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 »

Top comments

  1. Runs With Foxes says:

    And on the point of whether Arkane basically stole Prey 2 away from Human Head, the timelines don’t really work out. Rumours that Prey 2 had been cancelled began in March-April 2012, six months before Dishonored was even released. Seems more likely the game was cancelled, and then Arkane saw an opportunity to take the IP and make it something else. Isn’t that more likely? But not as juicy a story, I guess.

    • HothMonster says:

      I don’t think anyone is implying Arkane stole Prey 2. Arkane and HH both work for Beth. Arkane isn’t really in a position to steal anything. The likely scenario is Beth decided to scrap HH’s Prey 2 and then asked Arkane if they would like to work on Prey 2 since Beth didn’t want the trademark to go to waste after they spent good money hyping a game named Prey 2.

      The only egg on Arkane’s face should be the direct lying. Not that they are bad guys for taking over a game when the publisher pulled it from the original company.

      Whether or not pulling the product from HH will make Beth look like bad guys is entirely up to the situation and circumstances that led to that happening which no one outside those companies knows yet.

      • Stochastic says:

        What I don’t understand is why they wouldn’t ask Human Head to scrap their project and start over. Or at least have them redo major portions of it to meet Bethesda’s quality standards.

        • HothMonster says:

          Lack of faith? Lost cause, stop throwing good money at a bad investment? A lot of the business men making decisions about how the money used to make AAA games are just that. business men. No particular interest in the product being made, or love for a interesting looking concept. Just how the product compares to their metrics for other successful games.

          But hell, I am still holding out hope that they just took the name away and HH is still quietly toiling away on that cool looking space bounty hunter sim I had a glimpse of.

        • Barberetti says:

          Bethesda’s quality standards.

          *chortle*

      • Werthead says:

        There is a difference: Human Head are an independent, outside studio (like Obsidian). Arkane are an owned subsidiary of Zenimax/Bethesda. In games development it is always more expensive to work with an outside company than your own studio/minions.

        According to IGN’s story, the whole thing is a result of Bethesda wanting to buy Human Head outright and Human Head were not willing to play ball:

        http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/06/05/what-went-wrong-with-human-heads-prey-2

        Apparently Human Head have kept their heads above water by providing programming support for BIOSHOCK INFINITE and DEFIANCE and are already under contract from another studio to make an open-world game.

  2. ChromeBallz says:

    So Prey 2 will actually suck now… The Human Head version looked and sounded so damn awesome. Why Bethesda, why?

    • LaurieCheers says:

      Wasn’t that the one that everyone was complaining about because it featured yet another generic futuristic soldier as a protagonist? (By contrast with Prey, which had a native american civilian.)

  3. liquidsoap89 says:

    This is probably a good example of why it might be a good idea to not announce your games a million years before they release.

  4. Waldkoenig says:

    How about you just drop it. You’re not chasing “the truth”. You’re bullying! This is exactly the thing Phil Fish was talking about.

    • Muzman says:

      Oh I don’t know. Fish did say no comment and that guy went off at him for not talking. These guys are copping it for talking and telling porkies.

  5. Upper Class Twit says:

    So, is anyone else not cool with the whole “we’re the press and that means we can paste a private email you sent to your employees on the internet and write whatever we want about it”. The whole “sneak fucks” thing may have been unnecessary, but its not like it happened in a public forum, and its not like anything illegal went down. This strikes me as the equivalent to how the press treats celebrities, and politicians, except that Colantonio is neither. He’s a regular dude, and I feel that as a regular dude, he’s entitled to some privacy, so long as laws aren’t being broken.

    But regardless of the larger issues here, why the hell would a PR dude outright lie to the press? Bend the truth, maybe. Or give the good old “no comment”. But lying? That’s just asking for trouble.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Yes, that is EXACTLY what the press means, so long as you cannot legally prove malice or illegal activity on the actions of the press – for instance, the Fox wiretapping scandal was ILLEGAL and thus a huge issue. This is NOT illegal, because someone willingly provided them with that E-mail. It’s arguable that the press and those with journalistic integrity have an OBLIGATION to put out the unfiltered, unvarnished truth as they are able to access it. This is the ideal, though human fallibility and tendency towards confirmation bias can slant this.

