Arkane Studios founder Raphael Colantonio has revealed that Bethesda basically forced the studio to call its 2017 game “Prey”. He also noted that it was one of the reasons he ended up leaving the company.
“I think that I was a little at odds with some of the management [regarding] the decision of calling Prey ‘Prey’, that was very hurtful to me,” Colantonio recalled, adding that he still had to say he was okay with the name in front of journalists.
The game designer noted that he felt bad for having to lie about the desire to continue the Prey franchise. He thought that it was a mistake from Bethesda to interfere with the creative process and force the Arkane team to use this name.
“It’s a sales mistake because it backfires from older [fans], [they] are not going to be happy,” Colantonio said. “Then the [people] who did not like Prey, they’re not even going to look for our game, [so] they’re not going to find our game.”
As a result, Arkane’s Prey failed commercially despite receiving critical acclaim. Colantonio eventually realized that he was “not in control of my own boat” anymore because Bethesda deprived him of the “full artistic control” that was promised when the company acquired Arkane in 2010.
Raphael Colantonio left Arkane Studios in 2017 soon after the Prey launch and founded independent studio WolfEye two years later. The team’s debut project Weird West came out earlier this year to warm reviews and attracted over 400k players in less than two weeks.