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Human Head shuts down, staff to join Bethesda's new studio

Co-founder Chris Rhinehart becomes creative director at Roundhouse Studios

Bethesda has announced the opening of a new studio in Madison, Wisconsin, named Roundhouse Studios.

It's not exactly starting from scratch though, as the studio is actually comprised of staff from Human Head Studios, which Bethesda's announcement revealed has closed down.

The team will start working on "unannounced projects" for Bethesda immediately and, by the sound of it, no one was laid off in the process. Human Head Studios had launched its latest game, Rune II, just yesterday on the Epic Games Store.

Chris Rhinehart, now creative director at Roundhouse Studios and former project lead and co-founder at Human Head, commented: "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.

"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's SVP of development Todd Vaughn added that while he was "sorry to hear" about Human Head Studios' challenges, he was "excited by the opportunity to bring under the Bethesda umbrella this talented, established development team."

He added: "We are delighted that the entire staff will remain together and is now part of the Bethesda family."

Human Head Studios was the original developer of Rune and Prey. Prey 2 was famously cancelled in 2014 following a contract dispute, while the team's 2018 title The Quiet Man was critically panned.

Bethesda also recently acquired Canadian mobile studio Alpha Dog.

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Marie Dealessandri avatar
Marie Dealessandri: Marie joined in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack. GI resident Moomins expert.
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