Despite releasing Rune 2 yesterday on the Epic Games Store, Human Head Studios was forced to “wind down business and close its doors” this week. The developer, founded in 1997, was also known for developing The Quiet Man, 2006’s iteration of Prey, and various modes for AAA titles in the mid-2010s. Therefore, it’s fortuitous that Bethesda has acquired the entire team, restructuring them as Roundhouse Studios.
Studio creative director Chris Rhinehart had this to say regarding the move.
“We reached out to our friends at Bethesda for help, and they saw that same creativity and passion in our team. With the formation of Roundhouse Studios, Bethesda offered every employee of Human Head a position at the new company. We are excited our team will remain together, pursuing the work we love, as part of a company we already know and admire.”
Bethesda has announced that the new team will be immediately put to work on “unannounced projects.” Senior Vice President of Development Todd Vaughn expressed his regret at Human Head’s closure but felt excited about the new blood. “We are delighted that the entire staff will remain together and is now part of the Bethesda family.”
Rune 2, previously known as both Rune and Rune: Ragnarok, has received little to no attention during its launch window. Fans who purchased the game complain that it has arrived unfinished and broken, and many are filing for refunds. There is only one review posted at the time of this writing, which appears to be more favorable towards the final product. It is an Epic Games exclusive and was planned to hit Steam and other PC platforms in 2020. It’s unclear how the Bethesda acquisition will change that.
This is the second new studio under the Bethesda banner in a month’s time. Mobile games studio Alpha Dog Games out of Nova Scotia, Canada was also recently acquired. They previously released real-time strategy game MonstroCity: Rampage and action role-playing game Wraithborne.