In 2011 Andy, Ryan Fadden, and I were at PAX Prime in Seattle, because where else would we be, and we decided to get in the The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim line, but we quickly got out of due to the fact it was three hours long, but as fate would have it that put us front of the Prey 2 booth. A game none of us had any interest in, but that would change as soon as the guy started the demo. We were floored, and it was my game of show for PAX that year. Two years have past and it looks like the game is in trouble.
The first Prey was about a Native American named Tony that is captured by aliens, and then tries to save his girlfriend, and along the way he has to use his Native American super powers to help him survive. The game was a straight up shooter that was only notable for its questionable architecture, and use of portals, yes like from the game Portal, but before Portal came out. You shouldn’t play it. It is not good. This is why we didn’t care about the sequel, but they changed everything for the sequel. It was about U.S. Marshal Killian Samuels and he was also captured by the same aliens, but he escapes and becomes a bounty hunter on an alien planet in a cool Blade Runner like city. It had free running and an open multi-tiered level design. It was really sweet looking.
Last year the publisher Bethesda announced that Prey 2 would not come out that year because it was not ready yet. That is not too strange it happens all the time, but then this year they announced the game was pretty much just a demo and that they were taking the game away from its developer Human Head studios.
This was a shock to me because they had a demo in 2011, and I saw it. It was great, so to have nothing a year and a half later sounded questionable, and developers from Human Head are saying that Bethesda is lying, and they had a near complete game. Bethesda is just mad because they offered to buy out Human Head but they refused so Bethesda pulled their funding, and then finally gave the game to their studio Arkane, and gave the game a new release date of 2016.
I find this story hard to believe as well because that would mean Bethesda is willing to throw away tens of millions of dollars to spite an independent developer, and most companies don’t like to waste that kind of money based on spite. Especially ones in the tumultuous video game industry.
I think the truth is between those two stories. I think Human Head was behind in development, so Bethesda got antsy and asked to buy them so they wouldn’t loose the talent working on the game, but they could bring the quality control in house, and when Human Head refused then Bethesda pulled the plug and moved the game to a new studio, and one that was in house so they could monitor the quality personally.
I am sure there is even more to it then that, and it would great to get truthful account of what is going on, but doubt that will happen. I hope in 2016 the game is as cool as it was promised to be in 2011.