Arkane is Working on ‘Prey 2′, Will Be a Spiritual Succesor to ‘System Shock 2′

Published 1 year ago by

Prey 2 will Be System Shock 2 Successor

Okay, here’s a strange one.

In early May, we heard that Prey 2 had been officially stripped from original developer Human Head Studios and given to Dishonored developer Arkane Studios. It was a surprising move, but one that made sense considering Arkane had become Prey 2 publisher Bethesda’s up-and-coming “rock star” studio.

However, not that long ago, Bethesda’s Pete Hines revealed that the rumors were not true, that Arkane is not working on Prey 2. He didn’t beat around the bush either, coming right out and dismissing any previous reports. But today, we have learned that Arkane is, in fact, working on Prey 2, and then things got a little weird.

According to a series of e-mails procured by Kotaku, Arkane’s Austin studio, which was responsible for the Dishonored DLC, has taken control of the IP while their studio in France works on Dishonored 2. However, rather than continue the work started by Human Head, Arkane is working with a blank slate.

As a result, the studio is approaching the IP from a completely different perspective. In one of the e-mails, Arkane’s Raphael Colantonio tells members of the staff that they are looking to make Prey 2 a spiritual successor to System Shock 2 – the popular sci-fi/horror RPG from Irrational Games.

Arkane Studios Prey 2 Leaked Email

The e-mail also reveals that Arkane Austin hoped to make an original IP, but that wasn’t an option for the brand new studio. Taking on Prey 2 will be their initiation, and then perhaps the studio can carve its own path; that is, if Prey 2 is not an outright success.

So, the good news is that Prey 2 is still alive and that a worthy developer has an intriguing direction for the sequel. It’s definitely a shame that the Blade Runner-esque concept Human Head showed at E3 2011 will never come to fruition, but that’s occasionally the nature of the business.

At the same time, though, it sounds like Bethesda is still using the Prey name, but not really sticking to any of the core tenets from that underrated first game. We obviously don’t know anything about the project at this point, so we can’t say that for certain, but it just seems that way.

Prey 2 in Limbo

And what about the need for the secrecy? Why did Pete Hines so clearly mislead the press when the news was already out? Our guess is that Bethesda wanted to wait until they had something concrete to show before breaking the news, so that gamers could evaluate Arkane Austin’s work at face value and not make assumptions purely on rumor. However, if Arkane is only getting started on Prey 2 (a.k.a. System Shock 3) now, we won’t be seeing anything from the game anytime soon.

What do you think about Arkane’s Austin studio making Prey 2 a spiritual successor to System Shock 2? How do you feel about the game after all that has happened?

Source: Kotaku

TAGS: Arkane Studios, Bethesda, Human Head Studios, Prey, Prey 2

  • Scrambles

    but bioshock already is the ‘spiritual successor’ to system shock 2…

    • Anthony Taormina

      Very true. Maybe this one’s spirit will be stronger.

    • ZylonBane

      Bioshock really wasn’t a spiritual successor to System Shock. It was hyped as one, but for all the basic game mechanics and plot twists that it lifted from SS2, it somehow managed to not play or feel much like SS2 at all.

  • Nick

    Whatever they’re going to do with it they need to do it. I had high hopes for this game but if it stays in development hell for too long it’ll probably still be a great game but will have some really rough edges like Dead Island. Or it’ll just be complete crap.

  • David

    While the idea of a “spiritual successor” to System Shock 2 may sound intriguing, I would much rather see an actual System Shock 3, if anyone could get the trademarks and such out of limbo and make a real System Shock styled game. I just don’t see it happening, only people trying to build hype based on a classic title that still resonates with certain core fans. I wish anyone who even attempts to build a game in the style of System Shock 2 luck, I think it would be a tough sell to any publisher out there now. Most of the publishers seem content to crank out games that are selling at the moment, not take risks like funding anything like System Shock 2, with it’s many complexities and horror/survival motif’s.

    • grenadeh

      We all would my friend but it will never happen, ever. We’re going to have to stick with BioShock and Dead Space and hopefully Prey 2 as spiritual sequels.

  • DarthMalnu

    I was kind of hoping it would be a spiritual successor to “Prey”, but apparently the industry as a whole has ruled that idea as silly. (Though they do seem to agree that it had a cool name)

  • Geoff

    After what happened to Human Head I can’t support this project. I really like Arkane, but we’ve already seen spiritual successors to System Shock. We haven’t see any open-world alien bounty hunter games. It’s bloody disappointing to see folks give Bethesda a free pass on this – maybe a build has to get out there so gamers can decide for themselves the validity of those ridiculous quality issues.

  • grenadeh

    Frankly Prey was a shit game so I’m not upset at all that they are making it different. I laugh that anyone enjoyed the first game, it was so generic and linear and boring – did not stand out in the slightest from any other FPS at the time.