THQ Nordic has acquired German studio Piranha Bytes for an undisclosed sum, including the trademark and intellectual properties Gothic, Risen, and ELEX.
The newly formed entity – Piranha Bytes GmbH, Essen, Germany – “will host the entire development team” as a 100 per cent subsidiary of THQ Nordic GmbH. Nordic insists the team “will focus and concentrate on the creation of outstanding and unique RPG gaming experiences” and have “full creative freedom in doing so” while THQ Nordic GmbH will act as Piranha Bytes’ publisher, distributor, and support with marketing.
According to THQ Nordic, the closing of the transaction remains “subject to the approvals of the committees of Piranha Bytes”.
A Q&A on the THQ Nordic website would not comment on “potential remakes” of Gothic or Risen, but when asked about ELEX 2, the answer was: “Semi-official comment: Have a guess”.
“There are situations in life where you think to yourself ‘This feels right’. Well, this is exactly one of them. We have been working on some great and exciting things over the past couple of years and we are extremely stoked about what the future brings with the right partner and the right network of companies”, says Björn Pankratz, project director and game designer of Piranha Bytes.
“After all, we want to continue to create great, memorable, and impactful games with as much creative freedom as possible, and with THQ Nordic we know we are now part of a family, which supports us by all means in our efforts.”
It comes after a number of notable acquisitions by THQ Nordic, including the rights to the sci-fi action-adventure IP, Outcast, Goat Simulator developer Coffee Stain Studios, and racing games specialist Bugbear Entertainment back in November 2018. The company has also acquired the rights to Act of War, Alone in the Dark, Carmageddon, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Second Sight, and TimeSplitters.
THQ Nordic CEO and co-founder, Lars Wingefors, detailed his “sincerest apologies and regret for THQ Nordic’s interaction with the controversial website 8chan” after the company’s PR and marketing director, Philipp Brock, decided to host an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session on the 8chan website, a site banned from Google for grossly offensive material, including child pornography and hate speech. The decision was almost universally condemned by the industry.