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Rune II Released; Human Head Closes

Rune II is now available on the Epic Games Store, offering Human Head's sequel to their Viking adventure from the last millennium. Unfortunately, it will be their swan song, as Human Head has closed its doors, reports VGC (thanks DoomWiki via Frans). Human Head's credits include Rune and Prey (2006), and they also worked on Batman: Arkham Origins, BioShock Infinite, and Brink. The good news is that everyone who worked for the company was offered a new position of Bethesda, where they are staffing up an internal developer called Roundhouse Studios, perhaps an homage to the offices Human Head one occupied at a former railroad roundhouse. "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," said Roundhouse Studios creative director Chris Rhinehart. "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." Word is Roundhouse will immediately begin working on unannounced Bethesda projects. Here's the Rune II Launch Trailer along with word on the final project from Human Head Studios:
Set in a dangerous Norse universe during the end of days, RUNE II is an epic action RPG where gods, beasts, and the last remaining humans struggle to survive.

You have been chosen by the gods to be Midgard’s savior - receive their blessings and powerful abilities as you endeavor to end Ragnarok! Race against time to prevent the trickster Loki from destroying Midgard as he keeps the world in a perpetual state of chaos.

Alone or with friends you will battle legions of Loki’s minions in brutal melee combat, travel the world collecting rare resources, locate precious artifacts to weaken the Realm Gate and craft the mightiest weapons the Nine Realms have ever seen.

Are you powerful enough to take down a god...or will a new age of darkness begin?

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20. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 17, 2019, 08:38 Verno
 
Loved the original Rune but yeah this is doing it a serious disservice.  
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19. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 14, 2019, 10:38 Darks
 
Dev wrote on Nov 14, 2019, 07:53:
Good ole Rune, I played the original and enjoyed it at the time of release. I probably have the box around somewhere also as well.

I have two signed box copies of Rune along with some hard covered books they sent me about Rune.
.
I was the person who created Rune Coop. Got to meet and know all of the devs there and became very good friends with those guys over the years.

Sad to see the company going out like this. but they are still all going to be together so thats good. But I'm still not sure how support for Rune 2 is going to go down, they said it will happen just not sure how it will since Bethesda now owns the team.
 
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18. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 14, 2019, 07:53 Dev
 
Good ole Rune, I played the original and enjoyed it at the time of release. I probably have the box around somewhere also as well.  
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17. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 21:23 Squirmer
 
Now that Bethesda's in charge of it all, it would be a funny turn of events if these devs ended up working on ... Prey 2.  
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16. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 20:33 Nidian
 
WaltC wrote on Nov 13, 2019, 18:59:
Unsurprising...These guys couldn't hold a spark to the GoD's roaring flames --the guys who created the original Rune we all know and love many years ago. The only thing I ever saw these guys do with "New Rune" (like new Coke..;)) was try and hack in some very rugged/ragged stuff into the original Rune game--and they did a pretty bum job of it, too--which is why the "improved" *cough* versions of Rune never got to first base. I wish these guys luck at Bethesda--but it will take a few years of hard work to get where they need to be to competently improve what the GoD did with the ancient Unreal engine so long ago--Rune is a classic masterpiece, imo, a proper use of the Unreal Engine--one of those games you never forget. I still fire it up now and then for a few moments--yes, you never forget it until some guys like HHS come along and try to improve it--and practically ruin it, instead. Not really trying to be critical here, but...it has to be said...what they did to Rune stands out as the most amateurish work I may have ever seen--and then they tried to sell it! Sucker and softy that I am--I bought their game just to see what they were doing! Glad to help--I got on the forum and tried to express a few basic points for them--but it was like talking to a telephone pole. To close your door on the eve of the release indicates what a stinker Rune II must be. This is reminds me so much of the guys who took the decent code from the Two Worlds II game and made what amounts to a couple of homemade mods using the graphics and sound assets from TWII--I mean I've seen better amateur mods than that! Terrible with a capital T. Except for the fact that the TWII "expansion" guys couldn't claim a fraction of the bonafides HHS is claiming--yet the work looks eerily just as amateurish.

You do realize that Gathering of Developers was the publisher for the original Rune and not the actual developer of the game... right? These guys you keep insulting about being amateurish are the actual developer that created the first game. This is so easy to look up & check... I half didn't believe I read your post right at first. If you truly liked Rune as much as you lead on & wasn't just trolling... you would know this. Hell... I still have my original boxed copy of Rune Gold which isn't easy to come by nowadays.

https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/rune
https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/human-head-studios-inc/developed-by/

HumanHead developed the first game as well as this one. They even created the Rune Classic port that was released. And that is what ultimately makes this new game all the more disappointing. So many bad decisions & a game that feels ultimately unfinished at best.
 
