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The original Prey came out about a decade ago, and a sequel was planned and later killed by publisher Bethesda. When Arkane revealed it was developing a new sci-fi game featuring aliens, and that it was named Prey, it seemed strange. Why reference a game that many had forgotten about – if they knew about it in the first place? Even though the action is set in lunar orbit, the reasons behind the decision are much more grounded, as we learned after speaking with Bethesda and Arkane about the project for our cover story.

When Arkane first began kicking around the idea of Prey, the name wasn’t even on its radar. As founder and creative director Raphael Colantonio recalls, the studio wanted to create a game where players were trapped in a relatively small space, being hunted. They realized a space station would be a perfect setting for such a game, and the rest of the game fell into place from that point.

As it happened, Bethesda owned the Prey IP, which seemed like a solid fit for Arkane’s new game. Or, at least, the name did. “We felt like, at its core, we liked the basic idea of Prey and what it represented in terms of aliens and you being hunted and on the run,” says Pete Hines, vice president of PR and marketing at Bethesda. “And we thought it was a cool name. If you remove for a moment the notion of any game called Prey previously, we just thought it was a cool name that evoked what this game was about. In the discussions we had with Arkane, they were like, ‘Look, if we can do everything that we have planned and whatever we want and not be beholden to anything anyone has done – shipped or canceled – and just reimagine what Prey means going forward, then we’re totally on board for that.”

Arkane is starting its game with a clean slate. There aren’t any references to the previous game, its aliens, or anything else from the past. While Hines recognizes that some players have some history with the name, it ultimately doesn’t matter as they move forward. “Whether Prey is good or bad is going to be entirely dependent on what those guys ship next spring,” he says.

We have a month of coverage planned for Prey throughout December, so be sure to come back and visit our hub page by clicking on the banner below..

the author Jeff Cork