Bethesda on Prey 2: "It's simply not good enough"

Publisher says it "spent years and millions of dollars" making game, but "we're not going to just proceed blindly with something that isn't good enough."

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Bethesda has addressed the long-in-development action-shooter Prey 2. Speaking with IGN, marketing VP Pete Hines explained that the game, despite years of development and millions spent on production, is "simply not good enough."

"We appreciate that folks are displeased that we haven't had any update or any info on Prey 2, but whatever your displeasure is, you can't even be remotely as unhappy about it as us," Hines said. "We spent years and millions of dollars and a ton of effort trying to help Human Head make a great Prey 2 game. What we said the last time we said anything was that it's not up to our quality standards."

"It's simply not good enough," he added. "We're not going to just proceed blindly with something that isn't good enough. We spent a lot of time and money and effort trying to make this thing happen and support folks, but at the same time, you just can’t keep throwing money at it and saying, 'sure, it’ll eventually work.' You have to have the discipline to say, ‘it’s not good enough. It’s not hitting the quality bar. Why isn't it? We’ve been at this for a while, and what we have is not what we talked about.’ So that’s where we are."

Sources told Kotaku last month that Bethesda has started over on Prey 2, removing developer Human Head from the game in favor of Arkane. Hines addressed this report, saying the conversation thus far has been one-sided and unfair.

"I think all of the stuff that you've heard at this point has been from one side of this, and it's been somebody putting spin on it, like, 'here's what happened.' No, that's your version of what you think happened. I haven't heard from anybody yet that actually sat in the room. There are quite a few folks at Human Head that I really like."

Last month, Bethesda parent company ZeniMax filed documents with the United States Patent & Trademark Office to extend its trademark for the Prey intellectual property. A company representative declined to comment on what this could mean for the future of the brand.

Prey 2 was officially announced in 2011, and a playable build of the game was shown off during the Electronic Entertainment Expo later in the year. The game was delayed in 2012 due to quality issues, and a Human Head developer said a year later that the game was in limbo.

Disclosure: GameSpot parent company CBS CEO Leslie Moonves is a ZeniMax Media board member.

Discussion

186 comments
Jarltheafro
Jarltheafro

It's a good thing zenimax/beftsoft claim to have quality standards now, they've released a lot of utter crap in their history.

burnettaj
burnettaj

Damn. I hope this is not delayed to much longer. I was looking forward to this game. Oh well, at least they are trying to make this right and top notch.

ashyblood
ashyblood

Tommie is a cool character who's already been established in the first game along with his girlfriend, Jen. If they stick with a new character they lose what they already have. Fans are already familiar with the likable character and his unhappiness with his Cherokee background. The sequel could simply delve more into this. The story in Prey 1 is not a deep story, just a good, simple one (it's really the gameplay that is awesome). Story-wise, all they have to do is keep it light and explore Tommie's world by expanding on what we already know. They could just have another alien invasion while Tommie and Jen are enjoying life with their son/daughter for instance and it would really still be enjoyable with a new setting. This time, maybe he doesn't have to save his girl, but wants to save humanity instead, or his kid. They could even take a hint from GTA V by allowing players to play both as Tommie and Jen, or, say....Tommie's bro-in-law. What they should change is have different maps/locations instead of the whole game taking place on an alien ship. Prey 1 never gets boring, but I do feel the game could have had some benefit in introducing some diverse maps. The spiritual desert was a much desired and welcome change of pace (and scenery) in Prey 1 whenever Tommie's grandfather Enisi wanted to teach and educate Tommie. I'm glad they've started over because while what they had for the  2011 E3 is cool, it doesn't look like a sequel to Prey. The Spirit Walk, the likably annoying and talkative alien enemies and their smart AI, the original characters like Tommie, Jen, the helper-pet falcon Talon (or is it a hawk?), and last but not least, the mind-bending ability to flip gravity and walk on walls and ceilings are all very memorable elements that should.not.be.excluded from a sequel. Much of Prey 1 was innovative and unique, there's no reason to throw all that away and start something new - with that, you might as well slap a new name on the project and have yourselves a new Intellectual Property if that's your plan.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

I hope Bethesda decides to use this quality control with the next Elder Scrolls. Skyrim is fun for a while but it's really just Oblivion 1.5. Heck, that's being generous. They probably took out just as much as they added.

