It was one of the most surprising and promising games on display way back at E3 2011, but since then Prey 2 has fallen on hard times. After being delayed indefinitely by publisher Bethesda, it now seems that the game may actually end up being released.
The reports are not yet official, but it appears that Human Head's time with the game has come to an end, and after shopping the project around to several developers Bethesda has handed it over to Arkane Studios, developers of Dishonored. Good news for fans of that stealth/action title, but there's reason to believe that the Prey 2 players end up with may bear little resemblance to what has been previously advertised.
Usually, hearing that a game may not be exactly what it was marketed as in its first cinematic trailer is not a bombshell. But in the case of Prey 2, the quality of the trailer can't be understated; nor can the fact that it was almost unrecognizable as tied to the original Prey. However, even unanimous excitement for what looked to be a playable next-gen rendition of Blade Runner couldn't keep development on track, and the project soon fell into limbo.
Fans had their hopes buoyed when Bethesda extended the trademark in April, and now the reason are much clearer. According to a report from Kotaku, gathering information brought to them firsthand, and from the fansite Alien Noire that Prey 2 is receiving a reboot at the hands of Arkane Austin. And not everyone at the studio is happy about the game being "forced" onto their plate. The reports claim that Bethesda had pulled Human Head from the project - corroborating previous statements that Bethesda wasn't happy with their progress - and since shopped the game to both Obsidian and Rebellion.
Both passed, and now after months of Bethesda trying to get Arkane on board with taking over development, the discussion is over; Arkane will develop Prey 2, and all previous work and assets are being scrapped. That's bad news for the developers at Human Head (who in the past year have been helping out on BioShock: Infinite and other projects while awaiting news of Bethesda's decision), and for those at Arkane Austin who remain less than enthused about working on the game at all.
Apparently the higher-ups are pitching the studio on forgetting about the Prey brand (which seemed to many to already be the case) and develop the game as another homage to System Shock, as Dishonored was. If you're looking for a silver lining on the idea of completely tossing out what Human Head had already crafted, it would seem Arkane wasn't impressed. Or, they'll now have the chance to design a game without compromising their own vision.
Regardless of what the future holds for the game, or what this means for Arkane's plans for a Dishonored sequel (they have studios in both Austin and Lyon), expect to hear a statement from Bethesda soon.
For now, what is your reaction to this news? Are you happy to see such a promising game handed to proven studio? Or do you fear that what you most enjoyed about the early showing will be scrapped entirely? Sound off in the comments.
We'll keep you updated on Prey 2 - whoever ends up making it - as news arrives.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.