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Piranha Bytes (Gothic and Elex devs) has apparently closed down at the end of June

The news is not official yet, hence why I used 'apparently' in the thread headline. The source for this is a report on a Polish website - https://cdaction.pl/newsy/piranha-bytes-zamkniete-to-koniec-tworcow-gothica

Here's a Google translation of the article:

One of the Piranha Bytes employees, with whom we have been in contact since the publication of the first information about the studio's crisis situation , informed us that the company responsible for the creation of Gothic ceased operations at the end of June.

The crisis had been going on for a long time , but investors interested in providing assistance to the studio appeared on the horizon from time to time. The information provided to us indicates that a cash injection of 3 million euros was expected. After all, it was one of the most popular companies creating games in our western neighbors. Unfortunately, the buyout of "Piranha" did not take place in the end, and the financing from Embracer was enough to support the team until June 2024. In the meantime, many employees said goodbye to the studio, opting for more secure employment. A few days before the publication of the material, the company's office looked like this:

image

image


We know that the plans after a potential takeover were to distance themselves from the last games produced under the leadership of Björn Pankratz (who, together with his wife, left Piranha Bytes in November last year and today announced the establishment of the Pithead studio ), i.e. the Elex series, and create a new dark fantasy title on Unreal Engine 5. It was of course supposed to resemble Gothic, to which Piranha Bytes did not have the rights. In December, the lighting and animations were still being refined, which, according to the informant, had previously been the cause of considerable criticism from players.



The current CEO of Piranha Bytes, Michael Rueve, has not yet commented on the fate of the company, but according to our information, the studio will most likely not release any official statements, allowing itself to depart peacefully and quietly.
 
Elex II was a massive piece of shit, and it was Pankratz' baby. IIRC the rest of PB did not want to work on it, but he had the final word.

Not getting my hopes up for this new studio.
 

Skifi28

Member
Gothic 2 was my first ever WRPG so I'll always cherish the memories that this studio and its devs gave me. :lollipop_pensive:
Same here. Gothic 1 & 2 nearly consumed my life for years as a teenager with no money to buy games or good hardware. I would replay them again and again and always discover something new. Just masterpieces.

Edit: it's also a shame that the recent Gothic collection is only available for the Switch for whatever reason. I would have really liked a PS version at 4k60 with the new controls and trophies.
 
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StereoVsn

Member
Shame. They never really seemed to reach the cult status heights set by Gothic 1.

Which ironically is getting a remake soon.
Gothic 2 + Expansion was their peak I would say.

Edit: There is still not a game quite like those Gothic games.

I would have loved something like Gothic 2 and even more expansive built on modern tech with some QoL stuff on top.
 
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Sentenza

Member
Maybe it’s just my cynicism speaking, but I have zero confidence that the same lead that failed for years to capitalize on the Gothic franchise and to keep up with the rest of the industry will suddenly be able to start a new studio and write a smashing success story… on a tighter budget and with none of the past expertise his employees accumulated over the years.

I think they are done.
 

xrnzaaas

Member
No surprise unfortunately, you can't spend 20 years trying to make the same game. I enjoyed Elex 1 & 2 for their exploration and non-linearity, but the core was super archaic.
 

StereoVsn

Member
Night of the Raven has been for years the gold standard of how you make a DLC/expansion that can improve and add on the base game massively.
Yep, that was a peak tier expansion. If Embracer wasn’t such a shit show, a full on remake of Gothic 2 and the expansion would make a lot of sense.

They are remaking Gothic 1 instead, so hopefully that will be alright and then the sequel would get same treatment.

There is also a standalone total conversion mod for Gothic 2 Gold, “Chronicles of Myrtana” that’s supposed to be excellent.

 

Sentenza

Member
There is also a standalone total conversion mod for Gothic 2 Gold, “Chronicles of Myrtana” that’s supposed to be excellent.

It is. Better than any of the half-assed “it’s gothic under a new name” PB released in the last 10 years or so.

Arguably as good as Gothic 2.

I wrote a bunch of posts praising it even on this forum, when it was a recent release.
 

Dazraell

Member
Edit: it's also a shame that the recent Gothic collection is only available for the Switch for whatever reason. I would have really liked a PS version at 4k60 with the new controls and trophies.
Enhancements from Switch are apparently coming to PC as a free upgrade. They probably are not releasing the original game on PS and Xbox because of Gothic Remake which is coming this fiscal year (either this Fall or early 2025)

Yep, that was a peak tier expansion. If Embracer wasn’t such a shit show, a full on remake of Gothic 2 and the expansion would make a lot of sense.

