Original Prey developer Human Head Studios respawns as new Bethesda outfit, Roundhouse Studios

Original Prey developer Human Head Studios has shuttered, just a day after it released its latest game. Rune 2. The entire team, however, has been brought on by Bethesda Software in new Wisconsin venture, Roundhouse Studios. While the Prey and Rune developer confirmed it was forced to “close its doors” it did not specify why the closure was necessary.

Human Head Studios was founded 22 years ago by a group of six Raven Software developers: Ben Gokey, Chris Rhinehart, Paul MacArthur, Ted Halsted, James Sumwalt, and Shane Gurno. Its final game was Rune, which was only released this week.

It’s reported the team has immediately switched to new “unannounced projects” for Bethesda.

“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 Chris Rhinehart former project lead and co-founder at Human Head (thanks, Gamasutra). 

“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,” Rhinehart – who’s now serving as creative director at Roundhouse Studios – added.

While “sorry to hear” about the issues, Bethesda’s SVP of development Todd Vaughn reportedly said he was “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,” Vaughn said.

Bethesda also recently acquired Canadian mobile game developer, Alpha Dog Games. Bethesda says the Nova Scotia-based studio will now support Bethesda’s “growing mobile game initiative, developing new and exciting titles for iOS and Android devices”.

“We are impressed by the team at Alpha Dog’s commitment to quality and depth of experience in mobile,” Vaughn said at the time. “We’re excited to have them join the Bethesda family.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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