Venom_Raptor
Venom_Raptor

It's a shame because from what I see in that E3 demo it looks really promising :/

bakagami
bakagami

Same thing happened with the first one, gonna take 10 years and a restart

drgribb
drgribb

As long as it still comes out.  I can wait.  Was really looking forward to this though.  The first game was SUPER underrated.  I want a Prey 2 so baddd

LordCmdrStriker
LordCmdrStriker

if this aint comin till late 2016 than its obvious enough that they're completely scrapping human heads work and starting over from square one, so all you guys hoping that arkane will continue what human head had put out, I'd go ahead and let those dreams die

sensesfail99
sensesfail99

I was about to me very upset, i thought this article was going to say Prey 2 was done for. Im glad it will still be coming out, hopefully. I have been looking forward to this game for a loooonng time, i mean it looks like Blade Runner kinda, the city had that same look to it, and i fkin love that movie!

WiredDreemz
WiredDreemz

The game looked to have so much potential. I sincerely hope they get their ducks in a row and continue to proceed witht the development of the title. There is much potential.

vadagar1
vadagar1

F***K all the games I want TES 6 NOAW

BlackaliciousX
BlackaliciousX

Lol, silly Eddie. A disclosure looks something like this "I Eddie Makuch, author of this article am the CEO, CFO and mother f'in boss of ZeniMax. If you're still confused, just think of me as the person that makes ALL the decisions". 

I doubt Leslie Moonves has even been in the same room as you, let alone cares about what your article has to say about an unfinished game on its way to the drawing board again.

I do enjoy your articles though. *Awkwardly punching Eddie on the shoulder*

OurSin-360
OurSin-360

My guess is, it played a lot like syndicate and people seemed to not like that game (for whatever reason) and they just scrapped it.  I think syndicate is a good game though.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"We appreciate that folks are displeased" Lol, taken out context, that's what many gamers think that evil companies are thinking, every time they see the results of all the evil they do. Well, it's good that they won't ship a product that they don't consider good enough, but from the little I've seen of Prey 2, it sounds quite good and different. Bounty hunting in Prey 2 would definitely be better than Star Wars: Bounty Hunter :P.

C_Glass
C_Glass

WAAAIT...if they're starting the project over, that means there is a chance that they'll bring Tommie back. omg! PLEASE LET IT BE SO! Tommie was a great character, lets not stick with Action Dude #53423.

vadagar1
vadagar1

takes balls to admit your game is not good enough

selbie
selbie

I just hope they keep it alive and as fascinating as the footage made it look. It's been a while since I've been so excited for a game release.

lugpoints
lugpoints

prey what? fallout 4 please!  :)

theCCyberDDemon
theCCyberDDemon

If a Fallout Vegas cames out ultra buggy, nothing happens.

freek33
freek33

The original wasn't that great


GreyWolf217
GreyWolf217

It just kinda stinks that they allowed a game they weren't going to release to come out on the show floor at e3 back then.  It looked really unique and had my interest for sure.   The fact that the playable demo had a lot of things from the trailer that you could actually do?  It blew my mind. Sometimes it feels like publishers get cold feet and aren't willing to back the dev at the last moment.  I hope that's not what happened cause that sucks if so.  Curious if the story is so one sided why we're hearing so little from so few sources?  Just curious.

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

It's nice that Bethesda has that sort of money to throw at it. Most companies would just release the crappy game and cut their losses.

Poncho_Hachacha
Poncho_Hachacha

If true, you can't blame Bethesda. But, Activision said the same thing about Sleeping Dogs which was already 90-95% complete by the time they canned it and it wound up being one of the best games of this gen imo. Obviously Bethesda isn't as bad as Activision from a greed standpoint, but sometimes a publisher's vision of a game isn't always in tune with the developers. And regardless of who knows what's best for the game/franchise the publisher will most likely win out.

