Prey Dev Explains Why It's Named After an Unrelated Series

There's no "direct connection," but thematically it makes sense, Prey's director says.

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Now Playing: Prey - Official Gameplay Trailer

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The upcoming Prey has nothing to do with the existing Prey game or its canceled sequel, its developer has made clear. This of course begs the question: Why use the name at all?

We spoke about the subject with Raphael Colantonio at QuakeCon this past weekend, and he says that the thematic elements are similar enough for the games to share the name.

"Well it was a matter of, first of all it's hard to find a name for a game, and it's a good name--sounds good," he says. "I think the association that people have about Prey is that it's about aliens on a space station, and it's a first-person game. When we were done with Dishonored, part of the team did Dishonored 2, and the other part [of Arkane]... we wanted to do another one of those games that we usually do, which are in first-person, with depth and simulation and narration, all that.

"This time we wanted to make it on a space station, with aliens, and you had to survive with the full ecology, etc. As we started it, the name was available, and the connections were easy to be made. We just thought, 'Okay, makes sense,' so there we go."

He adds, "[T]he high level concept is similar enough that it made sense to do that."

Previously, Colantonio said that the new Prey has no direct connection to 2006's Prey. "Prey is not a sequel. It's not a remake. It has no tie with the original," he said in a video. "You have to look at it like a reimagining of the idea."

He also went on to explain what the game is, describing it as "a hybrid game where there's narrative mixed with action mixed with a little bit of [an] RPG layer." It has combat, too, offering a mix of traditional weapons and futuristic gadgets. You can see the first gameplay trailer above.

The original Prey was developed by Human Head Studios and published by 2K. Bethesda later obtained the rights to the series and a sequel was in development at Human Head, but it ended up being canceled. As Bethesda's Pete Hines told us at QuakeCon, "It hit a point where it wasn't shaping up to be what we wanted and there didn't seem to be a clear path to get to where we thought it needed to be."

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Avatar image for skyhighgam3r

"Prey is not a sequel. It's not a remake. It has no tie with the original,"

It has the same name, and because of that, you have created what is called "a reboot".

Regardless of your intentions, the mere use of the name has made it so.

Avatar image for Pooya1881

the only reason they used the name was because of marketing. they wanted to lure the fans in at e3. even if its a good game i think they've lessened its value because of this cheap trick.

Avatar image for YellowJello

@Pooya1881: Except that wouldn't make sense, because no one gives a shit about the first game or the sequel that got cancelled.

Avatar image for craigtl

@YellowJello: Yeah but the name did get my attention just because I thought maybe they decided to put it out........ if they would have called it something else I may have looked past it.

Avatar image for hystavito

I looked up the word "thematically", it means better sales :).

Avatar image for Grenadeh

I wish Resident Evil devs would explain why they decided to co-opt Resident Evil's name for, what, 6 games now? RE4 through 6, ORC, Umbrella Corps, Resident Evil 7?

Avatar image for rickjamesia

@Grenadeh: What? Resident Evil games literally have story and characters still shared with the first 3 and Code Veronica. What are you on about? Mechanics changing don't mean that it's not part of the same series. Super Mario 64 was nearly unrecognizable in terms of gameplay and level design from its predecessors. Was that also not a Mario game?

Avatar image for Grenadeh

@rickjamesia: Just no.

They have the same characters names and overall appearance but it is just absolutely not the same game in spirit or in any way.

Resident Evil 0, 1, 2, 3 and Code Veronica were adventure games with survival horror elements.

Resident Evil 4, 5, 6, Revelations, Revelations 2 are action shooters with some horror and adventure elements.

To say that they feature the same characters is ignorant. Leon Kennedy has been in, canonically, 5 outbreaks - just by explicit mention - by the time RE6 happens. In RE6 he then survives TWO more outbreaks during the course of the game. Yet at the beginning of his storyline, he is just as ignorant and naive as he was in RE2. He still doesn't recognize when a person is no longer a person. That's called poor writing. That's poor character development. While he's a spec ops level 110 badass in gameplay, he's still an idiot in writing. That's a complete disconnect. So no, he is not the same character. In RE4 he was already a badass and had common sense. And he continued that in Degeneration, and Damnation (despite making rookie mistakes in Damnation). Then in RE6, he is somehow an idiot.

