Embracer Group

Embracer Group Reportedly Shuts Down Gothic, Risen and Elex Developer Piranha Bytes After 26 Years

From the ashes of that closed studio, the developer's former leaders have founded Pithead Studio

Embracer Group takes more then it gives to the game industry as Piranha Bytes, the developer behind the Gothic, Risen and Elex franchises has reportedly been shut down as of the end of this past June, according to a report from German website GameStar.

Since June of last year, Embracer Group has been in a company-wise restructuring phase that had led to layoffs of more than 4,500 people from its internal studios which was suppose to conclude in March but that seems to be not the case. It doesn’t end there as the company has also full on shut down legacy game studios that are never coming back including Volition, Free Radical Design, New World Interactive, Pieces Interactive, and now Piranha Bytes has been added to that unfortunate group. On the other side, some studios have thankfully escaped the Embracer Group sinking ship after being sold off including Gearbox, Saber Interactive, and Shiver Entertainment.

It’s not m,uch good news but as as part of the GameStar story, Piranha Bytes’ now former leaders, Björn Pankratz and Jennifer Pankratz have announced the founding of a brand new indie game studio, Pithead Studio this past Thursday. The reason behind the name is a reference to a local mineshaft entrance. It’s still very much early days, but it seems the new studio will continue the legacy of Piranha Bytes as it is focused on creating role playing games.

“With Pithead Studio we have founded a new indie studio. In the future we will develop immersive and fantastic indie games,” Pithead Studio said in a tweet this morning.