was shown to be false? Not a great example of their making up a story.

      • waaaaaaaals says:

        Not faked per se but they have been known to run a story without even considering fact checking.

        Once or twice they even ran with something because they saw it on 4chan, of course they were handing out apologies the next day for posting absolute fiction as news.

      • kwyjibo says:

        Did your efforts to verify actually lead anywhere? No new evidence being presented in this article over Kotaku’s story.

        • tonkinese says:

          what were expecting from rps originality?

          • Mad Hamish says:

            What does originality got to do with anything? It’s a news item following up on a previous piece.

          • cunningmunki says:

            RPS ran the interview that Kotaku uses quotes from. Come on, you know how this works, stop taking cheap shots. If you don’t like the journalism here, go and read the Mail Online, I’m sure they have lots of ‘original’ articles.

      • FakeAssName says:

        SO does this mean I am finally going to not be getting flack for calling them “Bethshittia” …. or do I have to switch over to “Bullshittia” before people stop getting their panties in a bunch?

        • Alan Alda says:

          Where does that second ‘i’ come from… seriously dude. It’s not part of the word ‘shit’, and the word ‘Bethesda’ doesn’t have an ‘i’ at all. That bugs me.

        • Premium User Badge

          Keymonk says:

          You’ll still get flack for it, since it’s incredibly immature.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Andy_Panthro says:

    Someone needs to photoshop a picture of “Eat, Pray, Love” to “Sneak, Press, Fucks”

  3. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    Where’s the sneak fucks button?!

  4. KeeperKrux says:

    Lying scumbags. I bet those “quality concerns” were nonsense – in fact I’m certain there were. Poor Human Head having their awesome work taken away from them. I would like more Shock games, but I would rather have an alien open-world bounty hunter game. We’ve never had that before! One things for certain, Bethesda’s turned Prey 2 into a bigger mess than Prey ever was.

    • Premium User Badge

      Rizlar says:

      Yeah, initial excitement for the prospect of open world alien bounty hunting finally happening has turned into a single tear running down my native american alien bounty hunter cheek…

      Don’t mind the denials so much, but they surely could have handled it better.

    • Premium User Badge

      El_MUERkO says:

      My thought is Bethesda remind me of 20th Century Fox, coked up retards who wouldn’t no a good film if it shit sparkles into their mouths. Human Head were making gold and Bethesda should have backed them to the hilt. That game was money, the hype it created with a couple of minutes of gameplay was mammoth and they pissed it away as only true fuckwits can.

    • Wedge says:

      Which is impressive considering the original Prey was almost DNF levels of fucked up.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Capital-T-Tim says:

    Isn’t it pretty standard for companies to deny rumors – true or false – of products they may be working on but aren’t ready to announce?

    Surely this denial hasn’t actually wasted anybody’s time? The facts coming out now don’t change anything about the game, the company, or gamers’ relationship with either – except that we now know somebody’s making something ahead of when they intended us to.

    • zal says:

      Thats not how it works at all.. if the press asks you a question. YOU ANSWER. and you never, NEVER make them ask twice. go grab a scuba tank and ask ol’ vinnie what happens when you make the press ask you twice.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        “That’s not how it works at all” WTF??

        What planet are you from?

        Why are people surprised by this?.. This is SOP. I can’t believe people still expect truth or fair play from companies who’s sole motivations are to make money.

        Jesus, people..Poke your heads above your duvets, for a second, and take a look at the world around you, for god’s sakes.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Why lie blatantly when a no comment would do just as well? It actually raises a lot of questions about what went on between Bethesda and Human Head, especially after the rumoured dev strike.

      We can conclude that the game that was shown previously is probably never going to be made, as it sounds like Arkane have something very different in mind. Also, some devs may have lost their jobs over a labour dispute. That sounds like a pretty big waste of everybody’s time, really.

      Edit: and Dishonoured 2 is being handed over to a new studio apparently? As gaming news goes, this is actually a pretty big deal. The facts coming out literally DO change the games, lol.

      • Reapy says:

        No comment means “yes” to many people.

        • ResonanceCascade says:

          Yeah, but flat out lying means inevitable bad PR, since it’s going to eventually come out that your were full of shit. Not that this will stop me from buying the game, an Arkane produced System Shock style game sounds like the best thing since…some other really good thing.

          No Comment is the best answer, both practically and (laugh if you want) morally.

          • TsunamiWombat says:

            Bad PR < Stock drop from investors getting antsy about a hyped product getting dropped, given to a new developer, and completely reworked.

        • hotmaildidntwork says:

          After this debacle “no” will also mean “yes” to some people.

        • Skull says:

          I wish ‘no comment’ meant ‘yes’ to my girlfriend when she asks if I think she is beautiful!

