Austrian publisher THQ Nordic have announced the acquisition of Essen-based development studio Piranha Bytes, the studio behind RPGs like Gothic, Risen and Elex. Piranha Bytes will continue to operate independently under a new entity.
THQ Nordic just can't stop buying video game development studios and IPs in the last couple of years. Earlier this year, Austrian publisher acquired the IP rights for action-adventure classic Outcast and shortly after, they snapped Kingdom Come: Deliverance makers Warhorse Studios.
In their latest shopping spree, THQ Nordic have acquired the developer of legendary RPG series Gothic - Piranha Bytes, who also created Risen and 2017's Elex, which is their latest creation.
In an official statement, THQ Nordic and Piranha Bytes say that the acquisition includes the development studio and all intellectual property rights. The two parties also agreed to not disclose the purchase price but "the price equals c. three years of what management's estimated royalty payments to Piranha for upcoming titles would have been, if the acquisition had not occurred".
Piranha Bytes will focus and concentrate on the creation of "outstanding and unique" RPG titles with full support and creative freedom in doing so, while THQ Nordic will act as Piranha Bytes' publisher, responsible for marketing and distribution.
Michael Ruve will remain as the CEO of Piranha and Bjorn Pankratz will stay on Head of Games position. All other active owners will also remain on their positions.
Unfortunately, the statement does not mention if Piranha will work on brand new IP or a sequel for one of the games from their current portfolio. However, we know they will work on RPGs and our bet would be on a new Gothic or Risen game.
Piranha Bytes were founded in 1997 and since 2001, the studio released eight titles, including four Gothic and three Risen games, along with the latest RPG Elex. Their two best-received games are the original Gothic and the sequel Gothic II, currently sitting at 81 and 79 Metascore on Metacritic respectively.