As Deathloop traps the world in an endless cycle of murder puzzles, it’s the perfect time to find out why Arkane’s previous project shares its name with an unrelated shooter from 2006.
Prey came out in 2017, and though many critics and fans gave it high praise, it never found the same staying power as Arkane’s flagship Dishonored series. It’s tough to say how much of that discrepancy came down to branding confusion, but a new documentary from NoClip (opens in new tab) begins with how the project came to be called Prey in the first place.
In the video, Arkane co-founder Raphaël Colantonio (who is now working on Weird West at WolfEye Studio) explains that Arkane already had a concept for a space-station-based immersive sim. The project was inspired in part by Arkane’s first game Arx Fatalis, and by Metroidvania-style games built from interconnected yet distinct spaces.
“And none of these ideas were somehow something that Bethesda wanted, but they wanted us to work on Prey,” Colantonio says. “So that’s how everything started. Eventually we agreed on something like, as long as we can do almost like a different IP, but with the same, you know, the fact that it’s on the space station with aliens, et cetera, I guess that was the compromise. Because anything else was non-negotiable. That game had to be Prey somehow.”
While Colantonio likely feels more at liberty to share his true feelings about the naming decision now that he’s no longer an Arkane or Bethesda employee, he made little pretense about loving the name even when it was first announced. Here’s how he explained it when we asked him about the Prey name in an interview back at QuakeCon 2016, right after Bethesda offered its first look at extended Prey gameplay.
“It’s a bit of Prey’s a good name for what we want to make, for sure, but also if you look at the highlight roll there is a tie-in in the way that it’s a first-person game in space, fighting and surviving against aliens in a space station. That’s about it. The opportunity was there, so that’s how it worked out.”
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