Speaking with Prey director Ralph Colantonio at last week's QuakeCon, GameSpot asked the Arkane Studios developer why the game uses the Prey name if it has no ties to either the 2006 original or the cancelled sequel previously in development at Human Head Studios.
Colantonio's answer: the thematic elements, while not directly related, are close enough. "Well it was a matter of, first of all it's hard to find a name for a game, and it's a good name--sounds good. I think the association that people have about Prey is that it's about aliens on a space station, and it's a first-person game. When we were done with Dishonored, part of the team did Dishonored 2, and the other part [of Arkane]... we wanted to do another one of those games that we usually do, which are in first-person, with depth and simulation and narration, all that."
That, and going with an established brand, as opposed to a new or poorly received one, made sense to Arkane. "This time we wanted to make it on a space station, with aliens, and you had to survive with the full ecology, etc. As we started it, the name was available, and the connections were easy to be made. We just thought, 'Okay, makes sense,' so there we go."
Prey 2006 was developed by Human Head and published by 2K. After acquiring the rights, Bethesda evaluated Human Head's progress on Prey 2 and exercised its right to shelve the title.
Bethesda marketing chief Pete Hines recently explained that Prey 2 was cancelled because "it wasn't shaping up to be what we wanted."