According to Kotaku, development of the long delayed Prey 2 has been handed over to Arkane Austin, the studio responsible for creating last year’s critically acclaimed stealth-action game, Dishonored.
Both Kotaku and Prey 2 fansite Alien Noire received information regarding the game’s troubled development cycle from an anonymous source allegedly close to the project. Prey 2 was originally announced back in 2011, but the game was delayed numerous times before disappearing off release lists all together. While it was earlier assumed that the game had simply been cancelled, Kotaku’s anonymous source claims that Bethesda has given the game to numerous developers in an attempt to finish it, including Obsidian Studios (Fallout: New Vegas, South Park and the Stick of Truth,) and Rebellion (Rogue Warrior.) The game was originally being developed by the creators of the original Prey at Human Head Studios, but Bethesda severed all ties with the developer a few months after Prey 2 was originally announced.
Apparently, the project is now in the hands of Arkane. Instead of simply finishing the project that the other development studios started, Arkane is reportedly starting the game over from scratch. It’s currently unknown if they’re still keeping the original storyline and setting that was revealed back in 2011, as the anonymous tipster says Arkane is treating the project like a brand new game. The decision to start the project over will cause Prey 2 to be delayed even further, and the source states that the game won’t be done until 2016. The game was originally announced for the PS3 and 360, but with a release date that far off, I think it’s safe to assume that development might be shifted to the next-gen platforms.
While Arkane Austin works on Prey 2, certain members of the Dishonored team have been transferred over to the company’s other offices in Lyon, where they are rumored to be working on Dishonored 2. Bethesda has stated that they plan to turn Dishonored into a major franchise.
I think this is a good news — I personally have more confidence in Arkane’s ability to turn out a good game than any of the other developers that have reportedly worked on the project, so here’s hoping they manage to salvage the game and keep it from becoming vaporware. Dishonored was one of my favorite games of last year, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Arkane does next.