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Prey developer Human Head shuts down, is acquired by Bethesda

Human Head Studios is now Roundhouse Studios

A screenshot of Loki’s head and crown from the game Rune 2 Human Head Studios
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The developer of the original Prey, Rune, and The Quiet Man, Human Head Studios, has closed its doors. But the employees of that studio have joined Fallout and The Elder Scrolls publisher Bethesda Softworks as part of a new developer called Roundhouse Studios.

Madison, Wisconsin-based Roundhouse Studios “will immediately begin work on unannounced projects at Bethesda,” according to an announcement from 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, creative director at Roundhouse Studios, in a press release. “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.”

Bethesda and Human Head previously worked together on Prey 2, a canceled sequel to the 2006 first-person shooter. Arkane Studios, also owned by Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media, later developed its own follow-up, the 2017 reboot simply titled Prey.

“While sorry to hear of their challenges as Human Head Studios, we were excited by the opportunity to bring under the Bethesda umbrella this talented, established development team,” said Todd Vaughn, senior vice president of development at Bethesda. “We are delighted that the entire staff will remain together and is now part of the Bethesda family.”

In October, Bethesda acquired mobile game developer Alpha Dog.

Human Head Studios was founded in 1997. The studio developed original games such as Dead Man’s Hand, Rune 2, and Lost Within, and supported development on third-party titles such as Batman: Arkham Origins, Brink, and BioShock Infinite.

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