After a banner showing at E3 2011, it has been all down hill for Prey 2. What could have been, ostensibly, Blade Runner the video game instead turned into one of the more disappointing developments in recent memory.
Clearly, something wasn’t quite right at developer Human Head Studios — their relationship with publisher ZeniMax Studios strained — and so talk of cancellation arose. Then, came reports that Human Head hadn’t worked on Prey 2 in over 6 months, forced into limbo after general agreements could not be reached. Now, we haven’t heard so much as a peep about the game, despite claims Prey 2 has not been cancelled.
Further reaffirming those claims is a move by ZeniMax to extend the Prey 2 trademark. ZeniMax made the filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office for television shows, online games, magazines, comic books, and feature films.
So, while this trademark application may give Prey 2 fans (present company included) hope, it doesn’t necessarily mean the game will come back from the dead. Rather, it could mean that ZeniMax is looking to leverage the Prey 2 concept in another fashion, perhaps through a comic book.
Or it could be a sign that Human Head Studios is taking their work to another publisher in the hopes of getting the game made elsewhere. ZeniMax may see such a transition happening, and so they want to prevent Human Head from using the Prey 2 name, which ZeniMax may want to use at a later date.
We saw a similar thing occur with True Crime: Hong Kong, which eventually turned into Sleeping Dogs after developer United Front Games took the project to Square Enix. Maybe we will see some of those basic concepts pop up in a new IP. After all, Prey 2 was only loosely connected to the first game.
So, while nothing may come of this trademark extension that doesn’t mean we can’t hope to see Prey 2 again. It was one of the more interesting game concepts we saw that year, and it could be amazing in the next-gen.
Would you like to see Prey 2 come back from limbo? Do you think ZeniMax is extending the trademark to keep hope alive or to protect the IP?