November is the month of the Viking, apparently, but we're not talking about Assassin's Creed Valhalla this time. Today, Rune 2: Decapitation Edition came out. It's an open world action-RPG where you play as some Viking trying to save Midgard, but truly, I'm glossing over the interesting bit.
Rune 2 has gone through nothing but drama over the last year - which most recently involved its publishers accusing Bethesda and Zenimax of intentionally sabotaging the game.
You see, a bunch of Rune 2's original devs at Human Head got snapped up for a new Bethesda studio, Roundhouse, right as the game launched last year, and allegedly refused to hand over the game's code. Rune 2's publishers, Ragnarok Game, sued to regain control of it, but their beef didn't end there.
Last month, Ragnarok claimed in a lawsuit that ZeniMax and Human Head conspired to sabotage the game's launch. They were already suing what's left of Human Head, and added Beth and Zeni in as well, claiming that "at the active instructions of Zenimax, Human Head timed the unveiling of its plan to cause maximum damage."
Amongst their bold claims, they also think Bethesda saw Rune 2 was a threat to Skyrim. Yep.
They certainly don't shy away from all this in the official press release either, saying: "This edition of Rune 2, resurrected by the Studio 369 development team following an attempted sabotage of (zeni)maximum proportions, has been completely redesigned by a dedicated team of veteran game developers."
“We had a good game plan last year before we were blindsided the likes and timing of which I have never seen in my decades in the gaming industry,” says Studio 369 president, Matt Candler.
“Our disbelief, however, turned to resolve, which we relied on as the catalyst for the passion and drive to make Rune 2: Decapitation Edition, and every aspect - visuals, gameplay, narrative, online multiplayer and so on - has been redesigned and vastly improved. We especially want to thank the Rune community that HAD OUR BACKS and provided great feedback to help us deliver this new amazing game. We could not have battled through this process without your patience, loyalty, and trust.”
Whatever you think, you can't deny they're passionate.
Rune 2 has already been out on the Epic Games Store for a year (and is still there). But its exclusivity is over now, so you can grab the Decapitation Edition on Steam for £21/€22/$26 in its launch sale.
If this wasn't quite the Viking adventure you were looking for (or indeed, quite the level of drama you fancy on a Friday afternoon), Assassin's Creed Valhalla came out this week, too.