“Don’t Write us off yet!” Piranha Bytes refutes closure claims
Piranha Bytes responds to closure rumours – “We are convinced that we will succeed”
Last week, rumours started circulating about the closure of Piranha Bytes (PB), the RPG developer behind both the Gothic and Risen series. The studio was reportedly the latest victim of the Embracer Group’s downsizing. This downsizing has already seen Campfire Cabal, Volition, and Free Radical close down, and many other studios announce layoffs.
Piranha Bytes is currently owned by THQ Nordic, a subsidiary of the Embracer Group. The developer has been active for over 25 years, with THQ Nordic acquiring the company in 2019.
Below, we can see how Piranha Bytes’ CEO Michael Ruve has responded to reports of the studio’s closure. He has said that gamers shouldn’t “write us off yet”, and that the company are “convinced that we will succeed.”
— Piranha Bytes (@Piranha_Bytes) January 22, 2024
Is history repeating itself for Piranha Bytes?
In 1999, Phenomedia acquired Piranha Bytes, and when that company became insolvent, the studio’s management bought out the studio to make the company independent. Right now, the studio’s management are working to “find a partner”, which could mean that the company could be going independent once again. Alternatively, the company could be acquired by another publisher.
At this time, the future of PB remains uncertain. The studio were reportedly working on ELEX III until Embracer’s financial issues started hitting its subsidiaries.
2023 was a difficult year for the games industry, with layoffs happening at most major studios. Game Informer has reported that over 10,000 game developers and employees were paid off in 2023. So far, 2024 appears to be a year where more job cuts within the gaming industry are likely. Now is not a good time to be a game developer, and and we hope that those affected by these layoffs can find stable, rewarding employment.
The Embracer Group’s financial issues have hit the gaming industry hard, and we expect more bad news in 2024. Since June 2023, Embracer has laid off over 900 employees and cancelled at least 15 projects.
You can join the discussion on Piranha Bytes addressing studio closure rumours on the OC3D Forums.