    • Fox89 says:

      If they wanted to keep their secret without wasting everyone’s time, then they could surely have said “It is Arkane and Bethesda’s policy to not comment on any rumours etc etc.” That’s non-committal. Saying “No” when you mean “Yes” is just flat out lying, which is…um… unappreciated. Generally speaking.

      Furthermore I think there’s a teensy weensy bit of bitterness about the ‘press sneak fucks’ remark. A pile of shit on the front page seems a reasonable retort to that.

      • Premium User Badge

        Capital-T-Tim says:

        the “sneaky press fucks” comment – which was made confidentially – seems to me to have been ironically validated by the press leaking it

        • Muzman says:

          The press don’t really leak things. The can break confidence by reporting things said off the record. But generally they get leaked to.

        • Greggh says:

          If anything, his team members are the real Sneaky Fucks™, not the press-members.

          (PS: Thank baby jesus we have sneaky fucks all over to keep people on the line)

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Yeah because it’s so vital for democracy that journalists dig up videogame news.

          • TsunamiWombat says:

            It’s the duty of real press to combat misinformation and ignorance in all forms pertaining to their medium. In a philosophical way, yes, it is important as a matter of journalistic integrity.

            Which makes Kotaku’s involvement hilarious because they don’t have any.

        • Lanfranc says:

          “It is a newspaper’s duty to print the news and raise hell.”

          • Koozer says:

            My name is Ozymandius, see my works be mighty- wait a minute.

        • Bhazor says:

          Good point.

          A lot of people hate the gutter press because of their bullshit. Tapped phones, hacked emails dodgy long winded opinion pieces based on rumours and damning a game when it hasn’t even had an announcement trailer.

        • cunningmunki says:

          But the press ‘sneak fucks’ didn’t leak it, one of the recipients of the email did. THAT’S the irony.

    • Emeraude says:

      There’s a discrepancy between “no comment” and “no, absolutely not”.

      Bethesda’s “We aren’t talking about what projects are (or are not) in development, and we don’t have any update in status on Prey 2.”” was tiresome, but professional – and as respectful as can be expected of the relationship of people whose business is to propagate information with people whose business is to keep a leash on it.

      If anything, what that whole sequence of communications – if confirmed to be true – paints is a picture where journalists are mostly seen as the enemy once they step out of their PR role.
      Which is fitting and expectable, I guess. If disappointing.

    • Muzman says:

      In general the idea that they won’t announce a project until they’re sure it’s going to stick and the staffing is locked etc makes sense.
      But this CIA crap on the back end once the rumour is going around is what confuses me. Disquieting evidence of marketing calling the shots, is my usual explanation. Once you let them run things it’s pretty bad sign if you ask me.

    • HothMonster says:

      If the press stumbles onto something you don’t want them to know about the correct response to questions is “We have no comment on that at this time.” NOT “No that is false I have no idea where such a rumor could come from.”

    • Sheng-ji says:

      It’s about mutual respect – When asked a question he did not want to answer, if he had any respect for the interviewer, surely a more respectful way to deal with it would be to say “I’ll tell you what’s going on, but could you hold this from the interview until we announce it next week”.

      The press are the contact they have with the public and lying to them is lying to us. Not that I care, but it makes it very clear that they have no respect for us and we now cannot trust anything they say. One more company that we have to wait for the reviews to arrive before buying their products.

      Also, if I were an intended recipient of this email, what am I supposed to think about the professionalism of my employers? Sounds like it was written by a teenager in a supervisor role which he’s not quite got the management skills to deal with yet, and I for one would be worried about my long term prospects.

    • cunningmunki says:

      Can you find a recent example where a studio or developer has actually lied so brazenly about a game they’re working on, in answer to a direct question? And I don’t mean in a jokey way, like Gaben did about ‘Ricochet 2’!

  6. mr.ioes says:

    Quite a naive move sending such mail to “_all”.

  7. Grey_Ghost says:

    Hmm, I can’t seem to find a copy of System Shock 3 anywhere on the planet.

    • Premium User Badge

      Cardinal says:

      Surely this is the spiritual successor to “Prey”

    • thebigJ_A says:

      It was produced, but they didn’t tell the press sneak fucks so nobody’s ever heard of it.

  8. BreadBitten says:

    THIS JUST IN: The sequel to Dishonored is not going to be titled ‘Dishonest’!

    (This news tip was brought to you by the Global Association of Press Sneak Fucks. Any and all queries should be directed to http://www.sneakyfucker.com)

    • CPLDANABD says:

      My disappointment when I discovered you hadn’t actually bought that URL and simply placed a picture of our dear Mr. Walker with a big PRESS SNEAK FUCK sign next to him was immeasurably gargantuan.

