Bethesda opens new studio to work on “unannounced projects”

Roundhouse Studios contains many of Human Head Studios' former staff

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Bethesda has opened a new studio named Roundhouse, the company has announced, rescuing the staff of recently-closed Human Head. The new developer will remain in Madison, Wisconsin in the US, with many of Human Head’s former employees moving over to Roundhouse – including the studio head, Chris Rhinehart.

Bethesda says the newly-formed developer will work on “unannounced projects”, though it’s not clear what those might be.

“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,” Rhinehart said. “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.”

Human Head was an independent company that created Prey and went on to help make Brink, The Quiet Man, and the Rune series. The studio’s most recent game, Rune 2, only launched on November 12 and its various social channels and website remain alive, suggesting the closure was a very recent decision.

Todd Vaughn, Bethesda’s senior vice president of development, said: “While sorry to hear of their challenges as Human Head Studios, we were excited by the opportunity to bring under the Bethesda umbrella this talented, established development team. We are delighted that the entire staff will remain together and is now part of the Bethesda family.”

Bethesda reportedly attempted to buy Human Head many years ago following a contractual dispute, but this was never confirmed officially by either side. Now, Human Head’s phoenix company, Roundhouse, finds itself a fully-fledged part of Bethesda’s portfolio of studios.