      Until the media really is run by cold, illogical machines, anyway.

      On the subject of the direct lie: Arkane was likely told by their publisher – via a legally enforcible contract – to deny any involvement with such a project. Legalities are labryntine, corporate espianoge is real, and stock-holders are skittish. Therefore it was in the best interest of Arkane, the Publisher, and anyone else with money in Prey 2′s development to keep the developer shift quiet.

  6. kwyjibo says:

    “Doing a new IP was not a possibility because it’s adding risk to the challenge of growth”?

    Sounds kind of bullshit given how well Arkane did with Dishonored. No one seriously gives a shit about the Prey name. Do the press actually care that it’s Prey?

  7. bigjig says:

    Does it really matter?

  8. TsunamiWombat says:

    Why are any of you surprised, shocked, or outraged by this? Developers lie to us constantly, and very rarely get called out for it. When they do, consumers get told to stop being ‘entitled’ *coughMASSEFFECT3cough* There’s nothing that says they HAVE to be honest with us.

    • Emeraude says:

      I guess here it is the difference between what is generally (wrongly so or not) regarded as PR white lies and having what one believed was an honest eye to eye talk and being lied to.

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        That is true, MOST PR doublespeak is exactly that – double speak. Arkane’s head was rused into a snafu when he outright denied it, this is why you do NOT let executives talk to the press and you give Developers strict lists of what to say (from a PR perspective, I understand as consumers people don’t want that). Whenever an executive for one of the Consoletoys open their mouths, they say something very stupid which can affect an entire companies financials (look at all the boners pulled by MS leading up to and involving the XBox One announcement). It’s usually less of an issue when developers snafu.

        Arkane’s head should have simply said “We aren’t allowed to discuss that”. Which says all of the nothing without saying anything, while forestalling more questions.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Mass Effect 3 gets used in “disenfranchised gamer” arguments constantly and I can’t say at any point I’ve understood why. Yes, I can understand why some people were upset that they didn’t follow the normal Bioware convention of ending the game like the final episode of Roseanne. What I don’t understand is how the ending led to things like this, where they’re being referred to as liars who think their fans have entitlement issues when they seemed genuinely concerned about the mass hysteria and ultimately spent valuable dev-time trying to address the issues that people had.

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        I’m not having that debate here, it was meant just as an immediatly recognizable example (and the only one I could come up with off the top of my head, unless you count ‘Carmack is going to make you his bitch’) If you’re curious, google it, it’s been exhaustively talked about anywhere and everywhere on the internet.

        • MarcP says:

          Wrong guy. Carmack has never made anyone his bitch. It doesn’t hurt to do a little fact checking before getting super angry at someone.

  9. cx673hk says:

    The press sneak fucks tag made my day.

  10. KeeperKrux says:

    It’s important to remember that the message was leaked from inside Arkane. I can’t imagine the team’s particularly happy about scrapping a fellow developers work.

    • Emeraude says:

      Especially given the context and all the more so if the rumors about how Bethesda and Zenimax are basically mis-using milestones and the lending of money to bleed developers dry happen to be even remotely true.

  11. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    I don’t know but I’m fucking angry at SOMEONE.

  12. Uthred says:

    Considering how much time RPS spends railing against how shitty games journalism is its amusingly hypocritical seeing them get huffy because someone doesnt hold the gaming press in high esteem.

    • Shodex says:

      It’s not that they aren’t holding them in high esteem, they aren’t but that’s not the problem.
      It’s the fact that they deliberately beat around the bush and lied about something that should have just been answered straight up. Everyone was confused about what happened to Prey 2, what would happen to Prey 2, and they only added to the frustration.

      If they want to abstain from comments like Valve does on Half-Life 3, that’s fine. But when Gabe Newell is asked about it he doesn’t say, “No we’re not. Fuck you, go away asshole.” Treating reporters well is important because your company is seen by the fans through the words of said reporters, Bethesda often makes themselves look like cockbags.

