Prey 2 allegedly stalled due to contract disputes, attempted buyout by Bethesda
After a stellar debut at E3 2011, Prey 2 was on a lot of must-play lists. Developer Human Head looked like they had a winner on their hands, and publisher Bethesda stood to release yet another hit. Then, frustratingly, development stopped. What happened is apparently a tale of the contractual disputes and business dealings that affect the games we want to play and love, but are usually going on so far above our heads that we never hear about them until long after the fact.
IGN has a report detailing Human Head’s perspective on the disagreement from an anonymous source, and it is unsurprisingly hard on Bethesda. According to the report, after Human Head’s good showing at E3, Bethesda began moving to buy the studio by forcing it into a corner. With a contract prohibiting Human Head from developing other games until Prey 2 was completed, “Bethesda denied further funding of the project, and started failing milestones,” said the source.
With funds running out and a game that was failing quality milestones, Human Head stopped development in an apparent strike. The strike never ended, and the rights to Prey 2 reverted to Bethesda while Human Head moved on to other projects.
To get the full rundown on Human Head’s side of the story, check out the full article. Since Bethesda has declined to elaborate or respond to the allegations in IGN’s story, the report is one-sided, but nonetheless illuminating.