  9. cdx00 says:

    SNEAKFUCKFACE

  10. Cloudiest Nights says:

    Huh, I haven’t really looked into all the articles about this, but this reminds me of the SimCity always-online-fiasco on a much much smaller and happier scale.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Arkane just kicked their PR into a spike rack.

  12. DiamondDog says:

    So that Prey 2 I was excited about is really dead? Really, really?

    :(

    • KeeperKrux says:

      Prey 2 is no longer about bounty hunting alien scum and Bethesda has chosen to lie to everyone for over the past year about the game.

    • Prime says:

      It looked great, right? This makes me sad.

      But a spiritual successor to a System Shock game? This makes me rather happy!

    • Acorino says:

      I agree, Prey 2 looked great in the promotional videos, and so far we got nothing on how Arkane will handle the game, so it seems like we’ll get worse. But Arkane can produce quality, right? And if they finally show off the game, we may say that it differs a lot from the originally planned vision, but that it looks great in its own right.

  13. Premium User Badge

    BaconAndWaffles says:

    Hmmm, flat out lying to the press is probably not the best idea for a company to do, but I can come up with legitimate reasons to do so. There could be personnel impacts or funding may not be nailed down yet. None of these may apply here, but there can be reasons to deny something to the press.

    The “press sneak fucks” email is beyond comical and beautifully to the point. I especially love that he has “please” after already being a douche (if you’re gonna be one, at least be polite!).

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      To be fair, if someone had just leaked my project to the press, my kindest words for the profession might not appear in the ensuing emails.

      Still, lying to us, Raf?

    • HadToLogin says:

      I guess “press sneak fucks” is standard between developers and nobody in business considers it rude, in same way nobody feels resentful when Samuel Jackson calls them “motherquackers”.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Outright lying was the exactly best thing to do from Bethesda’s perspective – making a developer change known would have damaged hype already created for the games original form, as well as caused a fluctuation in stock financials (people tend to get skittish over this sort of thing, to say nothing of speculators)

      • Gamboni says:

        Zenimax is not a publicly traded company, there is no stock speculation, nor fluctuation as long as the owners aren’t selling.

  14. ResonanceCascade says:

    It’s like Sex, Lies, and Videotape! Except there’s no sex and instead of Videotape there are some emails.

  15. Reapy says:

    Why is anything clouded? AAA Company doesn’t want to announce anything for a game unless following multi million dollar advertising campaign, seems pretty straight forward. Maybe you are feeling upset by being blanket insulted as a sneaky press fuck…but surely he didn’t mean you? Because you know that would be kind of like writing a generalized article blasting your readership, but clearly it doesn’t include everyone. Comen round full circle, btw, thanks for making me have to see giant turd today.

  16. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Has a studio change ever been good?

    • Ross Angus says:

      Fallout New Vegas?
      Bioshock 2?

      • HadToLogin says:

        I’d say New Vegas was more like coming back to home.

      • Nim says:

        I would say that New Vegas doesn’t count in this situation. Bethesda didn’t start developing New Vegas before handing a half-finished project over to Obsidian. They developed Fallout 3 and the engine which was handed over to Obsidian but the content of New Vegas was developed solely by one developer.

    • cunningmunki says:

      Technically, System Shock 2 was designed and developed more by Ken Levine and the Irrational Games team than the Looking Glass team who worked on System Shock. The Tomb Raider franchise improved after Crystal Dynamics took over. Raven’s ‘Jedi Knight II & III’ were good. Gearbox did a pretty good job with Opposing Force and Blue Shift. F.E.A.R 3 was good. FarCry 2 & 3 did ok, and Deus Ex:HR wasn’t bad either.

      So, sometimes it’s good.

  17. nimzy says:

    Much like Prey 2, whatever this game had going for it just got destroyed by its own publisher.

    “The spiritual successor to System Shock 3?”

    Seriously? The hubris, man.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      That’s from their pitch to the publisher. You want hubris in a pitch—or rather, you want ambition, and you want to get the publisher excited. I think that fits the bill.

    • Prime says:

      Aim high, why not?

  18. Premium User Badge

    quietone says:

    Welcome to RPSF.

    It has a certain ring to it.

  19. Danda says:

    So Raphael Colantonio is a scab and a liar. Great.

    I want a new System Shock as much as anybody else, but not over Human Head’s trampled game. If that’s what they are doing, just count me out.

    • Premium User Badge

      Crimsoneer says:

      A scab? WTF is this, a mining dispute?

      • Bull0 says:

        I’ve taken the precaution of hiring 200 Pinkerton detectives who will be arriving at Arkane by rowboat at 0700 tomorrow. We’ll get this cleared up

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Seems more likely that Prey 2 was a piece of shit before it was shut down. Doesn’t make sense to cancel a promising game otherwise. Arkane could always have made Prey 3 or a Prey spinoff.

