The news follows a rumor which sparked back at the end of March, claiming that the sci-fi sequel would be officially canceled in the first part of April. The rumor was somehow sprung to life after Prey 2 developer Human Head Studios canceled a showing of the game weeks prior to GDC. An overall lack of news regarding the upcoming sequel for quite some time also added fuel to the burning rumor.
But Bethesda has cleared the air, reporting that there is no such cancellation in the works. However there is still a bit of bad news: Prey 2 will not be released in 2012 as planned. In fact, Bethesda is quite blunt as to why the game won't be released this year, and for the developer, the truth probably hurts. Alot.
"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," the company said. Ouch.
No worries, though. Bethesda has dumped tons of money into the project and plans to see it through. "Prey 2 has shown great promise and we regret disappointing our fans," Bethesda added. "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."
For some of us, the Prey franchise has a special warm place in our hearts, reminding us of the days when 3D Realms thrived, Duke Nukem wasn't the joke of the industry, and GPUs were fresh and new for the discovery.
ZeniMax Media, parent company to Bethesda and id Software, bought the rights to the Prey IP in 2009. However the franchise originally began at 3D Realms back in 1995 just before Duke Nukem 3D arrived on the scene, and promised an interesting concept called "portals."
But seemingly plagued with the same roller coaster development issues endured by Duke Nukem Forever, work on Prey was eventually halted due to technical problems in 1999. Finally in 2001 Prey was handed over to Human Head Studios, thrown onto id Software's id Tech 4 engine, and released on the Xbox 360 and Windows PC in 2006.
Then in March 2011, Bethesda announced that Prey 2 was in the works, developed by Human Head Studios. According to Bethesda's Pete Hines, this is the sequel Human Head wanted to make. Since the announcement, Bethesda has released several batches of screenshots, but little news has bubbled to the surface.
So far there's no indication of when Prey 2 will be available, so we'll assume Bethesda is reverting to id's classic "when it's done" response until the studio gets a grip on its current development position. We've reached out to Bethesda to see if there's even a best guess.