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Rumor: Contract Dispute Halted Prey 2 Development

| 20 Apr 2012 16:45
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Word on the street is that Human Head hasn't worked on Prey 2 since November.

Yesterday's announcement of a Prey 2 delay was interesting because it was essentially an admission that the game, as it stands, really sucks. "Development has not progressed satisfactorily" may be politically smooth but the sentiment behind it is unmistakable: this ain't good. But how did the situation become so dire in the first place?

The rumor is that Human Head Studios actually put the brakes on development all the way back in November 2011. An anonymous Shacknews source says the studio effectively went on strike to try to force a renegotiation of its contract with ZeniMax; developers were laid off with the assumption that they'd be rehired if and when Human Head got better contract terms and resumed work on the game, which seemed to be where things were headed until January, when responses from ZeniMax suddenly dried up.

Things had apparently progressed a little bit as of March 1 but then "quickly soured the following day," although the source has no first-hand details about what exactly what down or what's happened since. ZeniMax, naturally, declined comment, but it's hard to miss the fact that nowhere in the statement about the delay is Human Head mentioned by name.

If development really has been dead in the water for the past six months, it's no wonder the game hasn't progressed to satisfactory levels. It also seems quite possible, given the heavy-handed statement, that Human Head overplayed its hand and ZeniMax is now looking for another studio to take over the game as it did with Rogue Warrior, but if so, we can only hope that the results will be better. The redone Rogue Warrior was nothing short of a disaster when it finally came out.

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