      On top of that, usually if you want to hide details of a release it’s because you have a big unveiling awaiting people at some upcoming event. Yet Beth went to all this work to deny anything about Prey 2, only to slip out it’s announcement like an unwanted fart. With not so much as even a picture, or concrete detail on the project besides “it’s System Shock 3″ which was already the floating rumor to begin with.

      • MarcP says:

        “Treating reporters well is important because your company is seen by the fans through the words of said reporters”

        If, as a professional, you let interpersonal issues influence your writing, you can’t claim to hold the truth over all, nor to any kind of moral righteousness.

        • Acorino says:

          I have no problem with that in this case since John lays his cards down on the table for all to see. He’s not hiding his bias, he’s more like “keep in mind while reading this article that I’m biased in this way”. Not exactly FOX News this…

  13. Lafayettedroog says:

    No one is seriously offended by this right? How could anyone possibly think that this is any of their business? i don’t give a monkeys if a company says they are or aren’t making game X right now, it’s not my place to demand that a dev tell me everything they are, aren’t and could be working on at the moment.

    Let’s not make this out of a scene shall we. Let’s not be those over privileged, head-up-our-own-arses type who think being a ‘Gamer’ puts us only one rank below god himself.

    Signed
    Press Sneak Fuck

  14. Lemming says:

    If anyone wants to explain to me what the benefit is of being so secretive about the admission you are working on a particular game, rather than for example: a top secret military project involving alien technology, please enlighten me.

    As it appears, I just want to slap everyone involved in the face and remind them they are making video games, not working on cold fusion.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Given the choice, your shareholders would really rather all your announcements went through the PR filter and all information is strictly controlled to prevent business rivals gazumping you.

      • Lemming says:

        And how can your business rivals gazzump you from admission you are working on a copyrighted IP? No one else can beat you to making Prey 2 if you own the rights to, and are making: Prey 2.

        Even if we were talking about an original IP, a game title gives away nothing.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Yes, but if there was no secrecy, then you would have every artist posting screenshots and models, every writer waxing lyrically over the story they just implemented, programmers discussing the ins and outs of how their engine works….

          Oh, and when your game is release, the public would not be at optimum hype.

          • Emeraude says:

            Yes, but if there was no secrecy, then you would have every artist posting screenshots and models, every writer waxing lyrically over the story they just implemented, programmers discussing the ins and outs of how their engine works….

            And how is that a bad thing ?

          • Sheng-ji says:

            “Given the choice, your shareholders would really rather… ”

            Because money.

          • Emeraude says:

            @Sheng-ji:

            No, no, no, that’s not he angle I was coming from. Sorry.

            I meant: what is the rationale for finding this a bad thing ? Where is the issue ? Why would that be deemed a problem ?

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Oh I don’t think it is, I was just answering the question posed in a factual way – I don’t believe there is a problem here – a person told a lie which shows a lack of respect and nothing more. It’s nice to know that he has a lack of respect so we can treat all future correspondence from him in the appropriate way. A very small percentage of us have learnt something about his professionalism which will help us when considering our career options as well.

            But there is no problem, so although we are free to form opinions and criticise him, he can hardly be condemned for his actions.

        • Runs With Foxes says:

          Well, let’s think about that. Say Arkane is working on a title it wants to market as a spiritual successor to System Shock (leave aside arguments about the actual strength of the IP for a moment). Let’s say it gets a lot of media attention. Let’s say people get excited about it. Let’s say the information is leaked right at the beginning of development when there are still 3 years of development ahead. Then fast-forward to 2016 when Bethesda is trying to ramp up their hype machine, and uh-oh, look, it’s EA and they’ve just announced, guess what, System Shock 3, due for release at around the same time!

          That’s how.

          Whether this scenario is likely or not doesn’t matter. The point is that suggesting you’re immune to competitor interference just because you own an IP is really dumb.

          Besides, the bigger reason why companies hold off on announcing their games is because managing the hype train is tricky, and it’s much harder to get people excited about a project if they first heard of it years ago. Better to burst out of the blocks, bowl everyone over, and then keep up the momentum until release. That’s why Bethesda didn’t announce Skyrim until it was less than a year away from release.

