In 2006, first person shooter Prey (Xbox 360)
was released after a very turbulent development cycle that had lasted for almost ten years. A critical and commercial success at the time and with a cliffhanger ending just begging for the story to continue, a sequel seemed like a sure thing. It took another five years, but Prey 2
was finally confirmed back in 2011
. Departing from the original in a number of ways, the sequel was due to be set on an open alien world, with players stepping into the shoes of an amnesiac bounty hunter, and was expected to be released the following year.
Following the announcement, we were treated to an intriguing live action teaser
and then a seriously cool trailer
at that year's E3. Over the next few months we got news in the form of screens and developer diaries, but then in August all the coverage dried up. The last we heard officially of the game was eight months later, in April 2012, when publishers Bethesda confirmed that the game would be delayed indefinitely as it did not meet the quality they wanted. Not a good sign. It seemed that the name Prey
was cursed as the sequel was doomed to relive the difficulties of its predecessor.
Despite two and a half years of no more news, many Prey
fans have lived in the admittedly fantastical hopes that the game was still being worked on and Bethesda would surprise us with more news. Rumours that the game had moved from development at Human Head Studios to Arkane Studios (Dishonored
) then Obsidian Entertainment (Fallout: New Vegas
), as well as supposedly leaked emails confirming the game's existence, seemed to substantiate those hopes.
Unfortunately, Bethesda vice president Pete Hines has now exclusively confirmed to CNET
that the game has indeed been completely canned. He had the following to say about the decision:
It was a game we believed in, but we never felt that it got to where it needed to be - we never saw a path to success if we finished it. It wasn't up to our quality standard and we decided to cancel it. It's no longer in development. That wasn't an easy decision, but it's one that won't surprise many folks given that we hadn't been talking about it. Human Head Studios is no longer working on. It's a franchise we still believe we can do something with -- we just need to see what that something is.
That last sentence hints that the franchise isn't completely killed off but, for the time being, Prey 2
has fallen prey to its turbulent development.