Prey 2 'simply not good enough,' says Bethesda

Bethesda's Pete Hines has chimed in about the fate of Prey 2, saying that however unhappy fans may be, they "can't even be remotely as unhappy about it as us."


Prey 2 seems to have gone dormant, or "in limbo" according to developer Human Head. Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines has chimed in about the game's status with some harsh words for the quality of Human Head's product.

"We appreciate that folks are displeased that we haven't had any update or any info on Prey 2, but whatever your displeasure is, you can't even be remotely as unhappy about it as us," Hines told IGN. "We spent years and millions of dollars and a ton of effort trying to help Human Head make a great Prey 2 game. What we said the last time we said anything was that it's not up to our quality standards."

Calling the game "simply not good enough," Hines said that the company had been very clear about the game's shortcomings. "When that gets addressed and changed or whatever, at that point we can give an update," he said. He also claimed that some of the leaks are merely "your version of what you think happened." He cautions that it's nothing personal, since he likes a lot of the staff at Human Head, but the situation "just has more to do with what the product looks like and if it's good enough."

Following a source who claimed that Human Head gave up on the game in November, the developer seemed to move on. Most recently a former developer claimed that the game was full and "crazy fun," and said its fate was "political."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 20, 2013 12:40 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Prey 2 'simply not good enough,' says Bethesda.

    Bethesda's Pete Hines has chimed in about the fate of Prey 2, saying that however unhappy fans may be, they "can't even be remotely as unhappy about it as us."

    • reply
      June 20, 2013 1:06 PM

      lots of smoke surrounding zenimax/bethesda softworks

      past scummy behavior:

      recent scummy behavior:
      Following Prey 2’s impressive showing at E3 2011, Bethesda, pleased with the team’s work, promised Human Head a development extension of six months to one year – all the time it needed to populate the mostly complete game world with missions, polish what rough edges remained, and ship Prey 2 in 2012 as planned. “That’s when Bethesda decided to play hardball and buy the studio,” said one source familiar with the situation. Another person close to Bethesda and Human Head shared a similar story.

      In the following months, a source claimed, "Bethesda denied further funding of the project, and started failing milestones,” asking for changes and fixes without following through on its previous promise to give the team more time. The promise, however, was not inked on the contract, so Bethesda had no legal obligation to fulfill it. In addition, a source said, Bethesda was likely concerned with the "dated planning, tools, and techniques" Human Head was using. Meanwhile, the contract didn’t give the creative team any leverage: Prey 2 was the only game Human Head was legally allowed to develop on its own until the agreement expired -- to fill time and keep the lights on, the studio supported the development BioShock Infinite and Defiance. If it were to ever release, the team needed more cash and time to meet the rising demands to adjust Prey 2, which "needed a lot of work" and was "lackluster" from the publisher's perspective.

      Conflict erupted – Human Head asked Bethesda to provide additional time and money, while Bethesda asked Human Head to meet the criteria agreed upon by their existing agreement. At this point, Bethesda "thought they could bully [Human Head] into a corner,” a source said, and the publisher made a move to buy Human Head. “It was one of few studios that could work with and improve id Technology. They wanted to buy us at a sweet price,” but the developer denied the buyout[/b]. Human Head didn't want to permanently marry itself to a publisher that was "bleeding Human Head dry." This would limit the studio's ability to work on its own creative endeavors down the line, potentially with other publishers.

      In November 2011, in a play to keep Bethesda from purchasing Human Head, and as a result of the contract dispute, development stopped. One source called it a strike. In the following months, Bethesda and Human Head communicated sporadically, “but the conversation was very one sided. The studio made reasonable offers, but nothing came to fruition. Nothing moved in 2012.”

      Bethesda appeared to wait out Human Head. The contractual agreement between the two eventually came to term, Bethesda got its game back without spending any more money, and Human Head went on its way – the team is currently working with a new publisher on another open-world game.

      Random guy claims they used the same tactic (successfully) against arkane:

      Jason Schreier of kotaku lends credence to the random guy's claims: the ceo of zenimax:
      Altman is a lawyer. He became part of the company BCCI. During his time there he was accused of helping the business buy an American bank and lying to US regulators about it.[2] In 1992, he was indicted for eight felony charges in New York. Altman maintained that he himself was duped by the bank.[3] He was acquitted of all charges, although he did agree to be banned from banking to settle a civil suit by the Federal Reserve.[4]

      No wonder both obsidian and inexile have embraced kickstarter so completely.

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        June 20, 2013 1:16 PM

        Yes, it's a sad day when the publisher says they really like the developer yet they choose to not actually talk with the them in over a year. That problem supersedes any quality issues the game had two years ago.

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        June 20, 2013 1:29 PM

        I've heard it mentioned before that this industry is ready for a crash. These kinds of stories make it sound like it's already happening.

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        June 20, 2013 1:40 PM

        What's the deal with actual adult business people making these deals with nothing in writing!?! There was something last week about the 3DRealms and Gearbox "Handshake Deal because we're friends"
        STOP DOING SHIT LIKE THIS. You've killed your companies on a handshake deal!

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      June 20, 2013 1:46 PM

      I will just point to this:

      I always always take the word of a development studio or indvidual developer over the word of a publisher. Given the stories going around and what we know about the industry, I take it as obvious that this is about rejecting milestones on arbitrary grounds, NOT the overall quality of the game.

      Publishers lay out a milestone schedule in their contracts and use vague language to reject milestones so they don't have to pay the development studios any money and then use that to pressures studios to sell for pennies.

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        June 20, 2013 1:58 PM

        On the flip side, Human Head doesn't have many video games under their belt, and only two of them are really notable. In that context, it's plausible that the game really isn't as fun as some of the developers think. It wouldn't be the first time a developer fell into that trap.

        We really don't know.

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        June 20, 2013 1:59 PM

        This is what answers the above comment about getting it in writing. Of course things were in writing. It's the lawyeresque language which allows publishers to do what they do. Also, you want to believe the people you're signing up with are good, honest people.

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          June 20, 2013 2:15 PM

          "The promise, however, was not inked on the contract, so Bethesda had no legal obligation to fulfill it."

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        June 20, 2013 2:49 PM

        When I saw the footage, my gut said too good to be true. That's what I will always follow.

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        June 20, 2013 3:01 PM

        In this case I am more inclined to take the word of the publisher because I have found Bethesda to be an awesome company with some great games under there belt. Human Head doesn't have much to their name and I think it would be easy for them to blame the publisher for squashing a good game. How would that make any financial sense for Bethesda?

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      June 21, 2013 9:11 AM

      All their RPG games have good storylines that end up thin and poorly fleshed out. Fallout 3 is a perfect example of missing content....itis.

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