The story of Prey 2 has finally come to an end. The sci-fi shooter sequel was unveiled at E3 2011 and became an unexpected sensation, wowing the press with its intergalactic bounty-hunting action. Following in the footsteps of its troubled predecessor, a game that had been in the works for more than 10 years, Prey 2 disappeared after that impactful debut and became one of the industry’s greatest mysteries. Things picked up again in 2013 when Kotaku leaked some emails from Arkane Studios, the developer behind Dishonored, that sure made it seem like the studio had taken over development. Bethesda and Arkane denied it, but nearly three years later, it turns out those “press sneak fucks,” as studio head Raphael Colantonio called them, had the story 100 percent right.
Last night at its pre-E3 conference, Bethesda announced that Prey 2 as we once knew it is dead. Just as those leaked emails implied, Raphael Colantonio and the Austin-based half of Arkane Studios is developing a Prey reboot while the the French contingent toils away at Dishonored 2. According to one of those emails, this new Prey—titled just Prey, thank you very much—was pitched as “the spiritual successor to System Shock 3,” which, besides being a weird thing to say since there technically never was a System Shock 3 (although one is now in development), appears to be an accurate description of the psychological-horror-infused sci-fi shooter. It stars Morgan Yu (who players can make either male or female), a test subject aboard the Talos I space station who awakens to find the place overrun by an inky alien menace. Using improvised weapons, regular old weapons, and special sci-fi powers borrowed from their creepy pursuers, Morgan has to survive the attack and dig up some answers about what happened to this ship and themselves.
Just to be clear, this game has nothing to do with Prey or Prey 2. “It’s not a sequel. It’s not a remake. It has no tie with the original Prey as is. It’s more like a reimagining of the IP,” Colantonio said during an interview on Bethesda’s E3 livestream. Bethesda is going to show off more of the game at QuakeCon in August, but for now, the biggest question has to be: Why bother calling it Prey at all? Sure, Bethesda is in the business of reviving classic ’90s shooters (and it‘s doing it again with the multiplayer-only Quake Champions), but the original Prey didn’t exactly set the world on fire, and now, what little cultural cachet that brand has is thanks to a mythical sequel that never saw release. New Prey is scheduled for release in 2017 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.