According to one source, after the tremendously successful E3 2011 outing of Prey 2, Bethesda promised Human Head a development extension of six months to one year, which would have served to allow the developer to populate the game world with missions and give the game an overall polish.
The game was on track for a 2012 launch when the source claimed Bethesda attempted a power play, as it "decided to play hardball and buy the studio... Bethesda denied further funding of the project, and started failing milestones,” while demanding changes and fixes without giving the team the promised extra time.
Of course, the promised extra time wasn't a written agreement, so Bethesda didn't honor the oral one.
Finally, Human Head stopped development in November 2011 to prevent Bethesda from buying it out. There were negotiations, “but the conversation was very one sided. The studio made reasonable offers, but nothing came to fruition. Nothing moved in 2012,” related the source.
Human Head eventually split Bethesda to work on an open world game with another publisher. Meanwhile, when asked about the story, a Bethesda rep merely stated, "As we stated before, we delayed the release of Prey 2 as development did not progress satisfactorily, and the game did not meet our quality standards...Beyond this, we don’t have any new update or comment."