Ragnarok Game's Rune 2 lawsuit against Human Head Studios and Bethesda, Zenimax [2020]

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by BoardBonobo, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. BoardBonobo

    BoardBonobo My hat is white(ish)!
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    Bethesda, and Zenimax, getting sued for intentionally killing Rune 2 to protect their IP -> Here

    tl;dr

    2 weeks before the launch of Rune 2 formed a shell company to buy the development studio, and all its equipment, to deny the publisher (Ragnarok) access to the source code etc whilst shipping the lead dev off to a 'business' meeting across the country. Rune 2 had been described as Skyrim on steroids and the plaintiff is claiming that they intentionally, and underhandedly, killed the prospects of Rune 2 to protect the Elder Scrolls IP against a competitor.
     
  2. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    Initial paragraphs from the article link:

    In December 2019, Rune 2 publisher Ragnarok Game sued original developer Human Head Studios, alleging that Human Head had attempted to destroy the game by very publicly abandoning it on launch day, and then refusing to turn over the source code and assets so another developer could take over the job. "We could've transitioned the game if they weren't able to participate anymore, we could've transitioned naturally—here's the source code, we'll help you find somebody," executive producer Matt Candler told me in a June 2020 interview. "But they didn't do that. They actually did everything they could to prevent us from supporting the product."​

    The lawsuit has now been amended to include ZeniMax Media and Bethesda Softworks, which announced in November 2019—the day that Human Head went out of business—that it had hired the entire team and reassembled it as Roundhouse Studios. Human Head's initial Roundhouse announcement (available via the Internet Archive) implied that the studio had reached out to Bethesda after the decision to close had been made, but the updated complaint says Bethesda was an active participant in the effort to torpedo Rune 2, and another game called Oblivion Song, and had begun "conspiring" with Human Head in late summer 2019.​
     
  3. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    Sneak 100. Well played, Dragonborn. :yep2:
     
  4. BoardBonobo

    BoardBonobo My hat is white(ish)!
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    There's been an update to this here.

     
  5. Johnny Awesome

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    Well MS can sort them out then! :)
     
  6. eastmen

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    Just buy Ragnarok ? Then the lawsuit goes away ? Maybe cheaper than even paying lawyers and the eventual pay out
     
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  7. seahorsesaw

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    Bullythesda?
     
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  8. ToTTenTranz

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    I'm not sure I get this.

    Rune 2 released a year ago on November 12 on the Epic Store with pretty bad reviews across the board (it was hardly going to be a "Skyrim on steroids").
    Apparently Ragnarok's complaints were that Human Head closed doors the day after release and refused to provide them with the game's source code so they could release DLCs. However, it seems Ragnarok has had the source code since early January so it's not like they lost many months/years in courts to get it back.
    I wonder if these DLCs were ever going to be profitable considering the game got <50% scores, but Ragnarok's claims are that the developers themselves sabotaged the game close to release so it would tank.

    It seems the game got a re-release a couple of weeks ago and the new dev (Studio 369) is working hard on the game with weekly updates according to some user reviews.

    Zenimax creating a subsidiary just to buy the studio seems shady a shit, and it definitely stinks of some degree of sabotage. On the other hand, I only imagine that Human Head are made of a bunch of people who would love to work on the next Elder Scrolls instead of doing their own B-list game. I also don't know how Ragnarok treated Human Head throughout Rune 2's development.


    Perhaps the game will indeed become super fun, and I wonder if Ragnarok is planning a console release now that the Epic Store exclusivity deal is over. This is certainly a way to put the game on everyone's radar again.
     
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