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The Strange History of Three Different Prey Games - GVMERS Documentary

SnapShot

Member

Upon launching Duke Nukem 3D, 3D Realms was unknowingly on its way to becoming an integral part in the popularization of first-person shooters. For the studio’s creative minds, there existed a desire to fundamentally elevate the genre’s design, gameplay, and storytelling potential. Such aspirations were what motivated the inception of Prey in 1995.

To achieve its ambitions, 3D Realms set about developing a new game engine to run Prey and future endeavors. These goals, and countless others, strained the workload, resulting in a series of unmet expectations. For years, the genre evolved without its influence; the likes of Battlefield and Call of Duty rose to the top, establishing a new norm while Prey endured development hell. But Prey, when it finally emerged from the depths, offered an experience unlike any other. While there’s little to suggest it marked the seminal release 3D Realms had dreamt of, Prey’s 2006 adventure merited applause for at least attempting to reinvent the wheel.

What unfortunately followed were myriad stumbling blocks that plagued the IP for several years thereafter. A sequel was greenlit, announced, then cancelled. And though the franchise changed hands on more than one occasion, both installments managed to follow 3D Realms’s basic vision by striving to enrich the genre.

Today, Prey has evolved in its own right, distant from the promise of the original, but still honoring the desires held by a small group of developers 25 years ago. The journey wasn’t easy, though few would argue it hasn’t paid off in spades.

This is the history of Prey.
 

RAIDEN1

Member
The original Prey is one of the extremely rare instances you get a game from a native American perspective...not enough games explore that culture...
 

BPX

Gold Member
Tommy Wiseau Lol GIF by The Room


Tommy is still the man
 

SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
As much as Arkane's Prey is a great game it really is tainted by Bethesda's bad actions. The long story short is that Bethesda tried to do a hostile takeover of Human Head by witholding funding mid development and failed. But since their license of the Prey IP would have lapsed if they didn't actually release a game, that would have allowed Human Head to take their mostly complete Prey 2 to a new publisher. So rather than allow that, they duct taped the Prey name onto an unrelated title, specifically to fuck over Human Head, all out of spite because they didn't want to sell their company.
 
As much as Arkane's Prey is a great game it really is tainted by Bethesda's bad actions. The long story short is that Bethesda tried to do a hostile takeover of Human Head by witholding funding mid development and failed. But since their license of the Prey IP would have lapsed if they didn't actually release a game, that would have allowed Human Head to take their mostly complete Prey 2 to a new publisher. So rather than allow that, they duct taped the Prey name onto an unrelated title, specifically to fuck over Human Head, all out of spite because they didn't want to sell their company.
And Bethesda won in the end when they gobble the entire staff and set up round house studio
 
It would be nice if they could finish Prey 2, especially since they have most of the former staff working at Bethesda, but unfortunately that would require them to completely rebuild the game with updated graphics…. Fuck Zenimax/Bethesda for cancelling the game for petty reasons.
 
Yep. It had a nice style to it. I'd love to see it finished someday.

On a side note- I think there's a good business in getting ahold of old assets like that and finishing them. In 5-10 years, a lot of that unfinished 360 stuff will be fun to uncover.
 

Umbasaborne

Member
I had a crazy dream where microsoft remade the original prey and retitled it “sphere”. Then they announced that the original vision for prey 2, now titled “sphere 2” was back in development. Its a shame what happened to that series. The reboot was great but i hated that they totally abandoned the og game and canned its sequel
 
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Bragr

Member
The original Prey is one of the extremely rare instances you get a game from a native American perspective...not enough games explore that culture...
You ain't wrong, a Ghost of Tsushima-like game set in North America in the 1200s or something would be awesome. As far away from the colonization of America as possible, as that is outplayed as hell.

The best franchise based on Native Americans is still Turok.

 
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SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
I hope that the first version from the 90’s leaks one day, on the original engine.
I have a feeling that one might not be that interesting, it was much more of a straight up Quake clone at that point and didn't make it very far beyond some impressive engine work. I think it was really the second version where they started adding portals and a story and it was taking shape. There was a third version as well under another director.

 
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SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
It would be nice if they could finish Prey 2, especially since they have most of the former staff working at Bethesda, but unfortunately that would require them to completely rebuild the game with updated graphics…. Fuck Zenimax/Bethesda for cancelling the game for petty reasons.
Could always port it to Switch and it would be more or less up to spec.
 

Scotty W

Member
I have a feeling that one might not be that interesting, it was much more of a straight up Quake clone at that point and didn't make it very far beyond some impressive engine work. I think it was really the second version where they started adding portals and a story and it was taking shape. There was a third version as well under another director.

I haven’t seen that picture in ages. I still like the way it looks. I think I recall reading about Portals in that one, but I am not sure if I saw any photos of it.
 

Scotty W

Member
I have a feeling that one might not be that interesting, it was much more of a straight up Quake clone at that point and didn't make it very far beyond some impressive engine work. I think it was really the second version where they started adding portals and a story and it was taking shape. There was a third version as well under another director.

So I didn’t realize the 95 and 97 versions were different. It looks like the 97 version introduced portals.

 

RAIDEN1

Member
You ain't wrong, a Ghost of Tsushima-like game set in North America in the 1200s or something would be awesome. As far away from the colonization of America as possible, as that is outplayed as hell.

The best franchise based on Native Americans is still Turok.

Exactly, imagine a Red Dead Redemption game with a "different perspective.."
 

SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
This video is sorta bad
So I didn’t realize the 95 and 97 versions were different. It looks like the 97 version introduced portals.

Yeah, there was the Tom Hall one, the 1995-96 one, then the Paul Scheytama(or however it's spelled) one, a third one after that, and the. The Human Head one. The video doesn't do a great job breaking this down, but Prey had a long bumpy road on its way to launch.

I also don't like the implication that Arkane's Prey was intended to honor the IP in any way. Arkane's game was a new IP that was named Prey for the sake of preserving IP rights, because if they didn't use the IP Human Head may have been able to get it back and release Prey 2.
 
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