Human Head Studios, which recently released Rune 2, has shut down. In an odd twist however, the studio has reformed as Roundhouse Studios under Bethesda. The new studio will be working on “unannounced projects” in Madison, Wisconsin.
What makes this strange is that Human Head Studios was originally developing Prey 2 for Bethesda. The project was cancelled in 2014 (rumors that it was intentionally sabotaged were denied later by Bethesda’s Pete Hines) and rebooted as Prey under Arkane Studios. Creative director Chris Rhinehart stated that, “Sadly, we had to wind down the business of Human Head Studios and close its doors, which was particularly devastating due to the passion and creativity of the team we’d assembled.
“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 senior VP of development Todd Vaughn said that, “While sorry to hear of their challenges as Human Head Studios, we were excited by the opportunity to bring under the Bethesda umbrella this talented, established development team. We are delighted that the entire staff will remain together and is now part of the Bethesda family.”
Could the studio return to work on the Prey franchise, perhaps incorporating its ideas into a new sequel (especially since Arkane Studios is busy with Deathloop)? What will become of Rune 2 in the meantime? Time will tell but this is just the latest in studio acquisitions for Bethesda. The publisher acquired mobile games developer Alpha Dog Games last month with the intention of developing games for iOS and Android.
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