Prey 2: The good news and the bad news

Prey 2 is going through a bit of a rough patch. Following all sorts of rumours and innuendo, Bethesda has taken the time to release a public statement denying the futuristic sequel has been canned.

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.

Unfortunately, even as fans breathed a heavy sigh of relief, a Human Head staffer sent a message to Shacknews, suggesting there’s a little more to the story than that.

[img_big]center,7689,2011-08-24/1386mugging.jpg,Prey 2[/img_big]

The unnamed source claims that the developer hasn’t actually worked on the game since November 2011, following a contract dispute with publisher parent company ZeniMax. Many members of the development team were allegedly laid off at this point too, “with the hope” that they would be re-hired if and when the contract drama was resolved.

Things have progressed a little since then, but as of March 2nd, developers weren’t holding out too much hope on getting their jobs back.

The official response from ZeniMax about the allegations?

We aren’t commenting on the game’s development beyond what was said in the statement that was released this morning.

So much for “the game does not currently meet our quality standards”. If nobody’s actually worked on Prey 2 since before Christmas, that’s hardly surprising.

At this stage, there are a few options available for Bethesda, ZeniMax, Human Head and Prey 2. Obviously, the title could be dusted off, slotted back into development and released some time after 2012 with no further issues.

…that said, ZeniMax has a history of switching developers mid-project, so Human Head may be on the way out – something the team itself has pre-empted by suggesting it’s looking to work on a sequel to earlier title Rune.

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