Human Head Studios is back with a sequel to one of its first games. The company announced Rune: Ragnarok today, which is the followup to its 2000 PC action-adventure Rune. Like the original, Rune: Ragnarok will take place in a world of Norse mythology. This updated take will have a heavier focus on role-playing elements while also giving players an open world to explore.

This is the first Rune since 2001’s Viking Warlord for PlayStation 2. The Madison, Wisconsin-based Human Head did not say when Ragnarok would debut, but it is due out for PC.

“After 17 years, we are thrilled to finally announce a new Rune game,” director Chris Rhinehart said. “In the spirit of the original, Rune: Ragnarok has intense and brutal combat in a world steeped in Norse mythology.”

For Human Head Studios, this marks a return to original development in the PC-gaming space. The company is best known for producing the 2006 shooter Prey for the PC and first Xbox. Human Head started work on Prey 2 after that, but Publisher Bethesda canceled that game and brought on Arkane to work on the 2017 reboot of Prey instead.


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Over the last decade, Human Head has primarily put its talent to work by providing work-for-hire support on other studios’ games. BioShock Infinite, World of Tanks, and Batman: Arkham Orgins all include Human Head’s fingerprints. The studio also worked on the Minecraft-like game Minimum with troubled publisher Atari.

To break back out into making its own works, Human Head has secured funding through capital firm ESDF Management. ESDF wants to provide financing to games, and it is starting that effort off with the new Rune sequel.

“Rune: Ragnarok is the first video game we’ve committed to financing,” ESDF managing partner Matt Candler said. “We’re incredibly excited to support the vision that our partners at Human Head Studios have offered for long-time fans and newcomers to Rune alike.”

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