In Resident Evil 5, Chris has now been through 4 outbreaks. RE1, RE:CVX, RE Revelations which was two separate outbreaks/missions - Terragrigia and the Semiramis. Yet in RE5, he still is an idiot and is walking directly amidst infected people and not understanding what's happening. Then he is even worse in RE6, even stupider, even more emotional and pompous. Poor writing, poor character development, but at LEAST Capcom had the sense to write in some PTSD for Chris - something they ODDLY ENOUGH used extensively in their marketing for Resident Evil 5 yet completely ignored. I'm sorry, I forgot yet a 5th outbreak/mission he dealt with before RE5 - trying to arrest Spencer and dealing with the faux mansion.

In Resident Evil 6, we don't even see the same Ada Wong. We see an Ada Wong who is uncharacteristically being led around by her coattails by a person who she literally has no reason to even care about - Simmons. She is essentially just trying to solve a mystery of who is tarnishing her name. Something that makes no sense because Ada Wong is a super secret spy that really only 2 people should be aware even exists - considering literally all the others are dead like Wesker, Krauser, Bertolucci, the people from Damnation, her contact from RE1. It's uncharacteristic to the extent of bad writing and furthermore, she is very straightforward in the game. She thoroughly helps Leon and Helena and barely makes a deal of going on her own. Again, bad writing.

This is just the writing. This is on top of the fact that the gameplay is completely different and has nothing to do with previous entries in the franchise. We're not even discussing RE7 yet, but on that note - different characters, again completely different gameplay that has almost no connection to the original except what we believe will be puzzles.

As for Mario 64, sorry but no. It was almost 100% the same gameplay. It was just 3D. That doesn't change anything.

Avatar image for louixiii


And we have a winner...

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

Lying to our faces, again. You are using the name because it had brand recognition, and you're counting on some people buying it thinking it DOES have a connection to the other game.

Avatar image for Grenadeh

@Thanatos2k: To be fair, the original Prey was a weak game. Its strongest moments were the first hour, mostly just the initial scene as Blue Oyster Cult played and it seemed cool. Then you got to the actual gameplay and it was just an updated version of Turok, without the dinosaurs or humor.

I would buy this more based on the positive history of Arkane as a developer than I would on nostalgia for a game I really didn't enjoy enough to even remember finishing.

Avatar image for hystavito

@Grenadeh: But remember most people out there buying games are not you, or I, or anyone hanging around gaming sites :).

Avatar image for Grenadeh

@hystavito: Which probably means they also never heard of Prey. It wasn't The Witcher or GTA 5 or Uncharted or CoD for sure.

Avatar image for hystavito

@Grenadeh: Yeah fair point as well, I don't really know how big it was but yes I believe it's much smaller than those titles.

Avatar image for xshinobi

It is called Prey because it is Bethesda's IP and they can do whatever the f**k they want with it.

Avatar image for znecromancer

@xshinobi: Actually, Bethesda Softworks just owns the name (or rather they can't be sued for using a non-copyrighted name). Human Head Studios actually owns all of the source code and assets for Prey 2 (or rather they'll sue if BS touches any of it). Also, I would like to remind everyone that the first game was published by 2K Games (and produced by 3D Realms)... who still own the publishing rights if I recall.

Update: The original 2006 Prey is no longer being sold by any game retailer (not even Steam)! I don't want to start a rumor, but it's almost like Bethesda wants to bury the original so deep that no one can get it, play it, and then compare it to the new one.

Avatar image for NTM23

My brother loved the first Prey, and he was really excited for a sequel, but now, it looks like a game I'm more interested in than him. It's both great and a bit disappointing.

Avatar image for alaannn

mafia 3 and saints row 3 and 4 should be different series

Avatar image for YellowJello

@alaannn: Why Mafia 3?

Avatar image for phoenix1289

Let's be honest here. It's called Prey because their publisher (Bethesda) said to make a game called Prey so they could milk the franchise name. It doesn't mean the games going to be bad because of it and at least in my opinion Prey is a generic enough name that I don't really see any issue with it pretty much just being a completely seperate game that happens to have the same name but at least don't lie about the reason for the name. It's a marketing ploy, end of story.

Avatar image for louixiii

@phoenix1289: ^^^TRUTH^^^

Avatar image for cornbredx

So, they just wanted to call it Prey for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

Ok, sounds unlikely and I don't believe that, but that's fine. If it's not actually Prey I don't have to feel bad that it looks like a shitty horror game (it weirdly looks a lot like that cancelled XCOM FPS). It doesn't matter because it's not related to Prey which only a small amount of people actually care about anyway (I liked the original Prey).

