Where once Prey 2 burned as bright as an exploding star, it's now nearly blipped out of existence. Strikes and stall-outs allegedly sidelined the promising sequel for many moons, and talk of cancellation wrapped a rapidly tightening noose around its neck. But then, a twist: rumors rushed from the Internet's every exceedingly awkward orifice door that Dishonored developer Arkane had taken the reins on the beleaguered bounty hunter because, well, Bethesda got kinda pushy about it. However, as part of an interview during QuakeCon, I asked Bethesda's Pete Hines about the situation, and he told a very, very different tale.
“No," he told RPS when asked if Prey 2 has moved from Human Head to Arkane's human hands. "All of that stuff, I have no idea where it came from. The Human Head Prey 2 thing is the Human Head Prey 2 thing. Arkane is over here, and they're doing their thing, and that's for them to work on. We'll be ready to talk about what they're working on when it gets closer to release.”
That is, um... OK. Quite definitive. Frankly, I was very surprised. So then, what is happening? Well, Hines was adamant about one thing: Prey 2 isn't down for the count. It wasn't up to snuff previously, but it will get there - in some form or another.
“It just wasn't where it needed to be," he admitted. "It wasn't meeting expectations that we had and – in some respects – Human Head had. We're not just gonna proceed with a plan of putting this thing out until that gets addressed in a way that we feel like will be worth all this time and attention.”
“Yes, we could ship it and put it in a box and be done with it, but it won't meet anybody's expectations. Not ours, not yours, not the consumer's. It'd just be like, 'What happened to this?' Well, that's what we would like to know. It's not fun to make a call to pull back the reins on something like that and say it's not coming out this year. It's certainly not an easy decision, especially after you spent years and millions and millions of dollars creating it.”
So Bethesda's called for a mulligan. But clearly, people were extremely excited about what Prey 2 at least looked like it would become. I asked Hines if the plan was still to pursue something resembling that vision, if not an entirely similar path to realizing it. At that point, unfortunately, he got a bit cagey. A long, brow-furrowing pause, and then:
“It probably doesn't help me to define that any further. The reason that it got delayed the way it did is because it was not hitting the quality bar that it was supposed to and needed to. That was ultimately the problem. It had nothing to do with what it was trying to do. It just didn't hit the quality bar. It's kind of like Wolfenstein, which is getting delayed to next year because it's showing promise, but it needs more time and polish to hit the quality bar we expect. Prey 2 is not the first time that we've moved something because of that. It's gonna come down to quality.”
Well, that's something at least. Kind of. Whoever's working on Prey 2 right now, I wish them the best. Here's hoping we get something meatier to chew on soon. But until then, I guess all I can say is see you, space
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