[Spoilers] Prey's ending is not the one that was originally planned
But it worked out better in the end...depending on who you ask.
Prey has one of, if not the most divisive endings of any game released in 2017. In fact, some fans have thought that it borderlines on Mass Effect 3 levels of trolling, while others think that it leaves a lot up to interpretation, promoting discussion (healthy or not). Obsidian co-Founder Chris Avellone sat down with SugarBombed and talked about his role on the project as well as the fact that the ending we got was not the one that was originally planned.
Warning: Spoilers follow.
"It was not the original ending for the game, it came in later in development," says Avellone. "For me (and we discussed this at Arkane), the key thing to be careful of is disrupting the player’s attachment to their avatar," he continued.
Avellone is, of course, referring to the post credits scene where it is revealed that you aren't actually Morgan at all, but a captive Typhon being subjected to experiments to see if the species can be dealt with on a diplomatic level. Essentially, this removes or alters (depending on who you ask) the meaning behind many of the decisions that the player had made throughout the game.
Preventing the Typhon from coming to Earth wasn't actually the true goal of the game, which in turn ties into the "attachment to their avatar" that Avellone references since their Avatar wasn't who they thought they were. Avellone compares this situation to the Spider-Man comics where it was revealed that the Spider-Man that readers had been following for 20 years was actually a clone. This was a story idea that didn't go over well, so navigating the line between experimental story-telling and completely shafting a player's expectations is a hard thing to do for sure.
"If you ever choose to do this in a narrative, you need to be careful and take precautions (I feel Prey did these things) was tie the reactivity in the game to that ending, so your actions still mattered (at least in the drafts I saw), but the danger of being disassociated from your avatar was a very real thing and should be treated very, very carefully," says Avellone.
The whole interview is rather insightful on all things Prey, but it's highly recommended that you beat Prey before diving in.
Prey is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.