Piranha Bytes

Last updated

Pluto 13 GmbH
Piranha Bytes
Piranha Bytes Software GmbH (1997–2002)
Industry Video game industry
Founded1997;22 years ago (1997) in Bochum, Germany
  • Michael Hoge
  • Tom Putzki
  • Stefan Nyul
  • Alex Brüggemann
Key people
Michael Rüve (managing director)
Number of employees
31 (2019)
Website piranha-bytes.com

Pluto 13 GmbH, doing business as Piranha Bytes, 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 31 employees and is a subsidiary of THQ Nordic GmbH.

A video game developer is a software developer that specializes in video game development – the process and related disciplines of creating video games. A game developer can range from one person who undertakes all tasks to a large business with employee responsibilities split between individual disciplines, such as programming, design, art, testing, etc. Most game development companies have video game publisher financial and usually marketing support. Self-funded developers are known as independent or indie developers and usually make indie games.

Essen Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Essen is the central and second largest city of the Ruhr, the largest urban area in Germany. Its population of 583,393 makes it the ninth largest city of Germany, as well as the fourth largest city of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. On the Ruhr and Emscher rivers, Essen geographically is part of the Rhineland and the larger Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region. The Ruhrdeutsch regiolect spoken in the region has strong influences of both Low German (Westphalian) and Low Franconian.

Gothic is an action role-playing game franchise, created and owned by Piranha Bytes. The latest release was published by Nordic Games.



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. [1] In 1999, the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of German publisher Phenomedia. [1] Following a financial scandal, Phenomedia filed for insolvency in May 2002. [1] By September 2002, Pirnaha 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. [1] Pluto 13 has since used "Piranha Bytes" as its trading name. [1] In March 2004, Piranha Bytes was among the founders of G.A.M.E. Bundesverband. [2] On 22 May 2019, THQ Nordic announced to have acquired the studio to undisclosed terms. [3] At the time, the studio had 31 employees in its Essen-based offices. [3]

Bochum Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Bochum is the sixth largest city of the most populous German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen and Duisburg, and its 364,920 (2016) inhabitants make it the 16th largest city of Germany. On the Ruhr Heights (Ruhrhöhen) hill chain, between the rivers Ruhr to the south and Emscher to the north, it is the second largest city of Westphalia after Dortmund, and the fourth largest city of the Ruhr after Dortmund, Essen and Duisburg. It lies at the centre of the Ruhr, Germany's largest urban area, in the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, and belongs to the region of Arnsberg. It is surrounded by the cities of Herne, Castrop-Rauxel, Dortmund, Witten, Hattingen, Essen and Gelsenkirchen. Bochum is the sixth largest and one of the southernmost cities in the Low German dialect area. There are nine institutions of higher education in the city, most notably the Ruhr University Bochum, one of the ten largest universities in Germany, and the Bochum University of Applied Sciences.

A subsidiary, subsidiary company or daughter company is a company that is owned or controlled by another company, which is called the parent company, parent, or holding company. The subsidiary can be a company, corporation, or limited liability company. In some cases it is a government or state-owned enterprise. In some cases, particularly in the music and book publishing industries, subsidiaries are referred to as imprints.

Insolvency is the state of being unable to pay the money owed, by a person or company, on time; those in a state of insolvency are said to be insolvent. There are two forms: cash-flow insolvency and balance-sheet insolvency.

Games developed

PS3 PS4 Win X360 XONE
2001 Gothic NoNoYesNoNo
2002 Gothic II NoNoYesNoNo
2003 Gothic II: Night of the Raven NoNoYesNoNo
2006 Gothic 3 NoNoYesNoNo
2009 Risen NoNoYesYesNo
2012 Risen 2: Dark Waters YesNoYesYesNo
2014 Risen 3: Titan Lords YesYesYesYesNo
2017 ELEX NoYesYesNoYes

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Lück, Patrick (29 April 2012). "Piranha Bytes – Die Fantasten aus dem Pott" [Piranha Bytes – The Fantasts from the Pott]. GameStar (in German). Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  2. 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). Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  3. 1 2 Handrahan, Matthew (22 May 2019). "THQ Nordic acquires Gothic developer Piranha Bytes". GamesIndustry.biz . Retrieved 30 June 2019.