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Rune 2 publisher Ragnarok suing Human Head Studios

Ragnarok has made some serious accusations after the developers moved to Bethesda's Roundhouse Studios.

Back in November we reported that Bethesda had opened Roundhouse Studios, formed of staff from the developer Human Head, who had moved to Bethesda's studio just one day after the release of their game Rune 2 on November 12.

This came as a surprise to Rune 2's publisher Ragnarok, and it turns out they're actually suing the developer, as reported by Eurogamer, since they claim the studio had "a longstanding agreement with [the publisher] to provide ongoing support for the game".

A statement on the game's site goes into more detail about the claims being made, as they want to continue to support Rune 2, updating it in the months to come.

"As mentioned previously, we had no warning that our long term partner and friends in this project would abandon it during its most crucial moment, leaving our team at Ragnarok Game LLC to shoulder both the development and publishing burden of launch all on its own," Ragnarok writes, adding that repeated requests for Rune 2 game assets have been refused by Human Head, hence why a legal complaint has been filed.

"We have exhausted all possible options before getting to this point. This is not the step we wanted to take, but it is necessary in order to fulfill our promises to our community."

The language in the lawsuit is a bit more damning when talking about Human Head, who allegedly "secretly conspired to abandon Ragnarok and the Rune 2 community" and "fraudulently concealed its plans to join Bethesda".

"When Raganarok [asked if it could] reach out to former Human Head employees, [COO Ben] Gokey said that 'would be a problem'," according to the file. "The problem Gokey knew (but didn't mention) was that those employees were or would soon be Bethesda employees."

On top of that, "delays, errors, and mismanagement" reportedly plagued development, increasing the 11 development milestones to 23 to get the game ready, and the publisher claims Human Head accepted around $3.5 million USD in milestone payments, before falling short of the "contractual obligation to deliver a bug-free, co-operative multiplayer, fully localised and tested game".

This is why Ragnarok is filing a lawsuit, since they claim Human Head is "refusing to transfer the property absent additional payments for work that had never been completed."

There's another claim that Human Head "not only continued to change the code, but even uploaded and attempted to launch an altered, unapproved Rune 2 build to the Epic Games Store Staging."

As a result of all of the above, Ragnarok wants $100 million in damages, restitution of all money they paid to Human Head, punitive damages, legal fees, and the assets in question.

Ragnarok adds that they still plan on releasing Rune 2 on other PC platforms in 2020, despite the less-than-ideal critical consensus at launch (check out our own review here).

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Rune 2

REVIEW. Written by Petter Hegevall

"The controls felt clunky and frustrating, the camera is too busy, and the hit detection is horrific."

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