          • Muzman says:

            As much as that’s a fairly accurate description of why people keep things confidential, when it comes to ‘the hype train’ especially, I doubt there’s very much to say it needs to be this way in order for things to work.

  15. Crusoe says:

    This article comes off as bitter and a little unprofessionally written, in my humble opinion.

    I’ve much love and respect for RPS but this smacks more of having taken personal offence than any desire to report on this subject in a mature and respectful way. Being disrespected isn’t a licence to disrespect others, whatever you may think of them.

    I comment on any article on the ‘net maybe twice a year. Just felt like this had to be one of them.

  16. PopeRatzo says:

    Don’t worry, RPS is not nearly as good at wasting my time as I am at wasting my own.

    And it wasn’t much of a waste of time anyway, since stories about games that are that far away from being on my computer really don’t mean much. If I see the word “kickstarter” or even “alpha” in the first paragraph, I just move on to the next story. And since only about 1 in 20 stories is about a game that actually exists, it means I’ve become good at scanning and skipping.

  17. Shodex says:

    Why can’t the ‘spiritual successor’ to System Shock 2 just be System Shock 3? Why does it have to be Prey 2? Shouldn’t Prey 2 be the successor to Prey 1? I thought Bioshock was the ‘spiritual successor’ to System Shock.

    • keithzg says:

      This is the shitty thing about big-budget game development; everything has to be a currently-failsafe franchise. Sad that Arkane is already being consumed by that.

  18. Chris D says:

    “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”

    Wait, how sneaky is it reallyto just ask somebody about something directly? I mean on a scale of 1 to 10 it’s only going to make it as far as 1 if we’re not allowing fractions. Or numbers less than 1.

  19. S Jay says:

    Pretty low class to publish an internal email. I can call my mom names when I am talking in private, but I don’t really think that about her, it is just to make a point, in private.

    (NOPE, I AM NOT A DEVELOPER IN ARCANE – NOT EVEN INVOLVED IN GAMES, unfortunately…)

    • Shodex says:

      Calling your mom names is a little different then calling people who ask you a question directly “press sneak fucks”, which is a ludicrously silly phrase that makes me giggle every time I read it.

  20. Ruffian says:

    I wouldn’t take it so personally, unless you guys really feel that it’s an insult that’s meant to be directed towards you, personally. (which judging from the interview with seems doubtful) I mean, I can understand taking offense to a degree, when someone insults your career/craft of choice, but the rumor mill of the internet never sleeps and I’m sure it can start to grate on a body after a while. Sometimes you just gotta vent.

  21. Alan Alda says:

    You guys realize ‘no comment’ is basically ‘yes’? Logically that leaves one of two possibilities:

    Either you are entitled to know everything,
    OR,
    people are entitled to lie to you.

    This… tantrum is slightly unbecoming.

    PS. Still <3 RPS

    • Shodex says:

      It wasn’t a “no comment” though, they very assertively said that the rumor was incorrect. Only to end up saying it wasn’t shortly after.

      I can see why John is mad, you have to remember that we read RPS for free as a hobby. When we read or don’t read an article, we do so out of our own initiative and we do it to have fun. For a games journalist this is work, and it’s very frustrating to have your time wasted at work. Maybe John wanted to write about something else, but didn’t in favour of the constantly changing story on Prey 2. I think John would have rather spent his time writing about something more interesting, then being batted around by Bethesda only to end up being insulted too.

      • Alan Alda says:

        Yeah sorry, I should have been clearer: Raphael Colontonio gave a flat no, because (at least IMO) ‘no comment’ is not a real option. These decisions can actually matter, too – if online feedback is not positive after this leak, Zeni could even pull the plug (not likely, but not impossible). Whereas a calculated announcement that you can control from the beginning would have a different outcome. So yeah, people’s jobs could even be on the line, so I don’t begrudge them a lie. Might seem like an extreme conclusion, but we just don’t know.

    • LaurieCheers says:

      Actually, saying “no comment” does work as long as you never either confirm _or_ deny anything.

      Wizards of the Coast have a standard phrase, “we don’t comment on rumors or speculation” that they will use regardless of whether a rumor is true or not. It’s really the only way to do this properly.

