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Prey 2017 Director Breaks Silence On Being 'Insulted' By Bethesda

The director of Arkane's "Prey" has spoken out about how Bethesda forced the studio to use the "Prey" name against their wishes. Released in 2006 by the now-shuttered Human Head Studios, the original "Prey" was a sci-fi horror game following a Native American that's abducted by aliens. While 2017's "Prey" is also a sci-fi horror game, it takes place on a massive space station filled with shape-shifting aliens. Though sharing the same genre, the two games weren't connected by anything other than name. Now, former "Prey" Director Raphael Colantonio has confirmed that the game was never created with the intention of becoming part of the "Prey" franchise.

Colantonio, who left Bethesda and Arkane shortly after the release of "Prey", shared his experience on the AIAS Game Maker's Notebook Podcast. While discussing why he left the company after 18 years, he partially attributed it to dealing with Bethesda management. "I did not want to call this game 'Prey.' And I had to say I wanted to anyway in front of journalists, which is not my type. I hate to lie ... It still felt bad. I had to support a message I did not want." Colantonio continued to explain that Bethesda wanted to use an IP it had to sell the game, but that the team was insulted.

Prey developers weren't happy naming the game that

"Our game had nothing to do with Prey," said Colantonio. "There is a bit of the artist's creative side that is insulted when you tell this artist, 'You know your game is going to be called 'Prey.' You go like, 'I don't think it should, I think it's a mistake.'" Colantino noted that he appreciated the creative freedom and budget given to him while the team developed "Prey" and the other immersive titles the studio is known for. Colantonio felt that using the "Prey" name actually harmed sales, considering fans of the original game might be upset that Arkane's game wasn't a sequel — or related in any way to the 2006 title. To the same effect, Colantonio also thought people who didn't like the original wouldn't give this game a shot.

Beyond that, Colantonio felt that it was insulting to the original "Prey" developers to steal their game name and IP. Colantonio said that he wanted to apologize to the original development team for what happened, as he felt it was disrespectful to co-opt their game for the sake of marketing. However, he doesn't know anyone from the original development team and has been unable to apologize to them personally. Arkane Studios has not yet made a follow-up to "Prey," instead releasing "Deathloop" in 2021 and planning to release "Redfall" in 2023.