Though there have been murmurings (and indeed alleged leaked emails) that much-anticipated but much-troubled open world shooter Prey 2 had been snatched away from original dev Human Head and entrusted to the tattooed hands of Dishonored dev Arkane, Bethesda have now stated that the game is as dead as Zhora after three bullets in the back.
But what's in a name?
"It wasn't up to our quality standard and we decided to cancel it," Bethesda vice-president and PR boss Pete Hines told CNET yesterday." It's no longer in development.... We never saw a path to success if we finished it." Given we've been waiting for Prey 2 since 2011, this isn't a huge surprise.
However, he does go on to carefully specify that "Human Head Studios is no longer working on [it]" and that "it's a franchise we still believe we can do something with - we just need to see what that something is," which could add fuel to the secret Arkane project rumour. He doesn't say no-one's working on a Prey game, pointedly.
Given there has already been, ah, some history of, er, mixed messages about the status of Prey 2 from Bethesda, it would not seem entirely unwise to do some reading between the lines here. A videogame with the name 'Prey 2' is no longer in development, but a videogame with 'Prey' in the title may still be: we just don't know whether it or is not yet.
The next question is whether that Schrodinger's videogame would bear any resemblance to Prey 2's planned designer - essentially, Blade Runner on an alien world and with a whole lot more shooting. It's a concept with a great deal of promise, but equally I can see how there's a risk of it devolving into rinse and repeat go-shoot-that-guy tasks.
If you want to have a jog around the wheel of the unsubstantiated rumour mill, there are some alleged 'leaked' design documents for Arkane's alleged Prey game, which specify a System Shock 2-inspired affair, with heightened survival aspects. Entirely uncorroborated as yet, but a fascinating read nonetheless.
Commiserations, in any case, to anyone who worked on 'Prey 2.' You got the world excited, and I hope you get the chance to do that again.