Just today Bethesda Softworks announced that Human Head Studios’ forthcoming follow-up to Prey was not cancelled but had been delayed into 2013. Rumors had started circulating last month that suggested the project had been scrapped, and based on the game’s lack of marketing those rumors seemed pretty plausible.

Luckily one of E3 2011’s standouts is still making progress, or at least that’s what Bethesda wanted us to believe. While the official statement regarding Prey 2 suggested that Bethesda wasn’t satisfied with the quality of the game, a new story has surfaced that says it was the developer’s contract that was holding things up.

In protest of their contract, Human Head deliberately stopped work on Prey 2 in the hopes that Bethesda parent company ZeniMax would restructure the deal. In that time the developer was hit with some sizeable lay-offs, and it seemed pretty unlikely that Human Head would return to the project.

This inside source, which comes to us by way of Shacknews, couldn’t provide further insight into the game’s development after the first of March (leading us to believe he was part of the game’s lay-offs), but apparently things were moving along. The source also claims that the real headway was being made with another of Human Head’s projects, which may or may not be a sequel to Rune.

So, taking into account both Bethesda’s official statement and this unofficial one from a Human Head insider it seems like things might not be going as well as we were led to believe — at least for Human Head. If one were to project the future, it feels more likely that Bethesda has pulled Human Head from developmental duties on Prey 2 and is taking the project elsewhere.

What Human Head showed at E3, and the first trailer for the game, had a lot of promise, but apparently that wasn’t nearly as polished as they were leading us to believe.

Would you still be interested in Prey 2 if the project were with another developer? Should the sequel have had closer ties to the original?

Source: Shacknews