Report: Embracer closes down Piranha Bytes

Report: Embracer closes down Piranha Bytes

Swedish games firm Embracer Group has reportedly shut down the maker of Gothic, Risen and Elex Piranha Bytes. 

That's according to GameStar, which reports that the developer closed down in June following layoffs at the end of 2023. This is just the latest studio that Embracer has closed in the last year or so following a failed $2 billion investment from Saudi Arabia's Savvy Games Group. 

However, in the case of Piranha Bytes, there is some light at the end of the tunnel – something that is increasingly rare in this industry. Björn Pankratz and Jennifer Pankratz  – creative director and game designer respectively – have founded a brand new indie developer called Pithead Studio. 

The venture was announced in a post on Twitter, in which the company said that it "will develop immersive and fantastic indie games."

Embracer Group – then THQ Nordic – bought Piranha Bytes in 2019. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.