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15. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 19:17 WaltC
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Nov 13, 2019, 18:51:
Kxmode wrote on Nov 13, 2019, 15:41:
Wait. If they're closing, and they're the publisher, who's getting the money? Epic?

The management I imagine. Bethesda didn't buy the Rune IP and they also didn't buy Human Head, they just hired all the employees to help start a new studio from scratch that they wholly own.

This was clearly something they planned to do for a long time. I thought the whole point of Epic exclusivity bribes was to provide financial cushioning so devs didn't have to risk going under if their game didn't sell. That's what both Sweeney and several devs have said. On top of this, their Twitter statement said the game has exceeded their day one sales expectations. Big deals with Bethesda don't happen overnight so this really looks like the management just took as much money as they could, shoved the game out the door and are now bailing out with the riches. Anyone who wants to see this game on consoles or something not the Epic store, don't count on it.

They claim the game will continue to get support but don't lay out how that's going to work when none of the employees work for the company any more and Bethesda's not going to want them spending time on their payroll supporting a game they don't own. If I were anyone who bought this rushed mess, I'd refund it and wait to see if they actually do step up and support it. If they do, buy it again.

This game was an "exclusive" in the EGS? Holy cow--no wonder I hadn't heard much about it. If they took Sweeney's money and ran, then I guess all I can say is "Good for them"...;) Geez--What they did with Rune was bizarre, I would have thought--apart from seeing the game as a huge kludge--that Sweeney would have been a tad more discriminating about going about writing up financing for stuff like this--but hey, it's his money and throwing it away is his prerogative. No one expects an "exclusive" to be thoroughly shoddy, eh? Wonder if Sweeney will learn something here...I hope so. Why he's trying to get into the distributor end like *this* beats me--he would be better off spending his money providing features and benefits for his *customers*--people like us who buy way more games than is really good for us...;) Game developers writing disposable toilet-paper code are just not going to do very much for him--you'd think he would know. Wouldn't you? But maybe not--like writing, the game dev business is a lonely occupation in some respects.

Thanks for the info--much appreciated! Wonder if anyone would have bought this game had they known that on the day of the game's release the developer was going out of business, eh?
 
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14. Re: Morning Tech Bits Nov 13, 2019, 19:14 The Magician
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Nov 13, 2019, 18:51:
Kxmode wrote on Nov 13, 2019, 15:41:
Wait. If they're closing, and they're the publisher, who's getting the money? Epic?

The management I imagine. Bethesda didn't buy the Rune IP and they also didn't buy Human Head, they just hired all the employees to help start a new studio from scratch that they wholly own.

This was clearly something they planned to do for a long time. I thought the whole point of Epic exclusivity bribes was to provide financial cushioning so devs didn't have to risk going under if their game didn't sell. That's what both Sweeney and several devs have said. On top of this, their Twitter statement said the game has exceeded their day one sales expectations. Big deals with Bethesda don't happen overnight so this really looks like the management just took as much money as they could, shoved the game out the door and are now bailing out with the riches. Anyone who wants to see this game on consoles or something not the Epic store, don't count on it.

They claim the game will continue to get support but don't lay out how that's going to work when none of the employees work for the company any more and Bethesda's not going to want them spending time on their payroll supporting a game they don't own. If I were anyone who bought this rushed mess, I'd refund it and wait to see if they actually do step up and support it. If they do, buy it again.

It's probably likely that they had publishers paying their bills for the last few years while Rune II was in dev.
 
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13. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 18:59 WaltC
 
Unsurprising...These guys couldn't hold a spark to the GoD's roaring flames --the guys who created the original Rune we all know and love many years ago. The only thing I ever saw these guys do with "New Rune" (like new Coke..;)) was try and hack in some very rugged/ragged stuff into the original Rune game--and they did a pretty bum job of it, too--which is why the "improved" *cough* versions of Rune never got to first base. I wish these guys luck at Bethesda--but it will take a few years of hard work to get where they need to be to competently improve what the GoD did with the ancient Unreal engine so long ago--Rune is a classic masterpiece, imo, a proper use of the Unreal Engine--one of those games you never forget. I still fire it up now and then for a few moments--yes, you never forget it until some guys like HHS come along and try to improve it--and practically ruin it, instead. Not really trying to be critical here, but...it has to be said...what they did to Rune stands out as the most amateurish work I may have ever seen--and then they tried to sell it! Sucker and softy that I am--I bought their game just to see what they were doing! Glad to help--I got on the forum and tried to express a few basic points for them--but it was like talking to a telephone pole. To close your door on the eve of the release indicates what a stinker Rune II must be. This is reminds me so much of the guys who took the decent code from the Two Worlds II game and made what amounts to a couple of homemade mods using the graphics and sound assets from TWII--I mean I've seen better amateur mods than that! Terrible with a capital T. Except for the fact that the TWII "expansion" guys couldn't claim a fraction of the bonafides HHS is claiming--yet the work looks eerily just as amateurish.

