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Bethesda Says Prey 2 Isn't Canceled, Also Isn't Coming Out This Year

Publisher cites quality issues as the reason for delay, and is frankly pretty mean about it.

No Blade Runner-esque space bounty hunting for you! For a while, at least.

Rumors had been churning a couple of weeks back that Prey 2, the Human Head-developed sci-fi bounty hunting game that more or less shocked everyone by being a game called Prey 2 that looked legitimately awesome, had been quietly canceled. The rumor mill had been churning even earlier than that, as multiple Prey 2-related presentations, including one at this year's GDC, had been canceled very much at the last minute with no explanation.

Well, we can put the rumors to rest today, as Bethesda has announced in no uncertain terms that development of Prey 2 is still very much ongoing. However, the game will not meet its original 2012 release date, either.

Here is Bethesda's entire statement on the subject.

Development of Prey 2 has not been cancelled but the game will not be released in 2012 as planned. The delay is due to the fact that game development has not progressed satisfactorily this past year, and the game does not currently meet our quality standards. Prey 2 has shown great promise and we regret disappointing our fans. We have made a substantial investment in game development to deliver the experience fans want. We are determined only to release the AAA game that fans rightfully expect, and are unwilling to compromise our quality standards to meet a release schedule.

Yikes. Am I the only one reading a little bit of pointed hostility in that statement? Not trying to start any mess, but it's exceedingly rare for a publisher to make definitive quality statements regarding a project still in the works. And even when they do, they're usually qualified by a lot of flowery, supportive language, with phrases like "we're very excited about the potential ____ has to offer" or "we believe this extra development time will help make ____ into the best in class blah blah blah." Frankly, this is as close as I've seen to a publisher publicly reading a developer the riot act in, well, ever.

Whatever the case, Human Head Studios is presumably still hard at work on Prey 2 for the foreseeable future (I'm only guessing, since the release doesn't mention a shift in development duties), and Bethesda still plans to make good on its "substantial investment." Maybe there's nothing to worry about right now. However, if we start reading about a sudden influx of Human Head employees suffering brutal kneecap injuries--after all, you don't need knees to write code--maybe we should start worrying again.

Alex Navarro on Google+
162 Comments
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Posted by BigBossCB

Thank goodness. Brad seemed really positive on this.

Posted by Zaxex

I respect that the statement read as if a person wrote it, rather than a PR department.

I thought the original Prey was okay and certainly showed some promise, specifically in the beginning. I hope they can turn it around.

Posted by Sporkbane

It probably just runs well on the PS3 right now, so they're changing it to be buggy and broken, that way skyrim doesn't look so bad next to it.

Posted by The_Nubster

PR statement in layman's terms:

"We thought that video was way cool too, and then we saw the rest of it."

Posted by Leosol

YEAH Bethesda only publishes HIGH QUALITY GAMES.....like Brink

Edited by Triumvir

@Brendan said:

@Phatmac said:

Ehh. I don't about you guys, but I'm worried. I don't think Prey 2 will be all that great considering this news. This isn't looking good :/

Yeah, I'm not confident that a game comes back from delays like this and becomes great as a final product. Bad precedent.

I definitely agree with this. My hopes for Prey 2 stymied when it was a no-show at GDC. Games that hit road bumps like this are rarely more than middling at best (then again, "middling" games can be fun, too). But, hey, maybe this could be one of the exceptions that proves the rule.

Posted by allworkandlowpay

Good on Bethesda. Don't rush it out just to meet your quarterly returns. Make sure the game is fucking done and ready to be shipped. You know, early on I wasn't sure about Bethesda turning the publisher route, but I have high hopes with this type of action.

Posted by Phatmac

@Triumvir: Yeah we all hope that the game is good. It just seems unlikely :/

Posted by FoxMulder

This is fantastic news! Bummed it isn't this year, but hopefully the delay can make it the best it can be!

Posted by chilipeppersman

Well it's good they are taking their time and not rushing it out

Posted by ch3burashka

'Bethesda Says Prey 2 Isn't Cancelled, or: Bethesda calls Human Head a Piece of Shit'.

Posted by laserbolts

Good to read it isn't cancelled. I have no clue where Alex gets the hostility in that statement from though.

Posted by Paindamnation

@Euey said:

@Wiseblood: Yeah or WET or Brink or Rage...

Rage wasn't GREAT. But it wasn't that bad. It was a fun game..though the ending..Well we're not going to talk about that. WET I never played..and well Brink..I was so over-hyped for that game that when I read at midnight the day it came out that it got a 7 and everywhere else tanked. I didn't even want to pick it up in the morning.

Posted by elitefury

I wonder if that's the same issue with True Crime Hong Kong.

