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Rune II publisher Ragnarok Game has filed a legal complaint against developer Human Head Studios for withholding game assets.
It’s a rather bizarre turn of events given both companies worked together to release the title, and one that’s complicated by the fact that Human Head Studios is technically no more.
The studio announced its closure less than a month ago, before simultaneously revealing the entire team had been offered the chance to start afresh under the Bethesda Softworks umbrella as new company Roundhouse Studios.
The news caught evidently caught Ragnarok by surprise, with the publisher saying it was "shocked" to hear Human Head was shutting down and effectively joining Bethesda just one day after the launch of Rune II.
"Human Head Studios announced that they closed their doors and will be starting a new studio. This is shocking news to us, as there are several entities working on Rune II -- we found out about this news when you did," wrote the company at the time.
Although Ragnarok pledged to keep supporting Rune II by sticking to the established post-launch roadmap, the company claims it has been unable to make any headway because of Human Head’s refusal to play ball.
The publisher alleges the defunct studio is unwilling to produce the assets and source code it needs to support the title, forcing it to take legal action.
"As mentioned previously, we had no warning that our long term partner and friends in this project would abandon it during its most crucial moment, leaving our team at Ragnarok Game LLC to shoulder both the development and publishing burden of launch all on its own," reads a company statement.
"Since Human Head’s sudden closure, announcement, and discovering the active concealment of their acquisition, we have repeatedly requested access to the final launch build source code and Rune II game assets. This is so we can continue to support, update, and execute future DLC for our community. As part of the publishing agreement on Rune II, Ragnarok Game LLC has paid for the development of these assets and is the rightful owner of them.
"After repeated refusals by Human Head to produce these assets, we’ve had no choice but to file a legal complaint in order to obtain the Rune II game assets. We have exhausted all possible options before getting to this point. This is not the step we wanted to take, but it is necessary in order to fulfill our promises to our community."