Piranha Bytes, the studio behind franchises like Gothic, Risen, and Elex, has addressed rumors that the studio may be facing closure.
“Yes, it’s true. We, Piranha Bytes, are in a difficult situation. There are a lot of news about us circulating right now and this is our answer: Don’t write us off yet! We do everything to continue creating worlds in which you can lose yourself. This is what our hearts have always beaten for,” Piranha Bytes said in a statement.
The studio also explained it is still looking for a partner on its next project and will provide an update as soon as it can. Piranha Bytes was founded in 1997 and bought by Phenomedia in 1999. Phenomedia went bankrupt in 2002 and Piranha Bytes management bought out the studio. It was independent until 2019 when it was acquired by THQ and Embracer Group.
It’s possible that Piranha Bytes’ current situation is linked to the fallout of Embracer Group’s alleged 2 million dollar deal with a Saudi-backed game company. Embracer has already shut down multiple studios, including Volition and Free Radical Design, while layoffs have taken place a other companies it owns. Piranha Bytes’ latest game, Elex 2, was released in 2022 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. It received mixed reviews on Metacritic, averaging a score of 64.