The answer to the question posed in the title of this article was answered a few days ago by Human Head Studios’ Tim Gerritsen. Gerritsen popped in to one of the Mac-related
on their Web site to discuss the latest happenings with the Mac conversion to their Halls of Valhalla expansion pack, announced some months ago but still as of yet missing in action. Gerritsen notes that a publishing deal for Halls of Valhalla is now up in the air, but he expects a favorable resolution, once some contractual issues are resolved.
At E3 Expo last month, Take Two Interactive Software and Infogrames announced a
that will bring several high-profile games to the Mac in the coming months, courtesy of Infogrames subsidiary
MacSoft. Among those on the list are Myth III: The Wolf Age, Max Payne, Tropico, Fly! II and Stronghold, and others still to be announced. This plan has effectively stopped Take Two subsidiary Gathering of Developers from publishing any more Macintosh games. The Gathering was responsible for Mac titles including Rune, 4×4 Evo, Oni, Railroad Tycoon II and Fly!.
Unfortunately, it appears that one casualty of this deal is Halls of Valhalla, an expansion pack for Human Head Studios’ game Rune. Rune was published for the Mac this past winter. Based on the same technology that powers Unreal Tournament, Rune puts players in a realm populated by creatures of Viking myth and legend.
“Gathering of Developers has divested itself of all of its Mac holdings, as some of you are aware,” wrote Gerritsen. “Another publisher has picked up the Gathering Mac holdings. However, [Halls of Valhalla] Mac was not part of that deal, and Gathering is no longer doing Mac product going forward.”
Macintosh game conversion studio
handled the conversion of Rune and was later hired to convert Halls of Valhalla, as well. Gerritsen confirmed that Westlake’s role in the conversion is, for all intents and purposes, done.
“This leaves the product, unfortunately, in limbo. Westlake has completed the game, and it is ready for release. However, they are the not the rights holders to Rune. As rights holders Human Head Studios Inc. has gone to Take Two to get final resolution on the Mac version (as Take Two has first rights to the game under contract),” said Gerritsen.
The good news, said Gerritsen, is that Human Head Studios already has a couple of publishers interested in the Mac version.
“If Take Two doesn’t take up the publishing, we already have a firm offer from a Mac specific publisher and another waiting in the wings to take up publication,” said Gerritsen.
Gerritsen also mentions that Westlake Interactive has suffered some totally undeserved and completely unnecessary abuse at the hands of frustrated gamers who are waiting for this expansion pack to be released.
“Westlake has taken a lot of flak on this release. However, they have held up their end of the bargain and delivered a good game, which Human Head has approved for release. Unfortunately, both Human Head’s and Westlake’s hands are tied until the publisher issue is resolved,” said Gerritsen.
Ultimately, however, Gerritsen said that gamers who want Halls of Valhalla for the Macintosh must simply exercise a bit of patience and restraint.
“We know you want this game out, and so do we. We are working as quickly as we can to resolve it, but there are contractual obligations here that have to be abided by. This game will come out; it’s just a matter of when. As soon as we can make an announcement as to the final publisher and release date, we will put out the word right here,” said Gerritsen.
“We thank you very much for your continued patience and for your support of the community as a whole. Obviously this is not the way we wanted this product released, but we are working hard at using this situation to provide for much better distribution than was originally planned by Gathering,” concluded Gerritsen.