  20. Didden says:

    I smell an Alien: Colonial Marines v2…

  21. MobileAssaultDuck says:

    “Sneak Fucks” sounds like something you do with your wife in a public washroom.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I thought it was a more vulgar spinoff site of Sneaky Bastards.

  22. merc-ai says:

    The fact that knowledge about Prey2 got in the news via letter about not getting in news is ironic.

    But this isn’t a story about company “wasting our time” or “lies” or anything like it. This is about developer saying a phrase in a needlessly harsh way, some asshole leaking it, and some journalists taking it personally.

    The rest is standard scenario stuff. Journalists pressing for answers and (for some reason) expecting to be revealed all truth. Companies bound by NDAs and forced to deny for whatever legitimate reason they have. The only bad person here was whoever leaked this, as this incident does not do good to ANY party involved.

    So pointless, so sad.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Nope. Sure, the comment about “press sneak fucks” might be insulting, but it’s not directed at the games press, and it’s understandably angry in the circumstances when that email was sent.

      This is about the lies.

    • Ritashi says:

      The correct reply if you want to not reveal any information is a blanket “no comment,” and to aid in clarity you can add a line about how you have a standing policy of replying “no comment” to any questions concerning that sort of information that, if it were true, would constitute a leak. This works fine so long as you actually do have that policy, and so long as you actually do reply “no comment” even when the real answer is “no”. Lying and getting caught reduces credibility for a while, but saying “no comment” and having it uncovered does not.

      • khulat says:

        Yeah, “no comment” to everything will be going well. I can see all the entitled gamers going: “Why didn’t you say no if you really weren’t working on it”.

  23. Michael Fogg says:

    Funny how nobody takes into account that an enterprise has the right to keep things like release dates secret. There’s no need to be 100% transparent to overzealous fanboys.

    • Paul says:

      If you do not want to say something, do not say it. Simply do not comment.
      But if you are going to say something, make sure it is not a fucking lie.

      • Premium User Badge

        Crimsoneer says:

        Yes, because if he’d said “we don’t confirm or deny rumours” or “we can’t talk about that right now”, I’m sure we would all have believed him.

        Jesus, sometimes people don’t WANT attention. Look what happened to 0x10cd whatever. If you happen to work in the industry, GUESS WHAT, the press can be sneaky fucks. I know this, because I’ve interviewed people and tried to catch them out. Because people go into Valve offices and snap whatever concept art they can to try and get “exclusives”. Jesus, people, they just want to develop in peace without a shitstorm of media expectations.

        • Stochastic says:

          But if that were his standard response to all rumors (true and false), then we would have had no reason NOT to believe him.

    • HothMonster says:

      I know if I was asked to describe Nathan in his role as reporter for RPS my choice description would be “overzealous fanboy”…

  24. Paul says:

    I always knew Hines was a lying scumbag, but Colantonio too? That is quite disheartening. I love Dishonored…despite the dishonored way they seem to operate.

    • magos says:

      This: I’ve always found Bethesda’s PR spiel to be particularly insidious (both Hines and Howard seem a little *too* slimy), and its sad to see it affect both Arkane and iD.

      • Prime says:

        Remember that ‘interview’ between Notch and Howard? Howard looked like a reptile in comparison to the very human Notch. I fully expected Howard to start licking his own eyeballs at some point. Dude gives me the creeps. Hines sounds exactly the same.

    • KwisatzHaderach says:

      So, what difference does it make? I don’t understand any of this! I don’t care if a dev lies, if the game he makes is worth my time in the end. People lie and people get upset about other people. How anyone could be so surprised an personally offended by that is beyond me.

  25. Premium User Badge

    tikey says:

    Rock, Press, Sneak fucks

  26. OmNomNom says:

    Funnily enough I wore my Prey 2 t-shirt to work today

  27. Juan Carlo says:

    I don’t see the issue. Gaming studios will work on stuff without announcing all the time. Perhaps a release isn’t guaranteed yet.

    I mean, these are video games were talking about. It’s not like the guy is appearing before a congressional committee or is under oath or anything. The public doesn’t have any right to know what Arkane might be working on.

    • itsbenderingtime says:

      I can only speak from my own experience here, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any kind of situation that will make anyone madder than the realization that someone has been dealing with them in bad faith. Have you ever been ripped off by somebody? It’s not just the pain of harm done, it’s the embarrassment of having trusted someone who not only didn’t trust you back, but thought so little of you that they were fine with doing something harmful to you to your face without you knowing. You are hurt, you are embarrassed, and you’re mad as hell because you know the other guy doesn’t and won’t ever care about what happened to you because he doesn’t believe you are worthy of common decency.

