Rune is back after over a decade and a half. Human Head Studios, the developer of the original Prey, has announced that it’s working on Rune: Ragnarok, a sandbox, open-world RPG that, like its predecessor from the year 2000, focuses on the Viking’s Norse mythology. But in Rune: Ragnarok the stakes have been escalated, putting the player directly into the end of world confrontation between gods and men.
Human Head Studios Project Director Chris Rhinehart offered the following prepared statement about bringing Rune back after such a long time:
“After seventeen years, we are thrilled to finally announce a new Rune game. In the spirit of the original, Rune: Ragnarok has intense and brutal combat in a world steeped in Norse mythology. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve created.”
The original Rune game launched in the year 2000 to a positive reception and decent sales. Its limited success was especially impressive considering the game’s development was started by two guys at Raven Software working in their off hours and then finished by a small team struggling after its Daikatana sequel was canceled.
Rune was all about shifting the medium’s expectations for a first-person game; instead of being a shooter, players wielded swords and axes. It sounds like Rune: Ragnarok is planning a less subversive modern action game, though Rune‘s origins are certain to shine through.
Human Head Studios has never given up on creating a Rune follow-up, with rumors of a sequel spread across the past 17 years. Prey‘s development in 2006 started leading Human Head down a different path, but when Prey 2 was canceled and Human Head didn’t have ownership of the property, its choices were limited. The last several years have been spent working on ports or supporting the development of titles including BioShock: Infinite, but now Human Head’s finally able to get back to its bread and butter.
Human Head Studios is not partnering with a traditional publisher for the development of Rune: Raganorok. Instead, it has partnered with a small venture capital company named ESDF Management that formed in 2017. This will be the first game that the finance company has committed to, but its website claims it’s focusing on producing PC games so Rune: Ragnarok may just be the first of many.
Rune: Ragnarok has no release window and is currently announced exclusively for the PC.