This news article is kind of a double-edged sword: on the one side, people who were excited for Prey 2 are going to be super disappointed; on the other side, people who loved System Shock 2are going to be super excited.
This gist is this: Kotaku has acquired internal emails from Arkane Studios that confirm the team is in fact working on Prey 2; this despite very recent statements by Bethesda that completely denied Arkane was working on the onetime Human Head project. In fact, Bethesda’s Pete Hines said, in reference to the rumour that Arkane had picked up the struggling Prey 2, “All of that stuff, I have no idea where it came from. The Human Head Prey 2 thing is the Human Head Prey 2 thing. Arkane is over here, and they’re doing their thing, and that’s for them to work on.”
The emails published by Kotaku are seemingly at odds with Bethesda’s recent statements. They say that Arkane Studios (which is now made up of two separate studios, one in Lyon, France and one Austin, Texas) has taken over Prey 2 but that they are completely rebooting the project. The one email, sent by Arkane’s creative director Raphael Colantonio, describes the new Prey 2 undertaking as “the spiritual successor to System Shock 3”.
So in a sense, Bethesda denying that Arkane Studios had taken over the development of Human Head’s Prey 2 wasn’t entirely incorrect; Arkane isn’t continuing the development of Human Head’s Prey 2, but rather they’re starting entirely from scratch and heading in a very different direction.
Obviously, the System Shock fans are probably reading Colantonio’s statement and wondering how they could be creating a “successor” to System Shock 3 when the game doesn’t even exist (the last System Shock game was System Shock 2). That’s probably just an error on his behalf; possibly even a typo. The main thing to take away from this is that Arkan is in fact working on Prey 2, and that the project will be more in line with the System Shock franchise than anything Human Head was working on before.
Here’s the other bit of disappointing news: the emails published by Kotaku were sent in May of this year, and they’re emails that announce the project to the rest of Arkane Austin. That means that they’re still in the very, very early stages of pre-production, which means we’ll likely only see something on Prey 2 towards the end of next year. So get comfortable, Prey / System Shock fans – it’s going to be a long wait.
For clarity, Arkane Austin is the team that recently finished up the DLC for Dishonored. Arkane Lyon is still rumoured to be working on a sequel to Dishonored, which obviously frees up Arkane Austin to work on this Prey 2 reboot.