Gothic, Elex Developer Pirahna Bytes Has Reportedly Shut Down

Gothic, Elex Developer Pirahna Bytes Has Reportedly Shut Down

Piranha Bytes, the developer of series such as Elex, Gothic, and Risen, has been shut down. The studio was owned by Embracer, which had been seeking a buyer for the German developer as part of its ongoing cost-cutting restructuring following failed $2 billion deal with Saudi Arabia-backed Savvy Games Group last year. 

However, earlier today, Pirahna leaders Björn Pankratz and Jenny Pankratz announced the formation of Pithead Studio, a new indie studio. In an announcement video, the pair acknowledges Pirahna’s silence over the past few months and says they plan to answer questions about Pithead’s founding on their YouTube channel starting each Monday. 

Piranha Bytes was founded in 1997 and is perhaps best known for creating the Gothic series. The studio also developed the three Risen titles and the Elex series; its final release was Elex II in 2022. A remake of Gothic 1 is currently in development by a different studio, Alkimia Interactive. Piranha Bytes was acquired by THQ Nordic in 2019, itself a publishing subsidiary of Embracer Group.

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