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Prey 2 scuttled by Bethesda buy-out attempt – rumour

Wednesday, 5 June 2013 23:45 GMT By Brenna Hillier

It looks like Prey 2 developer Human Head has moved on to a new project, and whispers suggest a strong-arm attempt at a buy-out is what soured its relationship with publisher Bethesda.

Multiple anonymous sources told IGN that Bethesda backed Human Head into a corner with a contract which blocked it from developing any other projects, but declaring itself unsatisfied with the work produced so far.

When Human Head ran out of money to fund further development, the sources alleged, Bethesda swooped to the rescue with an offer to to buy the financially floundering studio.

“It was one of few studios that could work with and improve id Technology. They wanted to buy us at a sweet price,” one source said.

But Human Head wasn’t interested, the source added, being quite put off by Bethesda’s tactics.

After that, the rumour continues, Human Head simply stopped working on the game, occasionally sending Bethesda offers it considered reasonable, which the publisher did not reply to. Eventually, the contract between the two companies expired. Industry buzz suggests Arkane Studios has taken over from Human Head to finish the sci-fi shooter.

The rumour paints Bethesda in quite an unpleasant light – but even if it is completely accurate, there’s no telling what state the project was in when the publisher began playing hardball. Human Head seems pretty convinced it was awesome, though.

Through the whole Prey 2 rumour whirlwind, Bethesda has not made any comment on the subject of Human Head’s reported departure and replacement, saying only that development was not smooth and release was delayed as a result.

Meanwhile, Human Head definitely appears to have moved on to other projects; both IGN’s sources and a LinkedIn screengrab doing the rounds today suggest the developer has a new open-world game on the go, set in a European city, for a different publisher. It also announced a sequel to Rune.

Thanks, Dark, AllGamesBeta.

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17 Comments

  1. YoungZer0

    You motherfucking greedy pieces of shit.

    Absolutely disgusting display of abuse of power.

    I feel ashamed for having bought Skyrim. That was my last Bethesda game. How can anybody in their right mind do that to a developer? If it wasn’t for those fuckers we could’ve had Prey 2 last year! We could’ve had a great game it would have sold millions which would earn THEM money.

    Unfucking believable. Complete and utter insanity. Who the fuck was responsible for this?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. manamana

    Think of Free Radical and SWBF3, take a deep breath and just hope that it’ll ever come to light …

    #2 2 years ago
  3. harr0w

    its a complete travesty what happened to humanhead and prey 2. Bethesda are totally boycotted scum. And it pains me even to talk about free radical. This is what happens when corporate arseholes interfere with the dev process. C*%TS

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight

    @3

    No one messed with the Dev process. Bethesda wanted to buy out HH, they said no. HH annoyed by the attempt to be bought out tries to buy the IP back, Bethesda never responds. HH lets the contract expire and moves on. Its just the normal corporate political bullshit.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. DSB

    Nobody really knows what happened, and as long as the sources remain anonymous, it’s impossible to tell fact from fiction.

    You would think that Bethesda would know better than to release a standardized statement that at least in part corroborates Human Heads outline of events, but apparently the Bethesda PR department isn’t very bright.

    I will say that Bethesdas story rings a little hollow. This is the publisher that allowed RAGE to come to market. Clearly their standards ain’t that high.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. ps3fanboy

    I will not buy a Bethesda game ever again! Bethesda can go to hell!!!1

    #6 2 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    Bethesda shafts another developer, news at eleven.

    Remember the utter bullshit they pulled with New Vegas? They based most of the profits that Obsidian would receive on it getting a Metacritic rating of 85 — New Vegas got 84, and that allowed Bethesda to completely opt out of giving them most of their profits. Bethesda could have said “Well, 84 is close enough!” and given them the funds they rightly deserve but…

    Well, we all know that Bethesda are a big old pile of douchenozzles at this point, don’t we?

    This is after threatening Notch with a lawsuit due to the use of ‘Scrolls,’ which they only backed down from because they saw that public opinion was against them. And after the release of the aforementioned Rage, which was an utterly humongous mess.

    And now this thing with Human Head? I wouldn’t mind taking it further and assuming that Bethesda ‘postponed’ development to try to convince Human Head to accept the buyout. Human Head refused and just sat on the postponed status, waiting for their contract to run out. With the contract done, they moved on. And Prey 2 was dropped on a very unfortunate Arkane.

    Bethesda is nothing but a pile of inept, political bullshit of late. I honestly have a lower opinion of them than EA right now, and that’s saying something.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. harr0w

    @4 that’s one part of a larger story. Bethesda holding back money and extended dev time. Contractual promises that were never met. Contracts are signed then berhesda begin to sabotage the project because they cant muscle buy humanheads. This all leads to the death of prey 2 as we know it.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Tavarish

    @7 Don’t forget that according rumors they choked life out of Arkane and then swooped in for rescue and Arkane kneeled.

    This was during Dishonored development and rumor was that Bethesda kept changing milestones so Arkane couldn’t meet them and hence Bethesda wouldn’t need to pay anything. This put Arkane into financial hardship and Bethesda just picked up parts.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. MisterNobody

    @5
    Did the thought that Prey 2 might have been -sub- RAGE levels of bad?

