Prey 2 created a lot of excitement amongst gamers when it was first announced in 2011. Gamers were tantalized with screenshots, a demo, and gameplay details, but as 2012 came and went with no further news, fans feared the worst.
Bethesda confirmed those fears when it officially cancelled Prey 2 in late 2014, but didn't go into detail as to why, simply stating that the game wasn't up to their quality standards. A recent interview with the project director of Prey 2 has revealed how far along the game was in development following the E3 2011 reveal.
The rumors that Prey 2 had been in development for years prior to being announced to the public are apparently true. According to an interview between Develop and Human Head Studios, the demo from 2011 showed two years' worth of work that Human Head had put into the game. By the end of 2011, even further progress had apparently been made on the game, according to Norm Nazaroff:
"We had a great deal of content created, some of which was shown publicly but a lot of which was not. Our tech had progressed significantly past the live demo we ran at E3, Gamescom and PAX and was even more impressive. It’s my personal opinion that we would have been counted among the best looking games of the previous console generation.”
However, Bethesda hesitated to proceed with Human Head's vision of the game, moved the project from Human Head to Arkane Studio, and then finally decided to scrap the entire game.
Bethesda has claimed that they feel the Prey franchise is still worthwhile, but it remains unclear whether anything is currently in the works. Prey fans may not be willing to hold their breath for a sequel at this point, as they've experienced the franchise switching publishers from 2K to Bethesda; and a dizzying back-and-forth of whether Human Head Studios, Arkane Studio or any studio at all would be working on the game.
There were undoubtedly many fans who were discouraged to hear that Human Head's version of Prey 2 had been scrapped, but one wonders what Bethesda's motivations were. The E3 demo received a positive response from gamers, and fans still had their fingers crossed after all these years that Prey 2 hadn't turned into vaporware. While Bethesda's answer for why the game was cancelled is fairly straightforward, the outrage from a Human Head team member who worked on the game shows that there may have been more to it than the quality of the game.
In any case, games that fall into developmental limbo for years yet manage to come out, like Duke Nukem Forever, often turn out to be disappointments.
Are you hoping that Bethesda will show off a fresh new take on Prey 2, or are you disappointed that Human Head's version never got to see the light of day?