IGN: Bethesda tried to kill Human Head (Prey 2) to buy them at a cheap price

Status
Not open for further replies.
Jun 7, 2004
85,527
1
0
#1
Following Prey 2’s impressive showing at E3 2011, Bethesda, pleased with the team’s work, promised Human Head a development extension of six months to one year – all the time it needed to populate the mostly complete game world with missions, polish what rough edges remained, and ship Prey 2 in 2012 as planned. “That’s when Bethesda decided to play hardball and buy the studio,” said one source familiar with the situation. Another person close to Bethesda and Human Head shared a similar story.

In the following months, a source claimed, "Bethesda denied further funding of the project, and started failing milestones,” asking for changes and fixes without following through on its previous promise to give the team more time. The promise, however, was not inked on the contract, so Bethesda had no legal obligation to fulfill it. In addition, a source said, Bethesda was likely concerned with the "dated planning, tools, and techniques" Human Head was using. Meanwhile, the contract didn’t give the creative team any leverage: Prey 2 was the only game Human Head was legally allowed to develop on its own until the agreement expired -- to fill time and keep the lights on, the studio supported the development BioShock Infinite and Defiance. If it were to ever release, the team needed more cash and time to meet the rising demands to adjust Prey 2, which "needed a lot of work" and was "lackluster" from the publisher's perspective.

Conflict erupted – Human Head asked Bethesda to provide additional time and money, while Bethesda asked Human Head to meet the criteria agreed upon by their existing agreement. At this point, Bethesda "thought they could bully [Human Head] into a corner,” a source said, and the publisher made a move to buy Human Head. “It was one of few studios that could work with and improve id Technology. They wanted to buy us at a sweet price,” but the developer denied the buyout[/b]. Human Head didn't want to permanently marry itself to a publisher that was "bleeding Human Head dry." This would limit the studio's ability to work on its own creative endeavors down the line, potentially with other publishers.

In November 2011, in a play to keep Bethesda from purchasing Human Head, and as a result of the contract dispute, development stopped. One source called it a strike. In the following months, Bethesda and Human Head communicated sporadically, “but the conversation was very one sided. The studio made reasonable offers, but nothing came to fruition. Nothing moved in 2012.”

Bethesda appeared to wait out Human Head. The contractual agreement between the two eventually came to term, Bethesda got its game back without spending any more money, and Human Head went on its way – the team is currently working with a new publisher on another open-world game.
http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/06...-heads-prey-2?abthid=51af79d92aabedda5500000c
 
Apr 17, 2013
2,094
0
0
#4
I had the pleasure of watching the Prey 2 live demo that year at E3. Man does that game ever look cool. Hopefully it comes to fruition at some point.

Also, who's the girl in your avatar, SolidSnakex? HHNNNNNGG!
 
Apr 11, 2013
4,970
0
435
Flushing, NY
#5
Too bad, game looked great.

Would it be possible for Human Head to pull a "Sleeping Dogs", and retain the game while removing the obvious references to the first Prey?

It seemed different enough from the first game, gameplay wise.
 
Sep 10, 2012
1,077
0
0
#7
Sad that's how things turned out, I would have liked to see Prey 2 finished by Human Head.
Prey 1 was obviously not high budget, but it had a lot of attention to detail in places I appreciated, and it felt unique from other FPS games. Plus it did portals long before Portal, as well as the spirit walking stuff.

Well, hopefully they get to release that open world game.
 
Sep 25, 2011
17,735
0
0
#8
I'm guessing it was an amazing idea that was too difficult to execute on a wider level. Something that could look awesome for a demo, but too difficult to become a full game. It's strange though, because there was a tweet from a former Human Head worker that said it was a fully playable game at some point. So that statement contradicts that notion somewhat.

It's kind of tragic in a way, given how infamous Prey (1) was with its development time and troubles. That game was in development for over a decade, and saw numerous revisions. Almost a sad parallel if these reports are true.
 
Apr 16, 2012
28,442
2
0
#14
Why wouldn't Bethesda follow through with their unwritten promise, then offer to buy Human Head once the game was complete rather than hold the IP hostage? That seems less likely to elicit disdain/bad relations.

Hopefully Arkane does get to rebuild/finish the game one day. While HH's version looked amazing, Dishonored showed their talent in first-person adventure design.
 
