The first Prey game was released in July 2006; it had been developed by Human Head Studios, under contract with 3D Realms, and published by 2K Games. The game was considered successful; it had received Metacritic aggregate scores of 83 and 79 for the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows versions, respectively, and by October 2006, over one million units had been sold according to 3D Realms’ Scott Miller. Miller announced as early as August 2006 that development on a sequel, Prey 2, had started.
In June 2007, Miller co-founded a brand-management organization Radar Group, which was designed to help fledging development studios bring their games to publishers and distributors. Prey 2 was one of three titles that Radar Group announced it was backing in March 2008, along with Earth No More and Incarnate. At this point, Prey 2 was described to be a narrative sequel to Prey. In the game, Tommy abandons Earth as he is accused of the disappearance of his family and his girlfriend. At this point in development, Prey 2 would have continued to be a first-person shooter using the portal/gravity-based gameplay as from the original game.
During 2009, the rights to the Prey trademark changed hands; in June, 3D Realms transferred the trademark to Radar Group, who subsequently transferred it to ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, by July. GameSpot noted that these events occurred shortly after ZeniMax’s acquisition of id Software in June 2009. That September, ZeniMax filed several additional trademark applications for the Prey name associated with video games, including clothing and merchandise.