Posted by Eojay

@Paindamnation: Oh man, I pre-ordered Brink for £40... think I ended up playing it for like, an hour. :/

Posted by Subjugation

I'm super happy that the game still lives, but at the same time I'm pretty concerned over the reason for the media blackout and delays. Please please PLEASE let this game come out and actually measure up to its potential. I can't take any more heartbreak.

Posted by Paindamnation

@cwJoe said:

@Paindamnation: Oh man, I pre-ordered Brink for £40... think I ended up playing it for like, an hour. :/

And I TRIED to love it..I just couldn't.

Posted by Pudge

Maybe this is just Human Head and Bethesda taking up the 3D Realms tradition!

PREY 2! Coming out for the XBOX 1080 in 2024!

Edited by efman

Whatever the quality of the game upon its release, the issued statement reads like a group of developers being very forthright about the state of their game and the supposed languishing thereof. Press releases, these days, with boilerplate statements that come off as no different than their polar opposites across whatever medium, don't really get into that specifics of why said property is in limbo. This, at the very least, offers some competent measures of insight as to be rendered as understanding. Hoping this game turns out to be great.

Posted by xite

What's everyone's problem with Prey? It had some legitimately interesting mechanics and level design.

Posted by allworkandlowpay

@xite said:

What's everyone's problem with Prey? It had some legitimately interesting mechanics and level design.

I actually loved it. Just the last few levels were pretty meeeh. I felt like it was a successor to Quake, honestly.

Posted by Rotnac

Great news! Hopefully Prey 2 doesn't end up being a major disappointment like RAGE.

Also, I dont understand where all the hate on the first Prey is coming from. Sure, it had it's flaws and room for improvement. But for being one of the first 360 games to be released, it still had a fairly competent single-player experience at the time. It tried something different that other first-person shooters didn't do before and it certainly wasn't an awful mess that Perfect Dark Zero ended up being.

Edited by MordeaniisChaos

@xite said:

What's everyone's problem with Prey? It had some legitimately interesting mechanics and level design.

Interesting doesn't mean fun. Also, it looked like shit, and those mechanics were pretty insignificant and poorly implemented. It had some interesting highlights, but there weren't really any cool moments outside of the beginning and walking around on the ball. Beyond that it was pretty terrible, especially the multiplayer.

Prey 2 looked awesome at PAX when I saw it, I was really impressed by the animation in particular. The mechanics iin Prey 2 seem way more than merely interesting, but rather "the thing a lot of people have wanted in a game for quite some time now".

@Triumvir said:

@Brendan said:

@Phatmac said:

Ehh. I don't about you guys, but I'm worried. I don't think Prey 2 will be all that great considering this news. This isn't looking good :/

Yeah, I'm not confident that a game comes back from delays like this and becomes great as a final product. Bad precedent.

I definitely agree with this. My hopes for Prey 2 stymied when it was a no-show at GDC. Games that hit road bumps like this are rarely more than middling at best (then again, "middling" games can be fun, too). But, hey, maybe this could be one of the exceptions that proves the rule.

Something tells me the quality issues are technical, considering that A) the rumors said the tech couldn't handle the game and B) the tech they are using is one of the worst engines out there at this point, old id tech before they figured out that not everything is made of plastic and stopped making games that were just tiny corridors. So I'm actually hopefuly. I saw it in person at PAX and it looked really enjoyable and solid, so if they can get anywhere near what they showed, it'll be pretty cool.

Posted by zeekthegeek

@elitefury said:

I wonder if that's the same issue with True Crime Hong Kong.

You mean the game that's coming out this fall and called 'Sleeping Dogs' now?

Posted by LegendaryChopChop

In my 20 years of playing games, Prey was and is only the game that made me nauseous when playing it. The forced (read: ridiculous) "HEY! LET'S TURN THIS WORLD UPSIDE DOWN!!" mechanic was cumbersome and completely unnecessary and was a complete tech-gimmick.

Posted by Sin4profit

i feel like they're holding Prey 2 to be a launch game for the next generation of systems.

Online
Posted by zyn

Glad to hear it's not cancelled, but I hope it ends up a great game.

Posted by MacEG

@Wiseblood said:

Doesn't meet their quality standards? So Prey 2 currently isn't as good as Rogue Warrior? Yikes.

This exactly. Although, some QA-ers at Bethesda still consider Rogue Warrior the game they're most proud of because it was an impossible deadline with a broken game and to get the game ship-able, they pulled it off. No idea if anyone else at Bethesda does though.

