Attack of the Fanboy

THQ Nordic Acquires ELEX Developer Piranha Bytes

Crossing paths once again

by Jelani James


THQ Nordic is at again, doing what it does best: purchasing other companies. And this time, the company in question is Germany-based developer Piranha Bytes.

This acquisition, which was worth “c. three years of what management’s estimated royalty payments to Piranha for upcoming titles would have been, if the acquisition had not occurred,” includes the development studio and all intellectual property rights.

And per usual, not much will change in the day-to-day operations for the newly-acquired developer. Not only will Pirahna Bytes will remain independent with a continued focus on on game development, but management will remain the same with CEO Michael Ruve and head of games Bjorn Pankratz behind the whell, and all active owners remaining in their present roles.

Interestingly enough, this technically isn’t the first time these two entities have interacted. In fact, they have a history dating back to 2001.

As you might might recall, the two partnered up when THQ Nordic published Piranha Bytes most recent title, ELEX, back in 2017. And before that, its previous series, Risen (2009-2014), was published by Deep Silver, which went on to be acquired by THQ Nordic last year. Finally, in the aforementioned 2001, the original THQ were the ones who published the first Gothic in Europe. So one might say this acquisition was almost inevitable

Here is a brief statement from both parties:

Lars Wingefors, Group-CEO THQ Nordic AB

“Piranha Bytes is one of the most iconic german game studios and the creators of RPG´s GothicRisen and, more recently, Elex. The three strong IPs have proven successful and will be great additions to our portfolio. We look forward bringing Piranha team into the family which has received legendary status across the RPG community as their fan base cherishes their current games and eagerly anticipates their new titles in the future.”

Michael Ruve, CEO Piranha Bytes

“We have a successful and long-standing relationship with THQ Nordic and are very excited to join the group. 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. We see a unique opportunity to continue to develop great, memorable and impactful RPG games, now being part of the THQ Nordic family.”

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