The new Prey, which was announced at E3 this year after years and years of speculation and leaks, looks intriguing enough- it looks to be like a new title set in the vein of System Shock, sharing very little with the original Prey. So then, why did Arkane decide to name the game Prey at all? Why not market it as a new IP?
“Well it was a matter of, first of all it’s hard to find a name for a game, and it’s a good name – sounds good,” Arkane creative director Raphael Colantonio told GameSpot at QuakeCon. “I think the association that people have about Prey is that it’s about aliens on a space station, and it’s a first-person game. When we were done with Dishonored, part of the team did Dishonored 2, and the other part [of Arkane]… we wanted to do another one of those games that we usually do, which are in first-person, with depth and simulation and narration, all that.
“This time we wanted to make it on a space station, with aliens, and you had to survive with the full ecology, etc. As we started it, the name was available, and the connections were easy to be made. We just thought, ‘Okay, makes sense,’ so there we go.”
In a lot of ways, one does have to wonder whether the thematic similarities are enough to warrant the usage of the same name, though. I think the cynical argument, which is that Arkane and Bethesda wanted to cash in on the fondness for the original Prey, instead of having to build a new brand up from scratch, likelier is closer to the true reason behind them going with the new name.