SKErwin
SKErwin

If that happen, then you need to make changes in your team, add new people with fresh ideas

X-RS
X-RS

Still not fan of bethesda as publisher at all

hadlee73
hadlee73

I'm sure the motto printed on the wall of Bethesda is something like "Rogue Warrior. Never Again". :P

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

Good Luck to whoever ends up picking up the ball and developing/finishing Prey 2.  The concept has a LOT of juice and if they manage to fill even 50% of the potential this game has it'll be amazing.  I'm hoping a Deus Ex INNNNNN SPAAAAAAAAACE..... but we shall see.  

Look at the bright side; they've got a huge chunk of game that was already developed that they can borrow concepts/ideas from while they make their own game.  That could be quite a potential resource. 

veryfrost
veryfrost

Uh.. Give it to GearBox software to finish, Randy loves to release sh.ity games. 

loneygod
loneygod

I would rather have a great sequel in the years to come rather than another Duke Nukem Forever

060390
060390

I remember that when the first Prey was released, Human Head Studios where working on a concept to bring Tommy in Prey 2 as main character; that was in 2008 I think. Why don't they return to the roots, to that first concept?

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

I trust their judgement.  Try again guys, I believe Prey is worthy of a sequel.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

Well, I trust Arkane, if the original Prey 2 sucked, that's a diplomatic way of putting it, and if it comes out later uner a better developer I think it's a good thing.

Gamer-Geek
Gamer-Geek

Release what you had as a teaser?

Mamamf
Mamamf

Everyone's brains gone on vacations? Questioning the quality of Bethesda games? Those are just some of the few games that actually break the barrier between games and virtual experiences. They just made half of the best games of this gen. Highly modded Skyrim is still several years beyond the games that will be coming this year, and probably the next too

NTM23
NTM23

@freek33 No, it wasn't. It wasn't bad though. Regardless though, it doesn't mean that they can't make an awesome sequel. 

Celiria_Rose
Celiria_Rose

@GreyWolf217 well they didn't know they weren't going to release it back then.

And it has nothing to do with cold feet. Gaming is a bussiness and there comes a point where the publisher can't afford to keep putting money into it. At that point the question becomes whether to just release it as is and try to make some money or scrap it because releasing it would reflect badly because it isn't finished.

packtop
packtop

@jrabbit99 

They had lot of succesful games this gen, so right now they probably have plenty of money to waste.

GhostOfSparta4
GhostOfSparta4

@Mamamf Unmodded Skyrim is crap, though. Also, you're confusing Bethesda the publisher with Bethesda the developer. 

Celiria_Rose
Celiria_Rose

@donkey0007 @vadagar1 you mean sega. Gearbox didn't have a say of whether the game released or got held back if it wasn't up to quality. Sega was the publisher and sega was the one who told them to release it.

Not to mention the quality issue was because you had the game changing hands back and forth between teams with different design styles. Gearbox started then handed it to a secondary company. The secondary company reworked a lot of stuff gearbox had done, then when it had to release gearbox's only option was to at least get it to a state where it ran. Its a simple case of to many cooks in the kitchen.

But if you want to blame someone for it not being held back longer then blame Sega. Sega made the call.

GreyWolf217
GreyWolf217

@Celiria_Rose @GreyWolf217  

I understand it's a business. It just gets tiresome.  No one wants someone breathing down their neck, we've seen it ruin games before when publishers are constantly breathing down a devs neck.   It just feels like there should've been enough oversight to keep this from happening. They waited months to make a final decision.  Cancel it or don't but don't just go silent and leave people hanging. 

Mamamf
Mamamf

@GhostOfSparta4 @Mamamf No, i am referring to the right bethesda, the studio. And the original game with no mods was totally amaizing all by itself. It's a shame you haven't enjoyed it as much as i did though. Skyrim and Fallout 3 are in top 5 best game experiences i had in this generation.

C_Glass
C_Glass

@GhostOfSparta4 @Mamamf "Unmodded skyrim is crap" strikes me as uber hyperbole, sir, do you know what crap is? Because if vanilla skyrim is crap, you must live a very shallow existence. 

X-Robert
X-Robert

@GhostOfSparta4 @Mamamf I really hope Bethesda the publisher finally find its feet after Dishonored.