In what sounded like heartbreaking news nearly a month ago, a certain outlet heard from their inside sources that Prey 2 was being canned. After impressing us a ton and easily becoming one of our favorite parts of E3 2011, we were shocked and disappointed at the possibility.

For some reason, it took Bethesda nearly a month to officially respond but they’ve confirmed today that Prey 2 has not been canned and that instead, it’s being delayed until some time next year.

Bethesda provided the official update today, revealing that they’re not happy with the way development has been going, giving us reason to believe that there was a legitimate chance of the game being canceled.

Development of Prey 2 has not been cancelled but the game will not be released in 2012 as planned. The delay is due to the fact that game development has not progressed satisfactorily this past year, and the game does not currently meet our quality standards. Prey 2 has shown great promise and we regret disappointing our fans. We have made a substantial investment in game development to deliver the experience fans want. We are determined only to release the AAA game that fans rightfully expect, and are unwilling to compromise our quality standards to meet a release schedule.

Perhaps the community response to the rumored cancellation persuaded them to keep the project alive and put more work into it instead. With Dishonored on the way, along with inevitable Skyrim DLC/expansions, Doom 4 and another Fallout title, Bethesda has room to maneuver and the more development time the better.

Prey 2 is the sequel to the unique 2006 shooter Prey and takes place on an alien world where players take on the role of U.S. Marshal Killian Samuels, a bounty hunter who’s lost his memory. In between epic gunfights using cover and demonstrating crazy traversal mechanics showcased during chase sequences, Samuels crosses paths with Tommy, the original game’s protagonist and discovers he’s not the only human on Exodus after all.

Again, from what we saw of the game at E3, not only is Prey 2 beautiful visually, but the mechanics, gunplay and in-game tech all seemingly worked well too – but we didn’t get hands on with it so it’s impossible to know for sure.

What grabs our attention from Bethesda’s comment is how they are “unwilling to compromise [their] quality standards to meet a release schedule,” after releasing Skyrim exactly to that which they describe. Skyrim was missing features they later included and came out as one of the most buggy games of the year, albeit the best buggy game of the year. Still, it’s odd to say this considering what we’ve seen from most Bethesda open-world games.

Human Head Studios can take as much time as they need for Prey 2 – we’re willing to wait. Check out the Prey 2 cinematic trailer to see why.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.