But what happens to Rune now, I wonder? Will the source die in some HHS trashcan somewhere? What are these people *thinking*--you cannot create a AAA game like it's a mod you do at home on the weekends by leeching off the original game assets!......;) I've said enough--I don't like to kick when someone is down--and that isn't what this is. But nobody deserves to ride on the coattails of these classic old games when they are clearly unable to create anything on a par with them--especially the Rune case. I can't recall Prey but I daresay the studio that did the lobotomy on Rune was *not* the studio that created the original Prey--maybe in name only, I guess.

If the game was half as good as the trailer they've be popping champagne corks instead of closing their doors! The game must be even worse than I'm guessing. I hate to see it--but after their "New Rune" fiasco I have no trouble understanding what happened.
 
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12. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 18:51 Parallax Abstraction
 
Kxmode wrote on Nov 13, 2019, 15:41:
Wait. If they're closing, and they're the publisher, who's getting the money? Epic?

The management I imagine. Bethesda didn't buy the Rune IP and they also didn't buy Human Head, they just hired all the employees to help start a new studio from scratch that they wholly own.

This was clearly something they planned to do for a long time. I thought the whole point of Epic exclusivity bribes was to provide financial cushioning so devs didn't have to risk going under if their game didn't sell. That's what both Sweeney and several devs have said. On top of this, their Twitter statement said the game has exceeded their day one sales expectations. Big deals with Bethesda don't happen overnight so this really looks like the management just took as much money as they could, shoved the game out the door and are now bailing out with the riches. Anyone who wants to see this game on consoles or something not the Epic store, don't count on it.

They claim the game will continue to get support but don't lay out how that's going to work when none of the employees work for the company any more and Bethesda's not going to want them spending time on their payroll supporting a game they don't own. If I were anyone who bought this rushed mess, I'd refund it and wait to see if they actually do step up and support it. If they do, buy it again.
 



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11. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 18:46 Parallax Abstraction
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 13, 2019, 17:58:
Golder wrote on Nov 13, 2019, 14:11:
Uh, the game they released just before this is The Quiet Man, and really that shows that the studio went downhill a long time ago

Brink. 'Nuff said.

That was Splash Damage, who sold to a Chinese company a few years ago.
 



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10. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 17:58 Cutter
 
Golder wrote on Nov 13, 2019, 14:11:
Uh, the game they released just before this is The Quiet Man, and really that shows that the studio went downhill a long time ago

Brink. 'Nuff said.
 
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9. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 17:39 Saboth
 
Hmm looks like a knockoff Skyrim. Haven't I fought enough giants and dragons in snowy tundras?  
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8. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 16:36 thestryker
 
this certainly explains the game still coming out despite the state it's in. I really liked what they were trying to do, but it certainly seemed like there was a lot more to do and this would serve as a good early access type starting point. I'd imagine this can all be traced back to the Prey 2 debacle.  
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7. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 16:07 roguebanshee
 
Kxmode wrote on Nov 13, 2019, 15:41:
Wait. If they're closing, and they're the publisher, who's getting the money? Epic?
I expect the contract with Bethesda includes a clause about Beth getting the publisher's cut and the former HHS devs getting the dev cut.
 
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6. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 16:03 Mac
 
Wow, looks like an XBOX 360 title ... back to the future ...  
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5. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 15:41 Kxmode
 
Wait. If they're closing, and they're the publisher, who's getting the money? Epic?  
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4. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 15:34 Veinman
 
Rune 2 is buggy as hell for me, and if this means they never fix it, that is not cool at all.  
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3. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 15:03 jacobvandy
 
Wasn't part of the Prey 2 debacle that Bethesda wanted to buy them out, and they refused? Beggars can no longer be choosers, I guess..  
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2. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 14:23 Nitroedge
 
What's expected I guess is that it isn't optimized and runs super clunky, watch any gameplay stream on YouTube. Sad story overall I think.  
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1. Re: Rune II Released; Human Head Closes Nov 13, 2019, 14:11 Golder
 
Uh, the game they released just before this is The Quiet Man, and really that shows that the studio went downhill a long time ago  
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