Reportedly, Embracer Shuts Down Cult RPG Developer Piranha Bytes, Makers of Gothic, Risen, and Elex



The possible closure of the German game studio Piranha Bytes continues as fallout from the acquisition frenzy of publishing giant Embracer Group. The corporation’s reported shuttering of the studio, known for cult RPGs like Gothic, Risen and Elex, came to light recently by an employee interviewed by the Polish game site CD-Action. It’s suggested that Piranha Bytes had been in jeopardy since earlier in the year, linked with Embracer’s studio shutdowns. Confirming the closure, the former head of Piranha Bytes, Björn Pankratz, spoke about the issue on the Discord server of Pithead Studio, a new game company he co-founded.

In the Discord conversation he mentioned that many game industry studios, including Piranha Bytes, had to shut down due to last year’s harsh conditions. Thousands lost their jobs worldwide, a huge portion of that brought about by Embracer. In line with the closure, photos unveiling the deserted offices of Piranha Bytes surfaced, revealing the spaces piled high with unused furniture. Piranha Bytes’ creations were known for being a little rough around the edges, but possessed a certain spirit that made them enjoyable to many gamers.

The fate of IPs Gothic, Risen, and Elex which still belong to THQ Nordic (also owned by Embracer), remains uncertain. No disclosure has been given as to whether these franchises will continue, leaving creators and fans in the dark. The discord conversation hinted a Gothic Remake by Spanish studio Alkimia Interactive, but without the involvement of any previous Piranha Bytes staff. This closing is part of several game studio shutdowns in Embracer’s latest “restructuring programme”, leading to huge unemployment in the gaming industry and hampering the development of potential sequels such as Red Faction.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *