Rumour: Dishonored studio rebooting Prey 2

Dishonored maker Arkane Studios is rumoured to be building Prey 2 from scratch after Bethesda removed original developer Human Head Studios from the long-delayed project. Unconfirmed reports on Prey 2 fan site Alien Noire and Kotaku suggest Arkane’s parent company may have forced the game on the studio after a short spell in development at Obsidian proved unsuccessful and Rebellion Developments declined the chance to work on the title. It’s claimed that the game is now being built on the Dishonored engine with a new target release date of 2016. We've approached Bethesda for comment.

Last April, Bethesda denied reports that Prey 2 had been cancelled, but said it had chosen to delay the game beyond 2012 due to quality concerns. “The delay is due to the fact that game development has not progressed satisfactorily this past year, and the game does not currently meet our quality standards,” the company said. “We are determined only to release the AAA game that fans rightfully expect, and are unwilling to compromise our quality standards to meet a release schedule.” Six months later, Human Head designer Nathan Cheever said Prey 2 was "in limbo".

In a Prey 2 preview from E3 2011, we described the game as “an open world, Blade Runner-meets-Mirror’s Edge sci-fi shooter,” adding: “Our only reservation is honestly that Prey 2 sounds too good to be true.”

Source:Rumour: Dishonored studio rebooting Prey 2

MMOs don't work in U.S., Take-Two CEO says

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick says his company is staying away from MMOs outside of Asia because they're just not worth the effort. It partnered with Tencent in China for games like NBA 2K Online, but you won't see them cross the Pacific, GameSpot reports.

"We're actively investing in online MMOs; we're not doing it in the U.S. Why? Because MMOs don't work here," Zenick said at the Cowen Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference in New York today.

"We look at it and say 'How many MMOs have ever been successful in the US?' Two. World of Warcraft and EverQuest. That's kind of a bad slugging percentage," he said.

World of Warcraft's popularity seems to be flagging, but it has outperformed all western MMORPGs to make a grab at its substantial player base since 2004. Bethesda and NCSoft, among others, are still targeting the audience with games like The Elder Scrolls Online and Wildstar. Both are planned for release this year.

"We've stayed away from that market and instead we went to Asia where at any given time ten or twenty are successful in China generating lots of revenue."

Source:MMOs don't work in U.S., Take-Two CEO says

EA makes online pass content free in existing games

Electronic Arts is dropping out of the Online Pass racket, and several of its properties already reflect the decision. Games like Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Dragon Age II, and Mass Effect 2 have had their pass-gated components priced down to free on Xbox Live (via NeoGAF), and EA says more are to come.

"As we discontinue Online Pass for our new EA titles, we are also in the process of eliminating it from all our existing EA titles as well," an EA representative told our sister site CVG.

"Players will see it first with some EA Sports titles, where a prompt to enter an Online Pass code will no longer appear in-game; with other titles we are simply making Online Passes available free of charge online."

The rolling updates will take effect over the next several weeks, until the used-game monetizing initiative is no more. At least, no more from EA--how Microsoft and Sony plan to deal with used games on their respective next-gen consoles remains hazy.

Source:EA makes online pass content free in existing games

Double Fine, Media Molecule attending E3-alternative Horizon

Double Fine, Media Molecule, and Capybara Games will appear at the E3-alternative Horizon conference on June 13 in Los Angeles.

Independent developers (Sony owns Media Molecule, but close enough) have had a tremendous influence on video games in the last decade, but E3 still caters mainly to big-budget, traditional projects. Hosted by indie gaming blog Venus Patrol and MOCAtv, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art's TV channel, Horizon will present a lineup of games and studios "as an alternative to what we’ve come to expect from standard E3 fare."

Attending developers--indie and non-indie alike--will present unreleased and unannounced games live to an audience of press and peers, and via livestream to the world.

Source:Double Fine, Media Molecule attending E3-alternative Horizon