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."
"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.
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.