Pitched as a spiritual successor to System Shock
For months, rumors have been floating around the web regarding the status of Human Head's upcoming shooter, Prey 2. Despite a relatively strong showing at E3 2011, the title remained in development hell, plagued with delays and at times, even rumors of out-right cancellation. However, back in May, sources close to the project reported that Dishonored's Arkane Studios would be taking over development, and starting from scratch. Rather than confirm these reports, both Arkane and its parent company Bethesda were quick to deny such rumors.
Fast forward to earlier today, when Kotaku obtained several leaked e-mails between Arkane creative director Raphael Colantonio and his staff dating back to May, which appear to detail the team's involvement with the game. More importantly, the leak also highlights their proposed pitch -- a spiritual successor to System Shock.
The e-mail is quoted as follows; you can read the original here.
...Austin has officially been green lit for its own project! This is super exciting of course. Doing a new IP was not a possibility because it's adding risk to the challenge of growth, so after going back and forth with Todd, Harvey, and Ricardo, we decided that Prey 2 presented an interesting opportunity if we could reboot it. Zenimax accepted our pitch which was "the spiritual successor to System Shock 3"...
While I imagine this is huge news for fans of System Shock, I can't help but cringe a little knowing that everything Human Head had worked to create will never see the light of day. Some of the concepts they presented seemed worth while, and although I can understand the act of shelving a project that fails to live up to expectations, we'll always be left wondering what could have been.
When reached for comment, Colantonio instructed staff not to respond to press, however Bethesda issued the following to Kotaku, stating "We aren’t talking about what Arkane is working on and we have no new information to share on Prey 2." Big surprise there.