  22. Armante says:

    Ok, so you’re annoyed they didn’t confirm a rumour when you asked them. I get it. But surely, if a company wishes to keep something close to their chest (for whatever reason) they can choose to do so?

    Not like any other companies ever denied working on a new piece of software, or the specific features thereof, before going public when they want to.

    I’m not sure why all the hate?

  23. dolgion1 says:

    What a clusterfuck. What I find weird is that these emails should never have been leaked. It’s company internal communication, and not meant for the public. If I was trying to keep a fledgling project like this under wraps, I’d be pissed off too. Though insulting the press this way was needless, I understand where he’s coming from. I also don’t know if you can say that they wasted RPS’s time. Sure, they lied, but then that’s within their right. They most likely had a plan for exactly when and how to make that game public, but now that’s ruined.

    Apart from all that: How awesome would a spiritual successor to System Shock 2 (not 3 lol) be being headed by Arkane?

  24. spamenigma says:

    SNEAKFACE

  25. tnzk says:

    RPS, you have a stable of good writers, but dammit, I cringe every time you guys get unjustifiably emotional. Mr. Walker, sir, especially you, who, every time he has to report something about Deep Silver, just HAS to make a snarky remark about “Torsogate”. Now this. We’re grown ups here; we can handle this better.

    At best, what we have here are a few leaked pieces of evidence that might claim that Bethesda and its developers have been lying about the status of their game. It’s not the entire picture and you guys know this, so perhaps the first thing I may want questioned is why Bethesda would lie about such a thing. It’s quite clearly not normal behaviour. And yet, the first thing I get from Mr. Walker is the stirrings of a crusade. Despite only pockets of information, we’re preparing them for the guillotine.

    Secondly, no, it’s not nice to be called names. It’s not nice to find out you’re being called names behind your back either. It’s not good for the name-caller to harbour such disdain, but again, it’s only one e-mail taken out of context, and maybe Colantonio was having a bad day. After all, their secret information that they were keeping secret for some non-arbitrary reason got out, which would cause anyone great stress. This is the bit where we extend just a little bit of compassion towards our so-called “enemies”, because, you know, we need to try and understand why they were doing what they were doing, and we don’t want to jump to erroneous conclusions.

    Argue less like that rubbish site Jezebel, and argue more like the man Aristotle. You can be just as passionate about justice and righteousness John, without devolving into unwarranted emotionalism.

  26. kud13 says:

    First off: what a shame. I really, really liked the concept of Prey 2 by Human Head.

    Secondly: Arkane is a good studio. One of the few good ones we have left in the AAA industry. If they will be making a spiritual successor to SS2 (I’m assuming it’s system Shock TWO–because there already was a “System Shock 3″, published by EA… they called it DeadSpace.) and focusing on their core values of multiple approaches and player choice–well, I can’t say I don’t want that. Despite the fact that I also want an open world parkour alien bounty hunter game.

    2.5ly: Arkane are a developer. They make games. it’s not their job to talk to press. By focusing on how “THEY LIED TO THE GAMING PRESS AND TO ALL OF THEIR INTENDED AUDIENCE”, you are purposefully demonizing a developer with a good track record. This is pointless and petty. I realize that John is the person on RPS who often takes up “moral issues” with games. But, honestly? lying to the press is now the same rank of crime as making a purposefully sexist game content, or nickel-and-diming F2P elements, or always online DRM? Why not turn this into an editorial about how bad publishers are for attempting to control the hype by presenting only certain, choicy bits of information about the game? Why focus on a good developer, and smear them for something that is not part of their job and may have zero bearing on how they make games?

    Thirdly: leaking confidential e-mails is not cool. Sure, there’s no legal obligation on the press to withold this information from the public, but I feel that both kotaku and RPS are pushing really close to the line with publishing that second e-mail. And I fully understand Colantonio. If I just found out that something I was supposed to keep secret was leaked to the press because one of my own employees betrayed MY trust–well, I’d be upset. Both at that employee and at whomever he spoke to. Sure, objectively, the media’s neutral in this. But subjectively, the existence of media would push whomever it was to leak the information in the first place. And were I to be upset because my trust was betrayed, you bet i’d have a number of strong words to say about the world in general and everyone in it for being against me and trying to ruin my life/career/etc. Second e-mail is only relevant to confirming your point as far as the first sentence is concerned: Now that the news is out”. Going on and on and showing what the person felt “at the time” is really no different from any lowlife paparazzi. I don’t see reasons to include that entire e-mail other than shock value. Which goes back to my previous point.