They are remaking Gothic 1 instead, so hopefully that will be alright and then the sequel would get same treatment.
Honestly, to me it make sense as a lot of stuff they are doing for Gothic 1 remake could be reused for Gothic 2 remake. Not to mention that location from first game also appears in the sequel. The only concern is if Embracer will even greenlight a sequel
 

Sentenza

Member
Different studio is handling Gothic Remake. According to rumors Piranha Bytes was working on Elex 3 before Embracer decided to close them
Yeah. I know.

Alkimia. A Spanish studio founded (and funded) specifically for this remake.
They already worked on the so called playable teaser, before ditching most of it and claiming they were going to stick closer to the original.

Where did I give you the impression that I was mixing things up?
 

Dazraell

Member
Where did I give you the impression that I was mixing things up?
That will depend strongly on how well the remake of the first one performs, I guess.
Thing is Gothic 1 remake performance won't have any impact on Piranha Bytes whatsoever as these are two different studios. Piranha Bytes doesn't even own Gothic IP anymore. I would say that the only impact it will have is on Alkimia themselves
 

StereoVsn

Member
Different studio is handling Gothic Remake. According to rumors Piranha Bytes was working on Elex 3 before Embracer decided to close them
That was known. The issue was that while Elex 1 had some promise, Elex 2 was worse and didn’t correct any problems with Elex 1 so to speak.

This isn’t a surprising development considering Embracer is still bleeding cash. It’s just sad.
 

StereoVsn

Member
Thing is Gothic 1 remake performance won't have any impact on Piranha Bytes whatsoever as these are two different studios. Piranha Bytes doesn't even own Gothic IP anymore. I would say that the only impact it will have is on Alkimia themselves

Everyone here knows that. We just want Gothic 1&2 remakes with modern tech and some QoL improvements.
 

Sentenza

Member
Thing is Gothic 1 remake performance won't have any impact on Piranha Bytes whatsoever as these are two different studios. Piranha Bytes doesn't even own Gothic IP anymore. I would say that the only impact it will have is on Alkimia themselves
But I wasn’t talking about Pirahna Bytes there.

I was answering to the previous post wondering if Gothic 2 will also get a remake from THQ Nordic.
 
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Darn. I can't complain too much considering they only entered my radar the other month. I picked up Elex though for the backlog and am incredibly interested in Gothic. Will probably dabble with the OG but I'm really looking forward to the remake from THQ Nordic.
 
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Denton

Member
Elex 2 is a sad whimper to go out on. But at least the closure does not sting as it would if they just made their best game.

Hopefully G1 remake is great and sells well so Alkimia can carry the torch.
 

Gojiira

Member
And nothing of value was lost…Lets not pretend the studio wasnt dogshit. None of the staff who made Gothic 1-2 were still there, and not a single good game came out of them in over a decade..Life Support lasted way too long.
 

SaintALia

Member
That's too bad. I always wanted to play their games, but the jank and lack of character creation in their games turned me off.

Could have sworn there was a Gothic remake in production though. I remember watching a Youtuber complain about it because it 'streamlined' some things about the original game and lacked the details of what made the original cool-according to him.
 

Sentenza

Member
That's too bad. I always wanted to play their games, but the jank and lack of character creation in their games turned me off.

Could have sworn there was a Gothic remake in production though. I remember watching a Youtuber complain about it because it 'streamlined' some things about the original game and lacked the details of what made the original cool-according to him.
There is a remake in production (we talked briefly about it in the previous posts) and it has a "playable teaser" available on Steam. Which had a lot of problems most of the fanbase (myself included) criticized heavily.

Interestingly enough, the two things are at this point have basically nothing to share.
Most of what was in the teaser will be ditched in favor of something that will ALLEGEDLY stick a lot closer to the original.
 

Humdinger

Member
I enjoyed Risen, way long ago in another age. I don't think I could take a Eurojank RPG now, though. It was charming at the time, but I don't have the taste or patience for it anymore.
 

Roberts

Member
The kings of eurojank. Gothic 1 made me fall in love with contained open world rpgs and Gothic 2 made that love stronger. I even enjoyed Risen and first Elex was super solid. Elex 2 was not bad but the they didn’t know how to end it - the last two or three hours suck. Despite the shortcomings, I’m always glad to get lost in their clumsy but enjoyable worlds.
 

Sentenza

Member
Maybe CD Projekt can make a new Gothic game.
They claimed "inspiration" from it since the first Witcher, but they never seemed to nail the aspects that made Gothic good.
In fact, their points of strengths are almost on the opposite side of the spectrum (visuals, art and production value).
 

Hudo

Gold Member
They claimed "inspiration" from it since the first Witcher, but they never seemed to nail the aspects that made Gothic good.
In fact, their points of strengths are almost on the opposite side of the spectrum (visuals, art and production value).
That's a fair point, actually. I just mentioned them because the Polish people in general seem to have a reverence and understanding of Gothic that Piranha Bytes seemed to lack. Otherwise, I dunno who could take over the mantle.
 
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