Edited by Terranova

Prey 2 doesn't meet Bethesda's quality standards what like there are not enough bugs & glitches in it, seriously though I bet the devs upon reading this wouldn't be that happy if your own Publisher is talking crap about your games development how on earth are your going to get the public on board, Is this how the whole of Bethesda feel or just some PR jerk if so that person should be fired, PR is about bigging up the product to get the public interested to make sales not crap on the game even if internally it's not going well, if it's Bethesda as a whole is it something they should be saying out loud ? , sure say you want to make it better so your delaying it but not currently the dev team have made a piece of crap so it's being delayed which is practically what is being said here, it doesn't bold well for the final outcome no matter how well it may turn out who would give it a chance after hearing comments like that from the games own publisher.

It's a shame i was really looking forward to Prey 2 it seemed really cool, maybe it will still end up that way who can say they have some time now to make it happen but i feel the comments Bethesda have made may have done it far more damage than good.

Posted by robohasi

Isn't it interesting that the publisher of of Brink and Rage is making such aggressive comments about a game not meeting their quality standards?

Posted by MarkWahlberg

As disappointing as it is to hear that this game isn't progressing well, it is very nice to hear a company say 'we want this to be fucking awesome, and we're making damn sure it turns out that way'.

Edited by Terranova

@MarkWahlberg said:

As disappointing as it is to hear that this game isn't progressing well, it is very nice to hear a company say 'we want this to be fucking awesome, and we're making damn sure it turns out that way'.

there are ways to get that across without stating your Development studio is doing shit, would you seriously put faith in them and the game when the Publisher currently doesn't have any, this isn't the way to operate there's the saying "honesty isn't always the best policy" especially when your trying to promote and in the end sell something.

Posted by joelalfaro

I read no hostility there. They're trying to sound blunt and honest, and probably trying to avoid more things like Rogue Warrior, as someone mentioned above.

Posted by Du2andal

Bethesda shouldn't be talking about "standards" when they clearly have none. Everything they have released outside of TES and Fallout has been a janky mess.

EDIT: Rage was also solid.

Edited by MooseyMcMan

Now that I think about it, Bethesda is known for shipping borderline broken games, so this is probably alarming. I mean, look at Skyrim (especially on PS3). If something didn't meet their standards, then...

I still think it'll be great. Someday...

Posted by mikey87144

Guessing fan reactions to the rumors saved the game.

Posted by gorkamorkaorka

Has Bethesda ever published a good game?

Posted by GinjaAssassin

Best news all month!

Posted by Jackel2072

oh thank god!

Edited by MarkWahlberg

@Terranova said:

@MarkWahlberg said:

As disappointing as it is to hear that this game isn't progressing well, it is very nice to hear a company say 'we want this to be fucking awesome, and we're making damn sure it turns out that way'.

there are ways to get that across without stating your Development studio is doing shit, would you seriously put faith in them and the game when the Publisher currently doesn't have any, this isn't the way to operate there's the saying "honesty isn't always the best policy" especially when your trying to promote and in the end sell something.

That's true, but throwing out standard P.R. BS would just make everyone think 'oh this thing's probably not doing too well', so at least they're upfront about something everyone would assume anyway. But yeah, I guess calling out your own studio as doing sub-par work probably isn't any better? Video game P.R. continues to be kind of weird. Still, at least they're not canceling it.

Posted by oobs

maybe they have different standards of a quality triple A title maybe crap is good for them.

Posted by krazy_kyle

I didn't get a sense of hostility at all to be honest.

Posted by Scrawnto

@gorkamorkaorka said:

Has Bethesda ever published a good game?

Good, yes. Polished at launch? Maybe not so much. The Elder Scrolls and Fallout games they published are regarded pretty widely as good but technically flawed, and I'm in the minority that rather enjoyed RAGE as well.

Posted by joku2002

@gorkamorkaorka said:

Has Bethesda ever published a good game?

Skyrim was pretty awesome

Posted by Fearbeard

Sounds like they are reducing expectations so they can cancel it later and upset fewer people.

I try not to pay much attention to a game until it's near release, so hopefully it will still be kicking around next year.

Posted by Redhotchilimist

Maybe Platinum Games will pick it up. I might like to see that.

Posted by allworkandlowpay

@joku2002 said:

@gorkamorkaorka said:

Has Bethesda ever published a good game?

Skyrim was pretty awesome

I might be wrong, but I think he's talking non-Bethesda Softworks developed properties.

Bethesda as a publisher hasn't had a great track record. Besides New Vegas, which was developed by Obsidian, and pretty great, most of their other published titles haven't been critically well received:

  • Hunted: Demons Forge wasn't great.
  • Star Trek: Legacy was the epitome of untapped potential
  • Brink was pretty meh.
  • Rogue Warrior was just flat out bad.
  • Wet had a great idea that went nowhere
  • RAGE was a love it or hate it game.
Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials

I'm still filing this away as "cancelled" until it shows signs of life again.

Posted by Three0neFive

As relieved as I am by this news, it's kind of insane that it took them so long to comment on this. Kinda makes you wonder what the hell is going on over there. :S

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