    TL:DR: sucks about HH’s Prey 2, if true, hope Arkane make something good. Arakane are a good dev, blame Beth, not the devs. Revealing confidential info’s not cool. publishign revealed info is less not cool, but I still don’t agree with the press on this one.

    • Acorino says:

      In my opinion there is a line between when it’s more cool to leak official e-mails (or documents) than it is not to. Maybe in this case it’s not cool, but in the case of Edward Snowden and the NSA I would say it is. Very much so. Extremely chillingly, freezingly cool.
      It’s a blurry line, I would think.

  27. KenTWOu says:

    Kieron Gillen was right: chasing that urge makes you a tabloid. RPS acts like Kotaku. What a shame! By the way, the spiritual successor to System Shock 1 would be better.

    • Acorino says:

      Tabloids exploit their readers by only telling them the half truths (sometimes not even that) they want to hear, by sensionalizing news with little regards for facts and by hiding their bias, by pretending that they’re merely on the side of the ordinary Joe.
      I can’t see this being the case here. John makes his biases perfectly clear. If you are forthcoming about your biases, then in my opinion you can be as biased as you want to be.

  28. drinniol says:

    Nobody pointed out that this is Mac Mail? Who does game development on Macs?

    • Ninja Dodo says:

      Not Arkane. Kinda suggests it’s fake. Never mind that this seems completely out of character, plus Raf Colantonio writes better English than this.

      Calling a developer a liar based on an unverifiable anonymous (second hand!) source seems like pretty irresponsible journalism to me. You make a token effort with “if these emails are accurate” but the entire tone of the article is basically: “LIES! BE ANGRY!”

      Disappointing.

  29. Cytrom says:

    I think bethesda has the right to keep it a secret if they wish so, and you don’t have any ground to “demand the truth”, or feel cheated if they need to lie to protect their secret…

  30. jacko says:

    This was damn silly of you, RPS.

    He said no. Could have been a gut reaction, could have been something he’s been specifically told not to talk about. It could be a number of reason. Nowhere have you any right to DEMAND a truthful answer.

    This article cries of buthurt and sensationalism. A low mark on the shining RPS sky.

  31. Megakoresh says:

    Forgive me for not exactly believing something so controversial when the source of it is Kotaku.

  32. Thoric says:

    I guess the purpose of all this was to avoid a big press stinker around Prey 2′s transition (working great so far), by giving some time to Arkane to round out a concept, get a bit of work done and put together something tangible to showcase, instead of going out empty-handed and saying “we’re removing Human Head and scrapping their Prey sequel”. The recent flop of Overstrike/Fuse has probably made Bethesda weary of post-announcement project reboots and they want to handle the situation as discretely as possible, or maybe things aren’t even final.

    Sure, they fucked it up and I can’t think of a good reason to straight up say “no”, rather than “can’t comment” in an interview, yet the taunting and hostile tone in this article seems unwarranted. After all we’re talking about video games here and at least Mr. Colantonio kept his hurt feelings to his private correspondence, instead of bringing them to an audience of several million by calling Nathan a press sneak fuck to his face. Though that would have been hilarious.

  33. WrenBoy says:

    Bit of an eye opener to see how many people either dont understand what journalism means or would just prefer cheerleading press releases to it.

    • tnzk says:

      I’m pretty sure everyone in this thread is keen on knowing why Bethesda/Arkane are flat out denying any rumors about development, should the reality be different to what they say.

      At the very same time, the way in which Kotaku and RPS have gone about this is just disappointing. Demonizing Bethesda/Arkane with leaked/unconfirmed sources is really not cool. Remember that innocent until proven guilty adage we like to quote in many western legal systems? It stems from pre-political courtesy, because it can be irrevocably damaging to someone.

