Human Head Studios announced Rune: Ragnarok in 2017 as a sequel to the 2000 game Rune, a Viking-themed action-adventure about a young warrior caught up in a conflict between Loki and Thor in the events leading to Ragnarok. In early 2018, it changed the name to just Rune, dropping the "Ragnarok" bit because "we now see Rune as lasting beyond Ragnarok and beyond the Nine Realms." To avoid confusion, old-timers were encouraged to refer to the original Rune as Rune Classic instead.
I guess that plan didn't really catch fire, though, because as of today it's been renamed again, this time to the more sequel-like Rune 2. The game itself remains on its planned course, however: As the chosen savior of Midgard, you'll travel the world, collect resources and artifacts, and kick lots of ass in an effort to prevent Loki from unleashing chaos on the realm. It will support solo play and co-op multiplayer action in an open world with customizable characters, upgradeable skills, and craftable weapons, including severed limbs torn from the corpses of your enemies, which I guess kind of qualifies as crafting, sort of.
"We’ve spent the last few years building a story-driven brutal Viking experience and evolving it with the help of our fan base," said Human Head Studios Co-founder and CEO Chris Rhinehart. "Players return to Midgard with a sense of familiarity, but with new mechanics such as god-given abilities, open world events, crafting, a full single/co-op campaign, along with UE4 enhanced visuals, making it a true sequel to the original."
Rune 2 still doesn't have a solid release date, but Human Head also announced today that it will be out sometime this summer, and will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store at launch. More will be revealed during a Twitch livestream that will begin at 1 pm PT/4 pm ET on May 24.
Update: Human Head has released a video in which co-founder Chris Rhinehart answers 16 important questions about Rune 2, the first six of which are about the Epic Games Store. Rhinehart says that it became clear during development that Rune 2 would require more time than expected to be properly finished, and more time meant more money. After exploring options with several potential partners, the studio opted to go with Epic, in part because of a longstanding relationship between the two companies that extends back to the original Rune.
Rhinehart acknowledged that some people will be unhappy with the decision, but said that Human Head is "doing what we think is the best thing for the product." Anyone who preordered Rune 2 prior to the announcement will receive a second copy of Rune 2 to share, hoard, or whatever, or can opt to claim a no-questions-asked refund until June 5.