When Arkane Studios’ Prey was first announced, it was met with confusion over whether the game was a follow-up to 2006’s Prey, a critically-acclaimed first-person shooter developed by Human Head Studios. After it was revealed that the two games shared no connection, some speculated as to why Arkane would choose to title its upcoming game the same name. However, as revealed by former Arkane director Raphaël Colantonio, the development studio had no say in the matter.
As reported by Kotaku, Colantonio has recently appeared on a handful of podcasts discussing the making of Prey–and his complete disdain for the name Bethesda reportedly “forced” Arkane to use. In the latest episode of the AIAS Game Maker’s Notebook podcast, Colantonio elaborated on the experience:
“I did not want to call this game Prey,” Colantonio told AIAS. “And I had to say I wanted to anyway in front of journalists. I hate to lie… It felt bad to support a message I did not want.”
The founder and former director continued on to say he–and many other Arkane employees–felt “gross” using the name, and considered it a “kick in the face” to the developers behind 2006’s Prey. “I wanted to apologize to them many, many times,” said Colantonio. “I didn’t really have a chance because I don’t really know those people. It was never our intention to ‘steal their IP’ and make it ours. It’s gross and that’s not what I wanted to do.”
Colantonio also said he believes calling the game Prey might have contributed to the immersive sim’s lack of commercial success. According to Colantonio, choosing the name ultimately “backfired,” as fans of 2006’s Prey may have felt misled while people who didn’t like the original didn’t even “look for [the] game.”
Colantonio says that while he was “grateful” Bethesda gave him the means and time to make a game and “trusted” him to make something like Prey, he was still frustrated by what happened. Shortly after the release of Prey, he left the studio to found a new team, WolfEye Studios. Earlier this year, WolfEye released its first game: Weird West. Colantonio says his new goal in the games industry is to “stay independent for real” and create (and name) smaller games.
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