      So on the contrary, I’m glad people have been open about their disappointment in this particular news piece. And I hope RPS mulls it over, so as to not make the same mistake again.

      • WrenBoy says:

        So your position is that it is a mistake for journalists to report on leaked information?

        • tnzk says:

          I just got done watching an episode of Sherlock. I so would love to make a witty arrogant comment right now.

          I’ll settle for “No, don’t be so elementary.” I did not say journalists should not report on leaked information. In fact, as I said in my reply to your comment, I’m sure we’d all like to know what’s going on. What I am against — and what many people here seem to be against — is the fact that John not simply reported on leaked information, but decided to preemptively charge Bethesda/Arkane for ‘evil’ intentions. It took me a long while to settle using ‘evil’ as an adjective, because what they did really isn’t, but the way in which John is reporting is most certainly makes them out to be irrevocably despicable.

          In the same way we’re wondering why Bethesda didn’t just say “no comment” instead of allegedly outright lying, it’s ironic RPS didn’t simply report the alleged deceit or misconduct. No, it is now absolute truth that they had lied to the collective face of journalism because they’re bad, evil developers, who view John and co. as ‘press sneak fucks’.

          Again, innocent until proven guilty. That’s the crux of the issue.

          • WrenBoy says:

            To understand what you are saying, its fine that John reported the apparent lies, you just didnt like the tone, is that right?

            Also not sure where all innocent until proven guilty talk is coming from. This is not a court of law and noone is at risk of being locked in a cage. I have to ask though, given that you dont consider the emails to be sufficient proof, what exactly would it take to convince you?

          • Ninja Dodo says:

            There’s a difference between investigative journalism based on solid evidence and character assassination based on flimsy rumours.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Ninja Dodo
            Given the evidence presented, I assume you are referring to another article when you talk about flimsy rumours.

            Not sure Id call it investigative journalism either. Seems like solid reporting though.

          • Ninja Dodo says:

            I don’t consider a screenshot of an email that could easily have been faked by anyone with Photoshop evidence. That and as pointed out above, this a Mac email client and Arkane uses Windows for development, so unless someone brought a Macbook to the office (which is not impossible, but unlikely) this screams fake.

            I’ll believe this when it’s confirmed by Arkane or another independent source.

  34. Gamboni says:

    Does this mean all future Prey 2 news will be seasoned with butthurt? :(

  35. CelticPixel says:

    When details of a project a company isn’t ready to announce are leaked, I don’t think that means we’re entitled to know the truth. I like Bethesda, and Arkane, and I’m excited about what Prey 2 could be. It’s early days and It’s not time to talk about it. That’s fine.

    • Werthead says:

      “When details of a project a company isn’t ready to announce are leaked, I don’t think that means we’re entitled to know the truth. I like Bethesda, and Arkane, and I’m excited about what Prey 2 could be. It’s early days and It’s not time to talk about it. That’s fine.”

      Bethesda’s PREY 2 was formally announced here on RPS on 14 March 2011:

      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/03/14/surprise-prey-2-confirmed/

      Bethesda have subsequently released a series of screenshots and videos about the game. They themselves started up the news cycle about the game and the hype machine about it and it is perfectly valid for journalists to continue covering the story even when things take a negative turn.

      The, “They don’t want to talk about it yet,” argument is invalid with regard to this story. Bethesda have been talking about it for over two years already.

  36. Xantonze says:

    I’m with Mr. Gillen on this one. Half the articles on RPS have become “Game XXXX possibly under development”, “look at those 2 images from game YYYY, coming 2019″, “Oh, ANOTHER shitty trailer for COD54″ (so why report it if your prose clearly shows you’re pissed with the whole process?), etc. The good articles are drowned in this megamass of crap. Thus, the picture at the top of the article is fitting.

    Also, I’m waiting on the news about Bethesda screwing the former devs. If it’s not true, this whole thing will be just another example of the press whining about “lack of respect”.

    • WrenBoy says:

      Odd that Gillen didnt complain about one of those articles instead of what is a pretty clear cut reporting of a lie with strong undertones of publisher wrongdoing.