    I think it’s pretty suspicious that we never saw any gameplay videos, no meaningful demos released to the press, or even any new screenshots in the last two years, way before any of these accusations are coming around.

    The first Prey was rebuilt something like five times because of constant reworking. Something tells me we were getting into similar territory, and the person from Human Head defending the years of work they put into this project is doing just that; defending their work, so they can get hired without much fuss on their next project.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. The_Red

    If the Prey 2 was only that CG demo, I could have accept Bethesda’s word but the very fact that the game was demoed LIVE on both GameSpot and IGN stages with a stunning and fully realized level / world section, shows that the team wasn’t some super lazy, behind the schedule group.

    In short, Bethesda can go fuck themselves with their crappy and buggy engines that are worth less than a frame of Prey 2 combined.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. KineticCalvaria

    I will not be buying any more Bethesda games ever again! Until the next Elder Scrolls anyway…

    #12 2 years ago
  13. El_MUERkO

    Bethesda could of had my money for Prey 2. Now I won’t buy another one of their games. Blacklisted, I hope the Elder Turd Online bankrupts them.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. roadkill

    And THIS is why piracy thrives! Hoaah!

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Beta

    Not impressed with Bethesda at all.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. The_Red

    @13
    As much as I want to see the Bethesda higher ups suffer for this, I don’t think it’s fair to wish bankruptcy for the whole thing, specially the talented artists and designers. Now, I am NOT a Bethesda fanboy. I (mostly) dislike their Fallout 3 and pretty much hate their post-Morrowind TES games but this has more to do with the assholes that control the company and less with the many, many people who actually work on their games.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. DSB

    @10 It did occur to me, which is why I’m pretty clear in saying we don’t know what’s what here.

    In terms of circumstancial evidence though, Bethesda doesn’t have a great reputation, their PR is obviously asleep at the wheel, and they’ve released plenty of shoddy work over the years.

    Personally I like proof a lot more than rumors, and I don’t believe that all devs are perfect angels that never do anything wrong. It could be that Human Head dropped the ball, but my gut tells me they’re closer to the truth on this one.

    #17 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video gives you a look at the game’s wildlife

    A new video shown by Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata during the latest Active Time Report, contains a look at the game’s wildlife and ecology. You can watch the full stream two hour stream through here, or a smaller clip courtesy of GamesHQMedia below.

  • Lionhead ventures into the free-to-play space with Fable Legends

    Fable Legends will be free-to-play when it launches on PC and Xbox One. According to Lionhead, the one versus four cross-platform title borrows from MOBA games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends as it will contain free, rotating heroes which will be added to a roster for a two week period. Once the […]

  • Win! 5 pairs of tickets to the Call of Duty European Championships

    We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway for the Call of Duty European Championships, taking place in London this weekend. The event takes place this Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Winners can watch teams will go head to head for a $10,000 prize pot […]

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

    Republique Remastered, which was announced earlier this month, is now available for Mac and PC. The game is 20% off through Steam, GOG and the Humble Store for $19.99 until March 4. Thereafter, it will run you $24.99. The Remastered edition contains all five episodes of the game, with 1-3 available now and the remaining […]

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

    Isometric shooter LA Cops is coming to Xbox One on March 13. Already on Steam Early Access, the game looks like it’s been heavily inspired by Hotline Miami. Walk into a room, open fire, leave bloody puddles in your wake. It’s being published by Team 17. Check out the video below for some 70s cop […]

  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

    Joe Madureira, creator of Darksiders, has released art that strongly suggests a Battle Chasers game is in the works. Battle Chasers was a comic book from the late 1990s that suffered notorious production problems between issues and was never finished. Madureira formed Airship Syndicate after the collapse of THQ, where he co-created Darksiders. His latest […]

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

    The trailer for notorious horror movie Axe has been recreated in GTA 5. The shot for shot remake is the work of gigerbrick who has previously recreated exploitation flicks like Machete and Hostel using Lego. The original Axe movie was banned in 1984 in the UK but passed with cuts in the late 1990s. Movie […]

  • Payday 2 for PS4 and Xbox One includes “a year’s worth of paid DLC” for free

    Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will include a year’s worth of paid DLC from the PC version of the game for free. The new-gen version of the game will be available June 2015, and includes almost all of the paid and free DLC released so far for Overkill’s popular first-person shooter. That DLC includes The Big […]

  • Yes, Mortal Kombat X will require Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

    Mortal Kombat X won’t bypass Microsoft and Sony’s premium online play requirements. Reports that Mortal Kombat X wouldn’t require PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold started circling earlier this week thanks to a communications error. Answering fan questions on Twitter, producer Shaun Himmerick accidentally gave the impression that premium console subs would not be required […]

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

    Destiny patch 1.1.1 has resolved or at least addressed a number of complaints voiced by the community, but there are plenty more. des Destiny community manage David “Deej” Dague has put out a call for Guardians to share their concerns – or rather, what they think the community is most concerned about. “Set aside your […]

  • Google AI can play games now, so we’re probably all going to die

    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]