One of the best parts of walking the E3 show floor is finding those surprising games that you either wrote off, or didn’t even know about. Games like Murdered: Soul Suspect or The Division stand out from this year’s E3, but there’s always a handful of those surprises. However, sometimes those surprising presentations, big or small, don’t actually turn into anything substantial.
Case in point: Prey 2 — a game we saw back at E3 2011 and we really impressed by. But since that time, things have taken a turn for the worse on Prey 2, with developer Human Head Studios being pulled from the project, and publisher Bethesda revealing the game wasn’t up to their standards.
“It’s simply not good enough. We’re not going to just proceed blindly with something that isn’t good enough. We’ve been very specific about why, and we’ve been very specific about the whats. When that gets addressed and changed or whatever, at that point we can give an update. But nobody’s disappointment is greater than ours. We spent a lot of time and money and effort trying to make this thing happen and support folks, but at the same time, you just can’t keep throwing money at it and saying, ‘sure, it’ll eventually work.’ You have to have the discipline to say, ‘it’s not good enough. It’s not hitting the quality bar. Why isn’t it? We’ve been at this for a while, and what we have is not what we talked about.’ So that’s where we are.”
Hines also provided some clarification in regards to the various reports citing Human Head’s stressful working conditions and mistreatment. Obviously, he didn’t want to go into detail, but Hines did emphasize that gamers are only hearing one side of the story. Not only that, but most of these “leaks,” he says, have come from Human Head developers that were not involved in the discussions with Bethesda.
These leaks included reports that Bethesda failed to provide the developer with the time or money they needed to complete the game, and were putting significant pressure on Human Head to get the game done. This was also happening while Bethesda was making a play to purchase Human Head outright, a sale the developer was not interested in.
As a result, development stopped on the game, it fell into limbo, and Dishonored developer Arkane Studios eventually replaced Human Head. It was a move Bethesda apparently felt was right, but one that left Prey 2‘s writer/designer livid.
Needless to say, while Bethesda has found a new home for Prey 2 it’s still unclear if this game will ever see the light of day. The game has had such a troubled development that, no matter the promise that E3 demo showed, Prey 2 will also carry a certain stigma with it. It’s a real shame that things turned out this way, because the demo had us excited.
Do you ever think we will see Prey 2? Will it resemble the game Human Head showed at E3 2011?