I have low expectations for this game, unlike what they were showing of Prey 2. That means this one will get released. Cool looking games always get cancelled. Boring ones always get released. What a world we live in.

Avatar image for znecromancer

@cornbredx: That weird moment you realize that Bethesda Softworks pulled an EA move. (Please note that Bethesda Softworks is the publisher counterpart to developer Bethesda Games)

EA: "What's that? You like C&C Tiberium? NOPE, not happening. Have this rushed, crappy game called C&C 4 Tiberium Twilight instead!"
[In reality, Tiberium was cancelled so EA's spreadsheets looked good for their end of the year financial report. Their lie to the public was that "It was just concept art, thus no game actually existed", when in fact a prototype had been made and tested with film to show for it.]

BS: "What's that? You like Prey 2? NOPE, not happening. Here, have this game that shares the same name as the first game and nothing else!"
[In reality, Prey 2 was cancelled because Bethesda couldn't acquire Human Head Studios. Their lie to the public was that "the game didn't meet our 'quality standards'", when in fact this happened: They wanted to buy out HHS, but Human Head wanted to remain independent. Angered, Bethesda Softworks undercut the development team's funding incrementally and started taking back all the extra development time that they gave them after the 2011 E3 conference (about 1.5 years) in an attempt to make them desperate enough to accept the acquisition offer. In the end, this backfired as HHS didn't submit and even took all the source code and assets for Prey 2 with them (minus the franchise name) when they were let go. In response, the project was delegated to Arkane Studios to finish, or in reality, rebuild it from scratch. They failed, and instead poured their focus into making a System Shock game (with intentions to make it a sequel to the second one) -- too bad they didn't count on Night Dive Studios doing the exact same thing. So instead they decided to make their own game, but BS still wanted a "Prey" game (to give the illusion that they had everything under control) so they just slapped the title "Prey" on this new game and hoped that they could fool their fans.]

It's crap like this that makes me not want to buy Arkane's new System/Bio Shock clone.

Avatar image for louixiii

@cornbredx: What were they thinking lol

Avatar image for milk

So they're calling it Prey because thinking up a good name is just too hard and they couldn't be bothered.

Avatar image for louixiii

@milk: Exactly. If this isn't the biggest crock of bull**** I've EVER HEARD, I don't know what is.

Avatar image for yoda12284

Shouldn't be called PREY if it has no connection to the original story or characters.

Avatar image for CommandoAgent

@yoda12284: I agree and shadow aliens or whatever they are dont look that scary.

Avatar image for louixiii

@yoda12284: I agree wholeheartedly.

Avatar image for gonetoyourhaed

I've been really impressed with Bethesda-produced shooters like Doom and Wolfenstein, and with Arkane at the helm I think this game will be very cool. Honestly, who cares what it's called? It's not the old Prey. Period. That game was pretty cool and innovative and I loved the protagonist and leave it at that. This looks like a first-person Dead Space and I dig that so much! I miss Dead Space. Arkane hasn't failed yet. And say what you will about Bethesda, they make good games, albeit stumbled a bit with Fallout 4's RPG elements. I still liked that game.

Avatar image for Marky360

This was my 1st time seeing this game in action and I gotta say it looks a little generic it reminds me of that First Person X-Com game they were making a long time ago although with much less style. That game looked interesting this one does not kinda feels like an Alien Isolation rip off without the Alien license which was in and of itself not that great a game. It was basically like Doom but with no gameplay lol this looks like it's following suit.

Avatar image for Grenadeh

@Marky360: A long time ago? Bureau Declassified only came out a few years ago.

Avatar image for Marky360


I'm not talking about Bureau Declassified that's the 3rd-person shooter one I'm talking about the FPS Xcom that never released I think it first showed up at E3 in 2010.

Avatar image for Grenadeh

@Marky360: Okay I'm trying to be nice and not get banned again, not sure why I am even allowed to comment, but...

Are you retarded?

Bureau Declassified is this game. It was made by 2K Marin. It is the EXACTgame everyone in these comments is referring to. It came out 3 years ago. They changed it from first person to third person.

Avatar image for louixiii

@Marky360: Generic is a understatement

Avatar image for cornbredx

@Marky360: Oh good. I'm not the only one that noticed that it looks like the XCOM FPS that 2K Marin was making that got canned.

