Developer Human Head hasn’t worked on Prey 2 since February following a contract dispute with Bethesda parent company Zenimax, claims a source cited by Shack News.

According to the source, Human Head deliberately ceased development in November while it sought to negotiate more favourable terms with Zenimax. Some staff were laid off in the hope they could be re-hired once the dispute was resolved, continues Shack News’ purported mole.

The source goes on to claim that there was some positive discussion until January, at which point Zenimax broke off all communication with the studio.

Following a brief respite in late February, things “soured” on March 2nd, at which time the source claims to no longer have first-hand information.

Bethesda declined a request by Eurogamer to confirm whether Human Head is still the developer of Prey 2, but said in a statement this morning:

"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. Prey 2 has shown great promise and we regret disappointing our fans.

"We have made a substantial investment in game development to deliver the experience fans want. 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."