The First True Space Bounty Hunter Simulator Slips Further Into Development Hell
At E3 2011 when the trailer for Prey 2 showed up, it wowed everyone not just for being completely different than the first game, but for having the most unexpectedly amazing game trailer that has probably ever been created by man (blame Johnny Cash). Unfortunately, less than a year after the game’s announcement, Prey 2 has all but disappeared under nebulous circumstances. Now it’s looking like things are even more dire for the open-world, space bounty hunter simulator.
Check out the E3 trailer and see what fuss was about…
The first Prey was the typical hero’s journey story about a bratty Native American twenty-something who wanted to leave his boring home but found his plans sidelined when an alien invasion abducted thousands of people to fuel a giant living spaceship. It sucks with something comes up right before you go on vacation, right? Well, the second game decided to take a leave from the first game’s protagonist and focus on one of the abductees, an air marshall who finds himself stranded in an alien dystopia sometime after the events of the first game. He has no idea how he got there, but he decides to pass the time doing bounty hunting work in a hive of wretched scum and villainy. Open world, space bounty hunter, tons of cool gadgets, moral ambiguity….so I get to be Bobba Fett? How did it take this long for someone to turn this idea into a game?
Late last year any news of the title trickled to a complete stop, something unusual for a new game that got so much attention just a couple of months earlier at E3. Then, in April of this year, amid rumors of the game’s cancellation, publisher Bethesda Softworks announced that the game had not been cancelled but that it would not be coming out in 2012 as expected. They said that the game was an important title to them, but that development hadn’t progressed as far as it should have and they wanted to make sure it was extra polished.
Now Bethesda has gone one step further and removed Prey 2 from its list of projects on its website. So, is that the final curtain call on a game that looked so promising? Bethesda is still refusing to officially call it quits on the title. Speaking to Eurogamer.net a representative from Bethesda said, “We announced the delay in April, and until we’re ready to talk about the game more, the focus on the site is on our upcoming titles.”
Delaying the game is one thing; removing all traces of it from your website is something else entirely. This would seem to indicate that the rumors of the halt in production being due to a contract dispute with the game’s developer may hold true, which is extremely unfortunate. If all of this hold up is over legal matters then the game could very well disappear entirely, waiting on rights of ownership to revert or some other legal loophole that could get the ball rolling again.
Personally, I know that the first game wasn’t spectacular but I enjoyed it quite a bit anyway thanks to the neat alien environment and cute Art Bell cameos. The next game looks to be everyone’s childhood Boba Fett dreams come true, so it will heartbreaking to see it die. Let’s hope someone at Bethesda realizes what a gold mine they have here and finds a way to get this thing made.
Here’s a look at the game in action, looks pretty polished to me…