      Being actively betrayed by someone you know or being lied to or ripped off by a stranger produces the same emotions, and they are not easily overcome, nor are they easily forgotten.

  28. Premium User Badge

    Crimsoneer says:

    How DARE he call us “sneak fucks”? HOW DARE HE KEEP HIS PROJECTS PRIVATE?

    Better reveal his confidential emails to the world. That will show him.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      That Kotaku article doesn’t really do much to counter Raf’s assertion that the press are “sneak fucks”.

      • HothMonster says:

        Kotaku didn’t give that email to themselves. The sneak fuck would be the person who took a “confidential*” email and handed it to the press who are surely going to do what the press do and report on it.

        *Not sure if you can really call an email addressed to “ALL” confidential.

        • Jason Moyer says:

          Trolling for hits by posting anonymous tips on private correspondence is about as “sneak fuck” as you can get.

          • HothMonster says:

            a confidential source != an anonymous source. I’d again argue that the sneak fuck is the person who would lose their job if their name was attached to the story.

            The press reports news. News is new information that most people are not aware of. In the gaming world a game being pulled from one dev and handed to another is news. The fact that Beth and Arkane spokespeople lied about it as opposed to refusing to comment makes it even more newsy. If someone hands news to a news agency the expected outcome is that they will post a story about this news.

            Unless you think the gaming press should merely act as a mouthpiece for PR teams and only ever report official statements from companies. they should never associate with anyone from companies who isnt an official spokesperson and they should never question anything said to them by official spokespeople. And they should certainly never contradict official spokespeople when facts are presented to them that run contrary to official spokespeople’s statements.

          • Sardukar says:

            News is news. If you think people are going to want to read it, report it. There are certain ethical considerations of course – victim privacy, source reliability and so on – but otherwise, it’s the news.

            “Trolling for hits” is the kind of news that tabloids like, muckraker journalism. Do you think that reporting on the apparent deception of the news-reading public by a subject under interview is muckraker journalism?

        • Premium User Badge

          VelvetFistIronGlove says:

          All internal email within a company is confidential.

          • Sardukar says:

            Confidential within that company. Reporters certainly aren’t circumscribed by corporate or private confidentiality agreements they haven’t signed.

            Edit: ah, got it, Velvet. Nicely cleared up.

          • Premium User Badge

            VelvetFistIronGlove says:

            Agreed. I was responding directly to HothMonster’s comment “Not sure if you can really call an email addressed to “ALL” confidential.”

      • Meneldil says:

        It’s pretty sad that someone reading and posting on RPS has got no idea how the press is supposed to work.

    • MobileAssaultDuck says:

      The entire purpose of the press is to make private information public. Or at least it was back when journalism had any balls.

      The press’ entire reason for being is to tear up the carpet and expose the floorboards to the light of day for all to see.

      Their purpose isn’t just to redirect press releases to the masses.

      This article is exactly what journalism is supposed to be.

    • Kadayi says:

      Indeed, how DARE he impinge the flawless reputation of the gaming press.

    • Shaun239 says:

      Have to agree. Way to prove him wrong by posting leaked emails and throwing a hissyfit about being ‘lied’ to about a game that is most likely not even out of pre-production.

      I always found RPS to be a pretty mature site but this article seems to mostly be about hitting back after being called a ‘sneak fuck.’

  29. Paul says:

    All the apologists completely missing the point are really disappointing thing to see.

  30. Turkey says:

    Next press tour’s going to be pretty awesome, I’m guessing.

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      Is it wrong of me to hope that someone forces Colantonio to lead that tour?

  31. kament says:

    People are so impatient. And sensitive. And they are constantly upsetting each other because of that. And thinking about it saddens me. See? (sigh)

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Impatient? Not RPS, surely? The lying bit, yes, I can imagine that ruffles the feathers. And rightfully so.

  32. Tei says:

    At this point, probably there exist two Prey 2 games. One made by Human Studio, and other started by Arkane.

    This is my naive, and insufficient informed opinion :P

  33. Mbaya says:

    Even if this was meant to be private and leaked, it simply shows a lack of respect to the parties involved. Will they not want the attention of said press when it comes to building up hype and releasing their games?

    Never understood why such comments need to be made in a such a way, surely he could have just said he’s disappointed that the press have once again picked up on a rumour (which I assume would have come from an internal source on their end) and it’s tiresome to have to spend time declining press events when you want to focus on the game? Doubly so if you know information is leaking already!

    PR can be a real annoyance, but I’d take that over petty insults any day.

    As for the information itself, I’m quite disappointed to learn Human Heads vision is seemingly off the table.

