THQ Nordic acquires Gothic studio Piranha Bytes

RPG maker also behind the Risen series bought for undisclosed sum

THQ Nordic has acquired German RPG developer Piranha Bytes and its intellectual property portfolio.

Founded in 1997, the studio is best known for its Gothic and Risen series, and more recently science fantasy-themed RPG Elex.

THQ Nordic said Piranha will “remain an independent game development studio” focused on the creation of RPGs, “having full creative freedom in doing so”, while it acts as “publisher, responsible for distribution, marketing and further support”.

Piranha has approximately 31 full-time employees and will continue to be led by CEO Michael Rüve and head of games Björn Pankratz.

THQ Nordic said it “strongly believes that the studio has an excellent opportunity to build further upon its existing titles as well as to create new IP based on Piranha’s unique proprietary game engine and decades of experience in their niche”.

Rüve said: “THQ Nordic has unparalleled experience and capabilities in games development and publishing, and we are convinced they are the perfect partner to support Piranha in taking the studio to the next level.”

THQ Nordic has acquired many studios and IPs in recent years, including Koch Media and its Deep Silver publishing label in February 2018. That deal gave it ownership of the Saints Row and Dead Island franchises, plus the exclusive licence for the Metro series.

THQ Nordic raised SEK 2.1 billion ($225 million) through new share issues earlier this year to strengthen its merger and acquisition capacity.

In a financial report released today, the company said: “We continue to execute on our M&A strategy by carrying out extensive scouting, research and proactive engagement to find suitable companies to enhance the Group within all prioritized areas – intellectual properties, publishing, development and partner publishing.”

THQ Nordic also said it has signed an undisclosed, triple-A project from Metro studio 4A Games.