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Back in 2017, THQ Nordic published ELEX, Piranha Bytes' latest action-RPG. And according to this open press release, that partnership has now been extended indefinitely thanks to THQ Nordic acquiring Piranha Bytes along with their intellectual properties that include such beloved series like Gothic and Risen.
Here's the press release itself along with a quick acquisition-related FAQ:
Vienna/AUSTRIA, Essen/GERMANY, May 22nd, 2019 - THQ Nordic today announced that the acquisition of the Piranha Bytes team and trademark and the intellectual property Gothic has been finalised. Piranha Bytes' rights to Risen and ELEX were also acquired.
“Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners. And necessity has made us allies. Those whom nature hath so joined together, let no man put asunder.” John F. Kennedy (1961)
Although statements like the following should not be done within the context of a press release, we still do it:
All of us here at THQ Nordic welcome every single member of the Piranha Bytes team to our family. We already had our fair share of laughter (well, every time we meet in person), fun (conventions, Christmas- and Summer parties, or karaoke singing), tears (when the wrong person hits the karaoke stage), and sweat (Batman cosplay @Gamescom 2018 comes to mind) together, and from now on it is in an officially joint capacity as well. The closing of the transaction is subject to the approvals of the committees of Piranha Bytes.
The newly formed entity (Piranha Bytes GmbH, Essen, Germany) will host the entire development team and is a 100% subsidiary of THQ Nordic GmbH, based in Vienna, Austria. As in the past, the team will focus and concentrate on the creation of outstanding and unique RPG gaming experiences, having full creative freedom in doing so, whereas THQ Nordic GmbH will act as Piranha Bytes' publisher, responsible for distribution, marketing and further support.
“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.”
Q: Will there be any changes in personnel at Piranha Bytes (PB)?
Q: Will PB change location and move to Vienna?
A: No, what happens in Ruhrpott, stays in Ruhrpott.
Q: What is the deal, why is there a new company being incorporated?
A: Technically speaking, Pluto 13 GmbH (the former company behind the Piranha Bytes brand) sold the trademarks “Piranha Bytes” and “Gothic” as well as the entire Gothic IP to THQ Nordic AB. The remaining rights of Risen and ELEX, which were in other entities of the Piranha Bytes folks, were also acquired by THQ Nordic AB. In the forefront of the closing of this deal, THQ Nordic GmbH set up a new entity (initially named “THQ Nordic Reserve 1 GmbH”; in the next days renamed to “Piranha Bytes GmbH”). This company is now stepping into the existing employment and service agreements with all personnel and has also acquired the existing office equipment (furniture, hardware, coffee machine).
Q: What about ELEX 2?
A: Semi-official comment: Have a guess.
Q: What does this mean for potential remakes of Gothic and/or Risen?
A: Nothing to say at this stage.