Rune II, the Viking action-adventure, may have been given a new lease on life. The original company behind the project, Human Head Studios, was hit with a lawsuit from publisher Raganrok over a variety of issues concerning the creation and release of the game. The day after it was released, the game’s developer, Human Head Studios, shut down. The company was then bought bought up by Zenimax and absorbed into the Bethesda brand.
The game met with modest success at best, yielding average review scores pretty much across the board. Some people criticized the sequel for a lack of polish and uninspired gameplay. Overall, it seemed like the pressure to ship the minimum viable product really got to the development team. Despite this, the publisher wanted to continue delivering updates and new content to keep the fans happy.
Ragnarok obviously didn’t appreciate this failure to deliver a long-term product. The published filed suit for breach of contract and fraudulent concealment, claiming that the studio refused to hand over the source code and assets to the game when they sold. This prevented Ragnarok from actually continuing with development, and delivering updates to fans who bought it.
Ragnarok announced on its official forums that were able to gain access to a backup of the game’s assets and source code in the ongoing lawsuit disputes. The company has begun rebuilding the asset library and codebase from the delivered files. It will take some time, as the company has had to bring in outside help to handle the transfer process.
“Currently we have set up a build, test, and staging environment. Once we have confirmed that we are able to make a complete build of the current version of RUNE II (.12L), we are going to begin working on a patch to address the top critical issues, bugs, and optimizations that we have seen reported over the last month and a half.”
So while it’s good news that the game is back in the hands of Ragnarok, it will be some time before the patches and new content are delivered. And don’t make the mistake of assuming the lawsuit is over either. That’s because Ragnarok is still seeking restitution for the game’s development costs and at least $100 million in damages.