Rune II developer Human Head Studios has closed its doors, reopening under Bethesda Softworks as Roundhouse Studios—but neglected to inform Rune II’s publisher about the deal.
As reported by Gaming Instincts only yesterday, November 13, 2019, Human Head Studios shut down, with its entire staff rehired under Bethesda’s banner as Roundhouse Studios. This news came on the heels of Rune II’s launch on the Epic Games Store, and it seems that Rune II’s publisher, Ragnarok Game LLC, wasn’t even informed of Human Head’s impending closure until the announcement was made to the general public.
A post on the Rune II official forums by a member of Ragnarok’s staff, RUNE Mitch, expressed shock at the announcement of Human Head’s dissolution.
“Yesterday, we successfully launched RUNE II onto the Epic Games Store and the game’s demand has exceeded our expectations,” the post reads. “We’re very thankful that everyone wants to play our game. First and foremost – we love this game and we will continue to support RUNE II. James and Mitch are still here to answer questions and provide the same great open communication and transparency that you’ve come to expect from us.”
“Today, developer Human Head Studios announced that they closed their doors and will be starting a new studio,” RUNE Mitch continues. “This is shocking news to us, as there are several entities working on RUNE II – we found out about this news when you did.”
He then goes on to state that Human Head and Ragnarok Game, LLC had a long-standing agreement to provide ongoing support for the game, and that the team is working quickly to resolve current issues with Rune II’s launch, while at the same time building a team to execute the future of Rune II’s post-launch content strategy.
“Our plan remains to continue working on RUNE II and launch onto other PC platforms in 2020,” reads the post. “We’re excited to show you the future of RUNE II content.”
The neglect shown by Human Head in neglecting to inform Ragnarok about their impending closure could be considered shady business practice at best, and downright deceitful at worst. This is made even more evident by the words spoken by Human Head/Roundhouse Studios creative director Chris Rhinehart, who, when talking of the closure of Human Head, stated “We reached out to our friends at Bethesda for help, and they saw that same creativity and passion in our team.” Such wording insinuates that Human Head approached Bethesda about purchasing and restructuring their studio, and so knew ahead of time that their doors would close, leaving no real excuse as to why Ragnarok was not informed ahead of the general public.
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