One of the biggest (but least surprising) news stories out of last week was that after a long (and apparently deeply troubled) development, Prey 2 had officially been cancelled. Originally announced back in 2011, the first person shooter was set to follow bounty hunter Killian Samuels in a sequel to Prey, the 2006 Xbox exclusive.
Unfortunately the game didn’t exactly encounter smooth sailing since being shown publicly, but had even praise give way to incredibly stormy seas. Prey 2 itself came to be after the rights to the property switched from 2K Games to Bethesda, with early development troubles at Human Head Studios entrusting the game instead to Arkane Studios, enjoying the success of Dishonored midway through development.
So with those turbulent conditions Prey 2‘s canning could have been foreseen (and was by many). Yet, despite all of these roadblocks, the leadership at Human Head isn’t burying their heads in shame, instead claiming they remain proud of the work that they did on the game.
Speaking to VG24/7, Tim Gerritsen, the Business Development Director at Human Head Studios said the following;
“We can confirm that Human Head Studios has not been involved with Prey 2 for some time. While we are disappointed that we won’t be able to deliver our vision of the game, we remain proud of our work on the franchise, which we feel speaks for itself, including the award-winning presentation of the game at E3 2011.
“We enjoyed working with the many talented people at Bethesda, and we wish them all the best of luck with any future plans they may have for the franchise.”
While Gerritsen’s words might just be to save face (and some may ask what motivated Bethesda to keep any more of their work from seeing the light of day) they also directly contrast what publisher Bethesda said last week.
Human Head seems to suggest that the original studio’s idea for Prey 2 could have been salvaged, but Bethesda’s Pete Hines implied otherwise, stating that the game “wasn’t up to quality standard and we decided to cancel it.” Furthermore, Gerritsen’s words confirm that Human Head weren’t working on the game any more and although Bethesda denied that Arkane had taken over Prey 2 it seems as though some posturing and positions smoke and mirrors are at play.
So will we ever see a sequel to Prey out in the wild? Bethesda themselves said that they still feel the franchise has something to offer, and the connections to Arkane remain. There’s always the chance of a spiritual sequel – to either Prey (which few ever demanded) or Human Head’s concept (unlikely) – but fans can keep holding out hope.