I’m both a bit sad and optimistic about the news that Human Head Studios has closed
, followed by Bethesda Softworks coming in to form a new studio – Roundhouse – and put out offers to the talented team that made games such as Rune and the original Prey.
While I’m glad Bethesda has created a new home for the team, Human Head’s closure marks the end of an important independent studio. Founded in 1997, Human Head was one of the best game developers in Wisconsin, and it’s a shame that it’s closed. The original Rune is a fantastic action-RPG, and as I’m writing this, Rune II is downloading. I’m eager to give it a go. After years of struggling to get it out the door, Human Head’s 2006 shooter Prey turned out to be an imaginative and fun title, and it broke ground for having a Native American lead (who’s voice actor is also a Cree). Sadly, the studio never got its sequel finished, instead selling the rights to the franchise to Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax. Bethesda went on to cancel Prey 2, and instead, Arkane put out a fantastic reimagining
of the franchise in 2017’s Prey.
Now, Human Head’s talented designers are with Bethesda. Does this mean more Prey? Will Roundhouse work on a new action-RPG?
I’m not sure what’s next, but I’m glad Chris Reinhardt and his crew have a new home after they had to close their studio. It’s may not be a Hollywood “Happily Ever After,” but they’ll still get a chance to work together – and, I hope, benefit from the greater resources of Bethesda Softworks.
–Jason Wilson, GamesBeat managing editor