Prey (2017 video game)
Prey is an upcoming first-person shooter video game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. The game is scheduled for release in 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Though a sequel to the original Prey of 2006, it had been announced and in development by Human Head Studios shortly after the original's release. With rights being transferred from 3D Realms to Bethesda during the process, the game fell into development hell, and was eventually canceled by Bethesda in 2014. (Though they retained its intellectual property.) Bethesda announced Prey as a re-imagining of the original game at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2016, with the Austin, Texas branch of Arkane Studios now taking on development duties.
Prey is a first-person shooter with role-playing game elements and strong narrative. The player takes the role of Morgan Yu, a human aboard a space station with numerous hostile aliens. The player will be able to select certain attributes of Yu, including gender, and decision made by the player will affect elements of the game's story. To survive, the player controls Yu to collect and use weapons and resources aboard the station to fend off and defeat the aliens. According to creative director Raphael Colantonio, the station will be completely continuous rather than having separate levels or missions, at times requiring the player to return to areas they previously explored. The player will also be able to move around the outside of the station in zero gravity and find shortcuts connecting parts of the station. Colantonio also stated that the aliens have an array of different powers that the player-character can gain over time; one such alien has the ability to mimic everyday items such as a chair.
As Prey 2
The sequel to the 2006 game Prey was officially announced on 14 March 2011 as being developed by Human Head Studios, using a modified id Tech 4 engine. "We are thrilled to be working with Bethesda on Prey 2", said Chris Rhinehart, project lead. "Prey 2 will provide gamers the opportunity to explore a new facet of the Prey universe, one that offers fast-paced action in an open, alien world. We're excited to show gamers the title we have been working on and hope they will be as excited by this title as we are." The story of Prey 2 was to focus on U.S. Marshal Killian Samuels, who starts the game on a passenger flight which suddenly crashes onto the Sphere (the crash is shown in the original Prey). At the end of a short battle with some aliens he is knocked unconscious, after which the plot jumps forward several years. Samuels is now a bounty hunter on the alien world Exodus. Though he is aware of his profession and has retained his skills, he has no memory of what happened in the time that passed since his abduction. He initially believes himself to be the only human on Exodus until he runs into Domasi "Tommy" Tawodi (the protagonist of the original Prey), whom he has apparently met in the period he no longer remembers. Killian then resumes his bounty hunter activities while recovering his memory.
Prey 2 was announced once before; shortly after the release of Prey, 3D Realms' Scott Miller confirmed that a sequel named Prey 2 was already in development. On 17 March 2008, Miller's brand-management group Radar Group was officially launched, along with the announcement that it is managing Prey 2, and that it slated for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The rights were later transferred from Radar to Bethesda Softworks. According to Pete Hines, the vice president of PR and marketing at Bethesda, the current version of the game is what the developers wanted to make and not what has been announced before by the Radar Group.
On 23 March 2012, a rumour surfaced that Prey 2 had been cancelled by ZeniMax Media. When asked, Bethesda Softworks reported with no comment regarding the rumour on their Twitter page.
On 19 April 2012, Bethesda stated Prey 2 would not be cancelled, but instead would be delayed, and would not make its scheduled 2012 release. This was because "the game's development [had] not progressed satisfactorily", and "the game [did] not currently meet [their] quality standards". On 20 August 2012, the game was removed from the products page on Bethesda's website. A spokesperson from Bethesda informed Eurogamer that until they're ready to talk about the game more, the focus on the site is on their upcoming titles.
In May 2013, Kotaku reported rumors that development has moved to Arkane Studios and that the development has been rebooted scrapping all of Human Head Studios work and with a targeted release of 2016. It has also been reported that Obsidian Entertainment worked on the game at one point for at least a few months. In August 2013, Bethesda Softworks' Pete Hines denied rumors that Arkane Studios was working on the game. However, on 15 August 2013, it was reported that leaked emails confirmed that a new game was in fact in development that people were mistakenly referring to as Prey 2.
On 30 October 2014, during PAX Australia, it was confirmed by Bethesda Softworks vice president Pete Hines that Prey 2 had subsequently been cancelled. Hines stated, “It was a game we believed in, but we never felt that it got to where it needed to be –– we never saw a path to success if we finished it. It wasn’t up to our quality standard, and we decided to cancel it. It’s no longer in development. That wasn’t an easy decision, but it’s one that won’t surprise many folks given that we hadn’t been talking about it. Human Head Studios is no longer working on it. It's a franchise we still believe we can do something with — we just need to see what that something is." Tim Gerritsen, business development director at Human Head Studios, said, "While we are disappointed that we won’t be able to deliver our vision of the game, we remain proud of our work on the franchise, which we feel speaks for itself, including the award-winning presentation of the game at E3 2011. We enjoyed working with the many talented people at Bethesda, and we wish them all the best of luck with any future plans they may have for the franchise."
On 12 June 2016, Bethesda announced at their E3 press conference a reboot of Prey, also titled Prey. The game's development is currently led by Arkane Studios CEO and director Raphaël Colantonio and his team in Austin, Texas. Chris Avellone has also confirmed to be working on the project. The new Prey is not a true sequel but instead a "a reimagining of the IP", according to Colantonio. The teaser trailer shown during E3 2016 showed the game's protagonist in something like "a space horror version of Groundhog Day", according to CNet's Seamus Byrne. Bethesda's vice president of marketing Pete Hines explained that the new game has no elements from the cancelled Prey 2 outside of the player facing against aliens.
This version of Prey came out of Arkane Studio's own ideas; as explained by Colantonio, after they finished Dishonored, they split their team to work on two projects, one being Dishonored 2 and the other a new IP based on similar gameplay ideas which would be "in first-person, with depth and simulation and narration". This new concept was set aboard a space station and involved aliens, and would require the player to consider the "full ecology" of the game's world. As Arkane started developing this, they recognized the similarities to the original Prey. Realizing that coming up with a name for a new property can be difficult, and that through Bethesda that they would have the ability to use that name, they opted to go with calling the game Prey. Hines explained that Arkane evaluated the Prey property to its core and built up a new game around it, calling it more a psychological game rather than a horror one. Prey will not be an open world game but will feature open-level gameplay similar to Arkane's Dishonored.
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