A short while ago, Human Head Studios, the developer of games such as Prey (2007) and Rune II, shut down. Immediately following the shuttering of the studio, the entire team was acquired by Bethesda Softworks and rebranded as Roundhouse Studios, who have begun work on a new project. Ragnarok, the publisher of Rune II, is suing Human Head Studios for, among other things, breach of contract and fraudulent concealment. Ragnarok also claims it was not told ahead of time about the acquisition by Bethesda Softworks.
The lawsuit alleges that Ragnarok has repeatedly supported Human Head Studios during developmental problems and that Human Head Studios was contractually obligated to continue support of Rune II. Ragnarok claims that when Human Head Studios shut down, the publisher was told if it attempted to contact former Human Head Studios employees “…it would be a problem.” The lawsuit also notes that the location of Roundhouse Studios is the same location as the former Human Head Studios and that Ragnarok has attempted to acquire the source code for the game to no avail.
Ragnarok is ultimately demanding no less than $100 million in reparations, as well as the source code for Rune II. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this lawsuit. We’ll continue to provide further updates on the situation and any major statements or resolutions.