Embracer Group closes German studio Piranha Bytes known…

Embracer Group closes German studio Piranha Bytes known…



Sad news: German development studio Pyranha Bytes, known for Gothic, Risen and Elex, has closed its doors.

The closure of Piranha Bytes, the German developer behind hit RPGs like Gothic, Risen and Elex, marks the end of an era in the German video game industry. The news comes less than six months after Piranha Bytes publicly acknowledged its difficult situation and tried to find a way to continue development of the game and keep the studio alive.

Embracer Group and the End of Piranha Bytes

The closure was first reported by Polish gaming site CD Action, citing a former employee. who said the studio closed in late June after Embracer Group failed to find a buyer.Shortly after that report, former creative director Björn Pankratz announced the formation of a new independent studio called Pithead Studio, with his wife and longtime Piranha Bytes veteran Jennifer. “, Pankratz said in a video announcing the studio. “Piranha Bytes is not directly mentioned in the video, but a message in Pithead Studio’s Discord suggests an unfortunate ending:

A separate statement confirms that Gothic, Risen and Elex will remain under THQ Nordicthe brand under which Piranha Bytes operated. However, Pithead Studio has no knowledge of, and no influence over, the future of Piranha Bytes.

” ” Pithead said. ” “

The end of an era and what the future holds

While Piranha Bytes isn’t a “major” studio, it has left a deep imprint on the PC gaming landscape. Founded in 1997, their first game was the 2001 fantasy RPG Gothic.

Piranha Bytes has established itself as a developer of challenging Eurojank games – exactly the kind of games that have a small but dedicated fanbase. This reputation was solidified over the years with two other Gothic RPGs, the Risen RPG trilogy and the two Elex games.

In 2019, Piranha Bytes was acquired by THQ Nordicwhich is owned by the Embracer Group. This came at a time when Embracer was “buying everything that wasn’t nailed down,” but it ultimately fell victim to the collapse of a $2 billion investment dealThis led to hundreds of layoffs by 2023 and 2024, and the closure of other studios such as Volition, Free Radical, and Pieces Interactive.

A post on the Piranha Bytes website in January, seeking a partner for their new project, has been deleted. The post was accessible via the Wayback Machine until early June, Now all that remains is the studio’s logo and contact details.