Jun 7, 2004
85,527
1
0
#16
Also, who's the girl in your avatar, SolidSnakex? HHNNNNNGG!
Chen Wei.

Why wouldn't Bethesda follow through with their unwritten promise, then offer to buy Human Head once the game was complete rather than hold the IP hostage? That seems less likely to elicit disdain/bad relations.

Hopefully Arkane does get to rebuild/finish the game one day. While HH's version looked amazing, Dishonored showed their talent in first-person adventure design.
It makes a lot more sense if you believe this

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=60536433&postcount=71

It seems like they were trying to pull the same thing with HH, but they didn't bite.
 
Jun 6, 2004
9,639
0
1,320
#17
Ugh, most promising game at E3 that year. At least I'll always have my keychain... freakin' Bethesda. Hope Human Head makes it out of all this OK, amazing that they've managed to stay around as long as they have. They must do a ton of work for hire that we never hear about, huh?
 
Oct 4, 2011
5,603
0
0
#18
Sounds like some clueless suits at Bethesda made a fucking mess over there. Original devs lost their half-finished and very promising game, new devs don't want to make the game, gamers are sceptical of the game's future. Basically no one's happy.

Bethesda fucked up.

Too bad they are seemingly becoming one of the "bad guys" in the publishing biz.
 
Feb 15, 2013
3,436
0
0
#19
Why wouldn't Bethesda follow through with their unwritten promise, then offer to buy Human Head once the game was complete rather than hold the IP hostage? That seems less likely to elicit disdain/bad relations.

Hopefully Arkane does get to rebuild/finish the game one day. While HH's version looked amazing, Dishonored showed their talent in first-person adventure design.
Guessing they thought they could get a better price if they broke Human Head
 

subversus

I've done nothing with my life except eat and fap
Oct 26, 2009
24,268
0
0
#20
Sounds like some clueless suits at Bethesda made a fucking mess over there. Original devs lost their half-finished and very promising game, new devs don't want to make the game, gamers are sceptical of the game's future. Basically no one's happy.

Bethesda fucked up.

Too bad they are seemingly becoming one of the "bad guys."
they have always been like that.
 
Apr 16, 2012
28,442
2
0
#23
It makes a lot more sense if you believe this

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=60536433&postcount=71

It seems like they were trying to pull the same thing with HH, but they didn't bite.
So Bethesda/Zenimax knows what they're doing is scummy, but they also know it can work.

It's essentially the "you 'bumped' into me and broke my overly expensive _____, but hey, here's a random guy who conveniently offers to pay for the _____, but you now have to work in his brothel to pay off the debt," type con. Some House of Games shit.
 

Totobeni

An blind dancing ho
Nov 3, 2007
18,732
0
0
#28
In November 2011, in a play to keep Bethesda from purchasing Human Head, and as a result of the contract
and now many of Human Head staff has left the studio and it became smaller than ever.

I guess some of them might actually wanted Zenimax to get them.
 

subversus

I've done nothing with my life except eat and fap
Oct 26, 2009
24,268
0
0
#36
About Bethesda's CEO:

Altman is a lawyer. He became part of the company BCCI. During his time there he was accused of helping the business buy an American bank and lying to US regulators about it.[2] In 1992, he was indicted for eight felony charges in New York. Altman maintained that he himself was duped by the bank.[3] He was acquitted of all charges, although he did agree to be banned from banking to settle a civil suit by the Federal Reserve.[4]
 
Aug 5, 2011
7,171
4
505
#41
"Bethesda denied further funding of the project, and started failing milestones,” asking for changes and fixes without following through on its previous promise to give the team more time. The promise, however, was not inked on the contract, so Bethesda had no legal obligation to fulfill it.
Not entirely true.
 
Jul 28, 2009
103
0
0
#42
Wow, that's horrendous :/

Makes me wonder how Doom 4 was shaping up before they had ID reboot it.

Would love to see the prototype builds of Prey 2 and Doom 4, actually.
 
May 20, 2009
9,211
0
0
36
Finland
#49
Wasn't sure if I could dislike Bethesda any more. Looks like I can.
yup, lol. it's not even hyperbole to call them immoral (maybe even criminal?) considering this and how they knowingly release broken games and broken DLC and don't give two shits about the consumer or anyone else

worst fucking company in the industry. i feel ashamed i bought Skyrim, even at half price.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.