Bethesda today announced the release of Prey, a first-person sci-fi shooter with RPG elements. The debut comes after the publisher’s parent company Zenimax forced indie developer No Matter Studios to change the name of their own upcoming game, Prey for the Gods (now Praey for the Gods). Bethesda’s game is available for PlayStation 4, XBox One, and PC.
A newsletter from No Matter Studios revealed the studio had been forced to change the name of their Shadows of the Colossus-inspired game after Zenimax opposed the smaller company’s trademark applications for Prey for the Gods and Præy for the Gods, claiming they were too close to their own Prey. The company eventually allowed No Matter to keep Praey. A Bethesda representative insisted to IGN that they had “no choice” but to do so in order to protect their trademark under the law, but given that generic terms cannot be trademarked, the claim is dubious.
Players begin the game aboard the Talos I space station, the key subject of an experiment meant to alter humanity forever, but as is always the case when playing God, things have gone terribly wrong. Talos I has been overrun by an alien force that’s now hunting down any surviving crew members. As mankind’s last hope, players fend off the alien infestation armed with the tools found on the station, which include wits, weapons, and mind-bending abilities.
For those wondering at the familiarity, Prey has its origins as a “spiritual successor” to the original System Shock. Originally, the game was meant to be developed by 3D Realms as a sequel to the original Prey, but the IP’s acquisition by Bethesda, amongst other factors, complicated matters immensely. What was originally meant to be a sequel is now a reboot developed by Arkane Studios, the creators of the Dishonored series.
In addition to forcing a tiny studio of three people to change the name of their game under shaky legal ground, Prey was also subject to Bethesda’s new review code policy, where the game was sent for reviews only the day before launch. Reviews are trickling in with gushing praise, but it would be difficult to find the flaws in a game in a single day of play.
Prey retails for $59.99. The game is rated M for Mature by the ESRB.