I felt strangely saddened when Dutch gaming site PS Focus reported last month Bethesda might have pulled the plug on Human Head’s Prey 2. I’d never actually played the original, and everything I’d heard about the sequel suggested it had only the most tenuous and ephemeral of connections to its predecessor anyway, but I liked the concept of an open-world sci-fi game set in a Blade Runner-style city populated by the denizens of the Mos Eisley Cantina. Bethesda kept their mouth firmly shut about the matter but some unsettling signs, like Human Head inexplicably pulling out of not one but three GDC sessions right at the last minute, gave the PS Focus story a ring of truth.
Bethesda have finally broken their silence with an announcement on their blog to bring us some good news and some bad news. “Development on Prey 2 has not been cancelled.” Hooray! That’s the good news over with unfortunately so now onto the bad, which isn’t really all that bad actually if you think about it. Basically Prey 2 will not be coming out this space-year 2012, so any money you might have been saving for it will have to burn a hole in your pocket a little while longer. What really tickles me is Bethesda’s reasons for delaying Prey 2. “The delay is due to the fact that game development has not progressed satisfactorily this past year,” the statement read, “and the game does not currently meet our quality standards.”
Quality standards? Bethesda? I’m not knocking the overall calibre of their games but it’s a bit rich of them to say they are “unwilling to compromise our quality standards to meet a release schedule” when Skyrim was such a buggy, broken and unpolished game. Maybe Prey 2 is missing a certain useless institute of musical learning I want to burn to the bloody ground every time I see it. Nobody likes delays of course but if it means we’ll get a better game out of it then I really don’t mind. Mass Effect 3 for example could have done with at six more months of development time to smooth out the few remaining rough edges and, y’know, make a decent ending for it. Ideally one that couldn’t be summarised on one side of a beer mat in size 48 font.
So yeah we have to wait a bit longer to get our alien bounty hunting on in Prey 2. I’m not too bothered by this but then I’ve always been more inclined towards the “when it’s done” philosophy of games development. I never could understand those rabid types who act like the bloody sky is falling whenever they hear the D-Word.
Source: Bethesda Blog