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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 Alex
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.

Staff
Posted by Paindamnation

Interesting, I liked the Original. Maybe gives it time for polish and be even better.

Posted by fox01313

Based off what I've seen of this, I'm definitely interested so happy with the delay over it being canceled.

Posted by JeanLuc

Good news!! :D

Posted by Ravenlight

Excellent news! Sad that I missed the first comment, though.

Edited by UnrealDP

YEAH!

Oy, it sounds like it's head was on the chopping block for weeks straight. I'd love to someday hear about the talks that went on internally of Human Head begging for life while Bethesda eyes disappointing gameplay footage.

Posted by Wiseblood

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

Posted by Legendary

Thank fucking God. Better for it to be delayed rather than it being fucked up.

Posted by RichieJohn

@Wiseblood: Maybe the critical response to that and Wet (which I loved) has forced them to push developers harder.

Posted by Euey
Posted by Freshbandito

@Wiseblood said:

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

This was my first thought :/

Posted by Poltergeist13

this is great news...YES, YES, YES. I was worried.

Posted by Napalm

This is the literally the best fucking news I've heard all April. I'm so glad we'll get to see Prey 2.

Posted by OllyOxenFree

As Jeff would say: "WORK HARDER, STAR!!!"

Posted by theodacourt

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Posted by Drebin_893

I wish people would just be happy when companies don't post PR bullshit. But the reaction this has received is exactly why they do that, I suppose.

Posted by MeatSim

Good that they haven't given up on something that still looks to have a lot of potential.

Posted by AiurFlux

But... Bethesda has a terrible track record of stable quality products and they did rush out a game, just last year in fact, to make it's 11/11/11 gimmick date. And that's just Skyrim. I could mention RAGE and the terrible PC port, or Brink and it's general lack of being anything decent, or many others that people have already said. Seems rather hypocritical. I'm not complaining about them delaying Prey 2 and appreciate them being candid instead of making generic statements that were written by a PR department for the sake of being "politically correct" and "nice" instead of right. But just raising a point.

Posted by Fudge91

Hopefully this doesn't get delayed as much as the original prey..

Posted by HarlequinRiot

@Wiseblood said:

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

Haha, that's exactly what I was thinking. Maybe they finally raised their quality standards.

Posted by Tearhead

I like reading news articles that Alex writes.

Posted by ChrisTobin
@Wiseblood said:
Doesn't meet their quality standards?  So Prey 2 currently isn't as good as Rogue Warrior?  Yikes.
That is a scary thought, and they certainly don't have a problem shipping a game with a bunch of bugs in it.
Posted by Ketchupp

Apparently the game needs a lot more bugs. Also, the statement didn't seem hostile at all to me.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

Hopefully the extra time improves it. I still have hopes that this game can be amazing.

Moderator
Posted by RenMcKormack

WHY

Posted by Phatmac

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 :/

Posted by kidman

I like when publishers and developers are open and honest, I wish they were more laid back but I don't think it's possible due to share holders, which would be pissed if Bethesda said something worse than that.

Posted by NickLott

I was really hoping that "Prey 2" was being cancelled and the game was being slightly reworked into its own original IP. I think that would only be beneficial to the public interest.

Posted by President_Barackbar

So glad to hear it hasn't been canned.

Posted by ShadowConqueror

That statement doesn't seemed hostile or pointed to me at all. Sure it's not as supportive of the team as it could have been, but it seems fine to me.

Posted by BBQBram

Good, I'll remain cautiously optimistic then.

Posted by OleMarthin

phew, they got me all scared when the rumor about the cancellation hit. them saying they rather delay it then release it broken is good news, a lot of games should have been given the same treatment. lets just hope this ends up good in the end:)

Posted by KoolAid

What is hostile about this? This seems positive to me.

Posted by Sooty

Doesn't mean their quality standards? 
 
So how did the bad PS3 port of Fallout 3, bug riddled Fallout: New Vegas and busted ass PS3 Skyrim make it past? 
 
It must have been really bad...

Posted by FlipperDesert

My reactions to the first and then second half of the headline: "YES!", "AGH FUCK"

Posted by Waffles13
@ShadowConqueror said:
That statement doesn't seemed hostile or pointed to me at all. Sure it's not as supportive of the team as it could have been, but it seems fine to me.
My thoughts exactly. The game was poor quality, and Bethesda said so, and said they're going to and make it a great, high quality experience. I don't see any way this can realistically be construed as tearing into Human Head (who I'm sure agree that the game needs more time).
Posted by Mr_Skeleton

That was a bit passive aggressive.

Posted by jozzy
The delay is due to the fact that game development has not progressed satisfactorily this past year

This is probably the part that could be seen as hostile. They are basically saying they did a crappy job this last year. I personally think it is still pretty professional, but yeah, normally they would spin it into something more positive.

Posted by Zaccheus

Well that's fucking harsh coming from PR, seriously. Well the game sounded pretty ambitious from the E3 demo, which probably was just a polished slice and the game itself hasn't come together. I hope they will succeed next year.

Posted by LoggerRythm

Wow. If the broken heap/ bug fest that was Skyrim shipped and they're worried about this, it must have been pretty unplayable. I mean really, it must have been a shit fest.

Posted by JCTango

Hurray! Glad it wasn't cancelled... was looking forward to this game. I'll take that delay over a cancellation anyday of the week.

Posted by Brendan

@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.

Posted by Godzilla_Sushi

"Not trying to start any mess"

Yeah, I'm sure.

Edited by artgarcrunkle

Hey guys, I have a working copy of Prey 2 and it turns out so far it's actually just ET for the Atari. So yeah it's slightly below Bethesda's stringent standard of quality.

Posted by itswrong2bfrench

Bethesda has "quality standards"?

Posted by Protonguy

Wasn't interested in Prey 2 at all but i caught a demo at Pax Prime this last year by accident and it looked f'n amazing. Really hope the team behind it doesn't get shafted. Looking forward to this thing coming out.

Posted by upwarDBound

Maybe they see something special in Prey 2 and are willing to give it more time before throwing it to the wolves.

Posted by Triumvir

I would hardly call the statement hostile or a public chastisement. It was probably approved by the PR department as frank rather than to act like a public shaming of Human Head. It's actually refreshing, considering the sort of flowery BS one usually hears.

Posted by Cybexx

Well that is good news. I don't recall hearing layoff stories to go along with those cancellation rumours so I was always a bit skeptical it had been canned yet.

Bethesda has had a bad track record for quality in the games it has published so far. At least their self developed stuff has been more buggy than poorly designed but the rest of their releases have been pretty questionable.

Posted by NTM

GOOOOOD! I'm kind of wondering if they really did have it planned as cancelled because the game wasn't actually being worked on enough for it to come out this year, so they decided to just stop it all together, and now that everyone was like "Noooooo, that's too bad, I was really looking forward to this." Bethesda gave it the go ahead because they know (or at least think) they'll make money on it.

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