Prey 2 Continues the Plunge Through Development Hell
Prey 2 has been bouncing around since its trailer was premiered at E3 in 2011. Now it appears that its reaching that very special point in development hell: the scrapping of all work to date and rebooting by another development team.
This is a particularly odd bit of news, considering the game hasn’t been bouncing around floundering development teams or anything. Human Head Studios (who helped with Gamers Schmamers favorite Bioshock Infitine) put in nearly a years worth of work on the game with apparently zero direction or communication from the IP’s owner Bethesda (who purchased the franchise from 2K games in 2009) before becoming frustrated enough to leave the project. Bethesda kicked it around before now deciding to scrap the work Human Head did and “give” the game to Arkane Austin – the guys who made one of my favorite games in a while, Dishonored. (Though the lead developer of Dishonored is now with Arkane’s other branch, Arkane Lyon.)
Personally, I was never too excited for Prey 2 to begin with. Prey the first was a decent game, but one I never got into because of the complete lack of challenge (you couldn’t actually die in the game, losing your health just sent you to a short “spiritual world” level that brought you right back). I would have loved some more games exploring Native American culture (seriously, developers, there’s a huge untapped mythology here; we’ve seen plenty of things based on Greek mythology), but the Prey 2 trailer made it obvious that this was a case of “we have a popular title, let’s franchise it!” with the “sequel” sharing little in common with the first game other than the name. To make matters worse, according to the Kotaku source Arkane Austin is pissed they even have to work on the game, and I can’t imagine a bunch of disgruntled employees putting forth their best effort.
However, if Arkane is given free reign on the project there is this very hopeful quote from the source of this information:
Some people at Arkane Austin are upset about this decision, our tipster said, but higher-ups at the company are telling the team to forget that it’s called Prey 2 and just treat it like a new System Shock.