Try eight. 1997 was the first year when we beheld glorious Quake Engine screenshots of Prey.
Actually Prey was originally the name of 3DRealm's unbelievable new game engine upon which their latest game would be built. By the way, DNF was originally going to be built on the Prey engine as well. And yes, it became vaporware (prey that is, although the jury is still out on DNF - eight years now).
I, for one, am sick and tired of seeing games get awards before they are released. Prey actually won game of the year in the late nineties. Team Fortress 2 has taken the honor away from other games that had the decency to actually become available.
Publications (print and online) need to stop awarding marketing efforts and screenshots and start awarding shipping products ONLY. I can create unbelievable images and make unrealistic claims about unrealized technologies and gameplay too. Should I get an award?
By the way, Unreal was released just before Prey was shelved. Unreal actually delivered on all of the promises of eye-candy that Prey had been claiming, but was no where near to delivering.
This comment was edited on May 17, 17:18.