    • KeeperKrux says:

      I don’t understand anyone being upset by leaked emails, but is okay lying to the press and fans, failed hostile takeovers, bullying, and scrapped work. Bethesda tried to bleed Human Head dry. They were creating something awesome. They had their reputation tarnished and years of work thrown away. It’s ruined lives.

  34. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Oh the ways mysterious made-up money makes people act. So much secrecy!

  35. Premium User Badge

    Crimsoneer says:

    Gillen and Walker arguing about this on twitter right now, and Gillen has it absolutely spot on.

    “It would improve the games press if any time a dev was asked if they were working on a game they hadn’t announced, they say fuck off and die”

    • Danda says:

      Not really. John gives good reasons for reporting this:

      https://twitter.com/botherer/status/368132854146154496

      • Acorino says:

        I also have to (surprisingly) disagree with Gillen on this. I don’t think this article is clickbait, since it actually serves the readers. Clickbait doesn’t serve the readers, it exploits them.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Yeah, I have to say I think John is making the better argument.

      • Premium User Badge

        VelvetFistIronGlove says:

        No, because all the reporting that has been done by RPS on Prey 2 has been focused primarily on the game, and less so on the situation with the studio: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/tag/prey-2/

        So John’s argument is not from the position John is in, unfortunately.

        • HothMonster says:

          Which is kind of his point isn’t it? Beth decided the game was news. RPS reported on the news.

          Beth decided the game was to be covered in a veil of secrecy again. RPS said there was something going on but didn’t know more. RPS asked for more info and the info they received was that everything is as it was and that the existing rumors have no basis in reality, they are just going dark for a bit while some things get reworked because they don’t want to potentially report things to consumers that will not be true when the game releases.

          RPS learns that this isn’t true and the original rumor was actually true. So they report that lies were made and this now appears to be the truth.

          Kieron is arguing that RPS shouldn’t care and respect Beth’s wishes that they don’t report on the current state of things. Wait until Beth decides there is news again and report on it once they give you some. Jon is arguing that RPS isn’t a PR faucet that Beth can just turn on and off when it suits them. RPS should be trying to find and provide news that it’s readers would want to know.

          No?

          • Premium User Badge

            VelvetFistIronGlove says:

            Yeah, basically. One comment John made in one tweet was what I was responding to, but no, it wasn’t the thrust of either of their arguments. (and I’m not even involved in the argument, and for some reason feel a need to comment on it! What’s wrong with me?!)

          • WrenBoy says:

            @HothMonster

            Pretty much this.

            The kind of journalists who would ignore proof that they were being lied to are not the kind of journalists I would be interested in reading. Nice scoop by Kotaku and RPS are correct to report on it.

          • Premium User Badge

            Thirith says:

            While I think that Kieron’s remark is off in this case, he’s still making a point worth considering. It’s difficult to see all the “OMG, here’s another Splinter Cell trailer” posts as anything much other than click-bait – and snide, hypocritical click-bait at that. “We deplore publishers’ practice of releasing tons and tons of silly Michael Bay-esque trailers, we’re obviously above that kind of crap – so here’s the latest trailer!”

    • HothMonster says:

      I’ve always read “no comment” ask PR speak for “fuck off” anyway. So I’ll agree that is what Hines and Raf should have said. But I dont agree, as he seems to be arguing; that RPS shouldnt look for news until a company official hands them some.

    • Prime says:

      Ohmygod. It’s like watching your parents fight.

  36. HothMonster says:

    In a year or so when they call you in to tell you about the game expecting you to be friendly-pr-fucks you can return the favor.

    I would just assume anything they tell you about the game is a lie and report the opposite.

  37. realitysconcierge says:

    Was the original Prey anything like System Shock? If it wasn’t, why would the sequel have any business not being a spiritual successor to itself, instead of a different series?

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      Sequels. They are the water with which the magic of games is distilled. Sometimes to homeopathic levels, but eh.

  38. Jason Moyer says:

    This is a sad episode in the relationship between people who do things and people who talk about people who do things.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I find your summary of this situation as succinct as it is profound.

      • Prime says:

        And thus, the relationship between the people who comment on things is happily preserved and continued.

    • Juicetin says:

      A perfect assessment. Mountain, meet mole-hill.

  39. Frank says:

    Wow, for a guy working in the tech industry, he sure is careless with his emails. That reminds me of Jobs’ email in the recent planning-to-be-price-fixing trial. I wouldn’t have guessed Colantonio hated you guys so much.

  40. Stevostin says:

    The email leaked is the really damaging thing here. But 1) how do we know it’s not a fake (kotaky certainly doesn’t say) and 2) is it really correct to publish private internal email, especially without context ?