Avatar image for Grenadeh

@cornbredx: You do realize that did come out, right?

It's been out for 3 years.

Avatar image for cornbredx

@Grenadeh: I am more familiar with the game you are referencing than you could possibly know. Being such I know that it is a TPS with light strategy mechanics that don't amount to much and don't work well and the game is overall really bad.

However, my time with it was more extensive than most due to reasons I don't feel are worth telling you.

Regardless. It's not the game we're talking about. I know. It's confusing because 2K made you think it's the same game, when it's not. It's the game they changed it to after the backlash from the initial reveal and other problems they had with the FPS version.

Nice try, though. You don't win the "being right on the internet" game today.

Avatar image for Grenadeh

@cornbredx: HAHA classic 12 year old troll reply. Kudos sir I acknowledge your win this round despite being wrong.

Avatar image for cornbredx

@Grenadeh: I assume me being a "12 year old troll" is two fold. One is the fact that you're wrong (being that I have extensive knowledge of the game you referenced I can say that with a certainty which is the funniest part for me) and two I said you don't win the "being right on the internet game today" which was a real jerkish thing to say. I can't help but be myself which is to say a loather of little babies that likes to try and correct people when they don't understand the conversation they're reading on the internet so they have to say something in order to feel superior to everyone because they think they're right about something but in fact they don't actually know what everyone is talking about.

Regardless. I'm a jerk (no really, I am) and I won't be nice about it. You're still wrong. You don't even know what we're talking about. I don't care if you believe it because you cannot fathom being wrong. You still are.

It's unfortunate people don't know what a troll is anymore and it's been co-opted to mean "person I don't like" or "person who I feel is being mean to me" but here we are.

I'm not "trolling" you. Let me be clear to you. In 2010 2K Marin was making a First Person Shooter with the XCOM license. After a couple years it was scrapped and they started over. The Bureau (for reference, this was a Third Person Shooter) is what they ended up releasing. It is not the game announced in 2010. We are talking about the game announced in 2010 that was canned.

I'm a jerk, yes. I'm not a troll. I have no patience for explaining things to people who do drive by know it all bullshit. We knew what we were talking about.

You may now continue to berate me as I am sure you will. It's what "adults" do. I'm sure that's what you're being.

Avatar image for Grenadeh

@cornbredx: Buddy. Kid.

You can keep on making argumentum ad verecundiam replies all you want. You've provided no proof or even a dead-end statement about this supposed experience and insider knowledge you have from which to argue. You're just posting ridiculous emotional responses and I really don't care enough to read them.

All you do is post fallacies and you don't even try to mask them, then you again reply with more fallacies and explain them with yet more fallacies.

An entirely new, axiomatically different game didn't spring to sentience from the 2K repositories where the code and assets were all stored and then compile itself and release in the same timeframe after the original game was "canned".

They were working on an FPS. They changed it a little bit and it became the game that released. It was literally a 3 year process. They didn't totally come up with a new game. Ergo, it *is* the game you refer to, what that game became. By the transitive property, it is that game.

I have to give you the benefit of the doubt because there is one article on the internet that legitimizes your position, on - of course - Polygon, the natural place to find such an article. An article with zero sources, no references, no evidence involved, not even an interview.

But that article can't be believed in any capacity and it makes it sound as if an FPS was planned years before an X-Com reboot even happened, which is obvious bullshit.

Avatar image for Marky360


Yea hey cool man glad I'm not the only one that remembers that game wish it would have come out because it looked interesting.

Avatar image for Grenadeh

@Marky360: It DID come out. How could you people possibly have missed The Bureau: X-Com Declassified?

Avatar image for isshiah

@Grenadeh: they didn't miss the final games release, they are disappointed that it wasn't the version of the game that was first revealed.

Avatar image for galva86

They should have named it polly pocket since now names are not relevant.

Avatar image for Phelaidar

Call it Goldeneye then...

I mean, a man protagonist, shooter, fps, guns...

and Goldeneye is a great name.

Avatar image for darthrevenx

I kinda guessed this.....

space station, aliens, survival and first person......that's basically what Prey was.....there's more to the first game but that's beside the point.....

Avatar image for snugglebear

@darthrevenx: Nothing will beat being in that bar with Barracuda playing in the background as everything goes to hell.

Avatar image for MetaMods

If you have to keep explain about this prey game, this game is going fail........

You should have name the game different wiht new IP not using prey name to confuse gamers

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