      • Xantonze says:

        “@kierongillen 12 h
        @botherer Because the obsession over games that are years away has been choking the lungs of the games press for 2 decades now.”

        The other arguments I pointed are part of this same phenomenon.

    • Werthead says:

      False equivalence (from you and Kieron). This isn’t a game that hasn’t been formally announced yet (HALF-LIFE 3 has never been formally announced, though EPISODE 3 has), but one that was announced *years* ago, with plenty of coverage. Bethesda themselves put out screenshots and hyped up the game. They began the story themselves, several years ago. It is perfectly fair for the gaming press to continue covering the story as it develops, even if the story develops in a negative fashion.

      I think journalistic exposure of shady practices at certain publishers – and it must be admitted that Bethesda are starting to develop form here – is both important and useful, for gamers who may not want to support that company’s practices in the future and certainly for other developers who might be considering working with the publisher in the future.

  37. CobraLad says:

    Remember those rumors about Bethesda aquiring Stalker license? Yeah, that may turn out to be true.

  38. Wulfram says:

    I care whether they’re honest with consumers when they’re actually selling the game, not whether they lie, – or say nasty things! – to the press during development.

  39. yhancik says:

    Can’t wait to see the new direction the IP takes when it will move to another studio again :D A Half-Life 3 successor by iD paying tribute to the early 90s aesthetics! A police procedural in a procedurally generated galaxy by Bethesda! A sandboxing game by former Ubisoft Montréal devs described as “phreakpunk batman”. Oh the possibilities!

  40. skyturnedred says:

    I really hope it’s still an open-world bounty hunter game IN SPACE rather than a series of (non-linear) missions, like Dishonored. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it was a great game. But Human Head’s Prey 2 sounded and looked pretty damn awesome, so I hope Arkane builds on that.

  41. tnzk says:

    On a related note, I just want to say, despite how awesome Human Head’s Prey 2 concept seemed, I don’t think we should be up in arms with Bethesda winding down the original project. There is the very real possibility that it actually was turning out to be a pile of crap.

  42. Boffin says:

    All this talk about wasted time is interesting. How much time do devs “waste” by answering questions about their game, especially when the questions have been asked before, or the answers are blindingly obvious?

    But heaven forbid someone doesn’t hold games journalism in high esteem. Clearly the best way to prove them wrong is to publish leaked emails and top it all with a picture of cow shit. It’s okay though, because this is Real Journalism, folks.

  43. edwardh says:

    Well, well. Sounds like somebody should get fired.

  44. chabuhi says:

    A company I once worked for spent several months denying that we were being sold when, in fact, that’s exactly what was occurring over the course of those several months. The reason for the flat-out BS? They were owned, at the time, by a publicly traded company, and news of acquisition and mergers were material statements that could obviously impact investors and potentially lead to litigation if not handled in the absolute most orderly way. I prefer the truth as well, but it’s just the nature of the world where the one-percenters play their money games. The real issue in this case is with the unfortunate comment about members of the press in a confidential email that was leaked out. I would have considered buying this game despite the fact that they were not being open about the status of the developers. However, the insult to gaming journalists just makes me never want to buy anything he has a hand in ever again.

  45. JoeX111 says:

    I hope this means the next time you interview the team at Arkane you won’t just toss them PR friendly softballs.

  46. derbefrier says:

    lol drama. I am glad i don’t care about any of this stuff and can laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of it.
    Well I hope they make a good game anyway. Most people wont care or remember this by the the time the game is released anyway so really its just funny to watch people get so worked up over nothing.

  47. Solidstate89 says:

    Well fine, I didn’t want your open-world bounty hunting game anyways! I’ll go make my own game, with black jack, and hookers!

  48. Crossing says:

    http://i.imgur.com/kp28f24.jpg

    More Sneak Fuck images, please.

  49. spleendamage says:

    They’re not working on the game content,
    just the metadata.

  50. stilgars says:

    Oh my god, Arkhane dared to lie to the “press” and the internet. Hang them right away !
    You know people, it is their job to actually make games, with proper planning deadlines and milestones, and they do not owe you anything. As many said, if you have problem with that, vote with your wallet but STFU

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