    I’ll certainly wait for an official announcement before to jump to conclusion, because it certainly doesn’t make a lot of sense as if except maybe some vengeance going on. What would Colantino/Hines be thinking making those statements while knowing they would have to make them appear as blatant liar in the following months? It looks like suicide move. When things doesn’t make sense like that info is missing. I suspect ever a press manipulation or heavy lawyer direction because of tensed situation with human head previous deal or something.

    • Stochastic says:

      Yeah, something fishy’s going on. I don’t think we have all the facts yet.

  41. aircool says:

    That’s probably one of the most pleasant terms that I’ve heard to describe journalists.

    Now that that email is out, they’ll be contacted by more than just sneak fucks.

  42. KirbyEvan says:

    Man, I am truly pissed.

    Prey 2 looked fantastic from the small amount of content we were shown, and I am a big fan of Human Head. (I still boot up Rune now and again)

  43. nrvsNRG says:

    so what if he said “press sneak fucks”? we all say shit like that when we think its private.

    • Stochastic says:

      Fair point. A poor choice of words for sure, but we all have our moments now and then. That doesn’t excuse the lying, though (assuming he actually did lie).

    • Prime says:

      Actually, we don’t. It’s deeply unprofessional to use that kind of language in an official work email, regardless of its intended privacy level. Speaks volumes about the kind of guy this chap is.

      • Hmm-Hmm. says:

        Exactly. And even if someone does have the urge to express oneself in such a manner it is generally a good idea to do so in a private conversation rather than in a way that it stays confined and that afterwards business as usual may resume.

  44. crinkles esq. says:

    I must say, this just feels like a tempest in a teapot to me. Compare this to the SimCity debacle which was an actual affront to gamers, this feels like a personal tirade about some douchey guy who lied because he didn’t really want to talk about what the company was up to. As a gamer, it seems like an unimportant scuffle between PR and journalists.

    • Stochastic says:

      Well, you could argue that it still matters since journalists control the flow of information between game developers and game consumers. I think it’s important that the integrity of the developer-journalist relationship remains intact so that we as consumers have accurate information to make informed decisions about games.

      I don’t think it’s as important as some of the other scandals and fiascos we’ve seen over the years, but it’s still worth reporting IMO.

  45. Runs With Foxes says:

    Look at what’s happened here: Seems like Kotaku (and now RPS) has willingly leaked a company’s internal email in order to force them to speak to the press to combat the developing PR disaster. Don’t you think that’s a bit unethical? Don’t you think that’s kind of an abuse of your position, at least until you have more information? No wonder you’re referred to as sneaky press fucks.

    And isn’t it a bit irresponsible to imply Arkane is to blame for Human Head developers losing their jobs and having their game taken away? Do you have any evidence of that? As far as I can tell, no one actually knows the full story here. Investigate it by all means, but forcing a developer’s hand by leaking an email with the sole directed purpose of making them look like assholes is a shitty way to do your job.

    I don’t think it’s fair to demonise individuals in this situation. The problem is that Bethesda is a big company with a bunch of developers under its wing, along with parent companies, and in that situation no individual has the ability to make decisions. The developers and their PR people were probably directed to keep quiet, and when asked directly their options were either to offer no comment and thereby confirm the story, or to lie and deny it. This is more a failure of PR in a big company than anything.

    Edit: And reading the Kotaku article again, there’s nothing in the ‘press sneak fuck’ email that adds to the story. The story is entirely in the other email that confirms they’re working on Prey 2. So leaking the other email is solely to make Colantonio look like an asshole because the Kotaku reporter (and Walker too by the sound of it) had his feelings hurt. Try to separate the story of interest to your readers from your own personal feelings.

    • Gormongous says:

      It’s funny that you talk about ethics at length, but say nothing about the ethics of flat-out lying to someone asking you a question about a game you are making. You want to know the ethical answer to that question? “I’m sorry, we’re not prepared to confirm the existence of Prey 2 or any teams working on it. Thank you.”

      Really, I just don’t get you. It’s a journalist’s job to seek out the truth, not to be toady for some company and help keep their secrets.

      • Upper Class Twit says:

        There’s a pretty big difference between seeking out “the truth” and seeking out whatever you can find to discredit people wot you don’t like. Figuring out that Arkane is going to be developing Prey 2 (system shock 3?) is the former. The “sneak fucks” thing strikes me as closer to the latter.

        • lordcooper says:

          He also once used the N word while drunk and telling a crap joke.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          Well, the e-mail was not fabricated by RPS. And while it would be nice and journalistic to ask the publisher for comments prior to posting the article, considering the lies I’m not too concerned about RPS not doing so (then again, maybe they did). It is news, it bears reporting on to those interested. I don’t call that discrediting people. His words discredit him, not John’s words. John just helped them come to light.

    • Emeraude says:

      And isn’t it a bit irresponsible to imply Arkane is to blame for Human Head developers losing their jobs and having their game taken away?

