Piranha Bytes

Piranha Bytes GmbH is a German video game developer based in Essen. Founded in 1997, they are best known for their Gothic and Risen series of role-playing video games. As of May 2019, the studio has 32 employees and is a subsidiary of THQ Nordic.

Piranha Bytes GmbH
  • Piranha Bytes Software GmbH (1997–2002)
  • Pluto 13 GmbH (2002–2019)
IndustryVideo games
Founded1997; 23 years ago (1997) in Bochum, Germany
  • Michael Hoge
  • Tom Putzki
  • Stefan Nyul
  • Alex Brüggemann
Key people
Michael Rüve (managing director)
Number of employees
32[1] (2020)


Piranha Bytes was incorporated as Piranha Bytes Software GmbH in 1997 by Michael "Mike" Hoge, Tom Putzki, Stefan Nyul and Alex Brüggemann, then based in Bochum.[2][3] In 1999, the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of German publisher Phenomedia.[3] Following a financial scandal, Phenomedia filed for insolvency in May 2002.[3] By September 2002, Piranha Bytes' management had performed a management buyout and transferred Piranha Bytes' trademarks and intellectual property, including the rights to their Gothic series, from Phenomedia into a new entity, Pluto 13 GmbH, which assumed "Piranha Bytes" as its trading name.[2][3] One of the four original founders remained with the new incorporation.[2] In March 2004, Piranha Bytes was among the founders of G.A.M.E. Bundesverband.[4] On 22 May 2019, THQ Nordic announced to have acquired the studio to undisclosed terms.[5] At the time, the studio had 31 employees in its Essen-based offices.[5] Through the acquisition Piranha Bytes was reincorporated as Piranha Bytes GmbH.[2] By June, the company had 32 employees.[6]

Games developedEdit

Year Title Platform(s)
2001 Gothic Microsoft Windows
2002 Gothic II Microsoft Windows
2003 Gothic II: Night of the Raven Microsoft Windows
2006 Gothic 3 Microsoft Windows
2009 Risen Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
2012 Risen 2: Dark Waters Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2014 Risen 3: Titan Lords Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2017 ELEX Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One


  1. ^ Fröhlich, Petra (10 January 2020). "Die größten Spiele-Entwickler in Deutschland 2020" [The largest game developers in Germany 2020]. GamesWirtschaft (in German).
  2. ^ a b c d "Company". Piranha Bytes. Archived from the original on 2 July 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Lück, Patrick (29 April 2012). "Piranha Bytes – Die Fantasten aus dem Pott" [Piranha Bytes – The Fantasts from the Pott]. GameStar (in German).
  4. ^ Klinge, Heiko (8 March 2004). "G.A.M.E. – Bundesverband der Spiele-Entwickler gegründet" [G.A.M.E. – Federal Union of Game Developers Founded]. GameStar (in German).
  5. ^ a b Handrahan, Matthew (22 May 2019). "THQ Nordic acquires Gothic developer Piranha Bytes". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on 29 May 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  6. ^ Wingefors, Lars (27 August 2019). "THQ Nordic Annual Report 2018/19" (PDF). Cision. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 September 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.

External linksEdit