      Arkane isn’t. Bethesda is. The question isn’t even disputable.

      What remains to be seen is whether Bethesda was justified in doing so, and how much it should be acceptable for the general public given the context.

      All the lying and obfuscating around doesn’t help Bethesda’s case sadly.

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      The second e-mail acts as an additional point of correlation for how the individuals under scrutiny have been acting. It is relevant, even beyond simply being associated with the story.

    • John Walker says:

      I implied absolutely nothing of the sort. Because that would be a ridiculous thing to assert.

      They misled us, causing us to mislead our readers. That merits our coverage and response.

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        So why are you encouraging Human Head devs to contact you, as though there’s some scandal to be uncovered? In your twitter exchange with Gillen you justify the story by suggesting Prey 2 was taken away from Human Head, and that they have ‘seemingly been fucked over’.

        • Werthead says:

          That’s a logical assumption to make, based on the fact that Human Head were allegedly so annoyed at their treatment by Bethesda that they staged a strike last year, and the allegations that Bethesda likes to contract outside studios to do projects and then delay them and complain about them until the studio is forced to sell out to Bethesda so they can make the games for less money (Obsidian allegedly being too big and too protected by the Bethesda ES/FALLOUT team for this to happen to them). In that circumstance, asking for Human Head’s views on this is a reasonable thing to do.

  46. Muzman says:

    There’s been some legal BS to all this has there not? That would go some way to explaining hedginess too I guess.
    It seems like there’s a really interesting story here somewhere. Just how far along was Human Head’s cool looking game. And are they really scrapping it completely and starting over now?

    In an industry where people are starting to wake up to how bloated and wasteful it is, that’s kind of interesting.

  47. Ovno says:

    “So you guys and Prey 2? Definitely not happening? I already asked Pete Hines, but just to be absolutely sure.”

    “No. We’ve been looking at where that rumor came from, and I really don’t know.”

    Double negative, told the truth all along.

    =============================================

    Also so what, oh no they lied to the press shock horror!?!

    Toys pram…

    =============================================

    Though death of cool alien bounty hunter sim :'(

  48. dE says:

    To be fair, from a company point of view it’s pretty damn hard to respect games journalists. Pity, more likely. Games journalism is a not that well trained lapdog, scurrying around under the company table, hungrily waiting for scraps and what occasionaly falls down the table. At times that might just be a random PS3, hooray. Or a juicy Dorito Deal. And when the company says fetch, the good lapdog gets excited “Go post this trailer” and off he goes, rushing to post that sweet ad revenue, uh trailer.
    “Go fire up the hype train” and off he goes, hyping it like it’s free PS3s all over.

    Occasionally the lapdog may decide to grab a delicious piece all by himself. Reach up, nick it and then celebrate it like the victory it is. Or the dog might even bite the company. They might kick the dog a few times, shout at him and tell him his place. Maybe even call the dog “a sneaky fuck”. But at the end of the day, it’s back to scurrying around under the table.

    This is strictly from company perspective and doesn’t mirror my opinion (I respect the individual humans and individual articles but not what several of the job branch are doing quite openly: Corrupt freebie grabbing while being used as a PR tool) but given the state of games journalism, I don’t see a whole lot of reasons for them to respect journalists. At all.

    • Bostec says:

      I always had a dislaid for the common rag, the daily mail, the sun etc. I never buy newspapers as I see them as a bunch of sensualists buillshitters, anything to sell a copy. This peice has got me thinking, isn’t RPS or any other gaming news outlet just the same really? Posting any news that will get hits. Am I really blinded by my hobby or is it different? What do I believe in anymore? I am lost and alone, can anyone answer!?

    • Stochastic says:

      Some of the trailer posting is excessive in my opinion, but the editorials, interviews, and WITs on RPS don’t seem like blatant hit grabs to me. Of course, they probably do want to get as many hits as possible as that’s how they can keep their jobs, but as long as they go about doing so in a responsible and non-exploitative way (i.e. writing quality content), then things are peachy.

      • John Walker says:

        Precisely. This current trend to suggest that getting hits is proof of something negative is like accusing an author of deliberately making his book good to read to get people to buy it. Er, yes. We’re good in the hope that people want to read something good.

      • dE says:

        I’m curious, where do I mention hit grabbing and RPS in my comment? Please do point as I’m pretty sure (I searched with strg+f) for instances of RPS or hit grabbing and didn’t find it.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Perhaps you could reserve your respect for those who buck the trend by producing intelligent, unbiased, and funny writing like RPS, instead of implicitly condemning them along with the rest.

      • dE says:

        Done. And explictely wrote so too.

        I respect the individual humans and individual articles but not what several of the job branch are doing quite openly: Corrupt freebie grabbing while being used as a PR tool