Piranha Bytes

Pluto 13 GmbH
Piranha Bytes
Piranha Bytes Software GmbH (1997–2002)
Industry Video game industry
Founded 1997; 22 years ago (1997) in Bochum, Germany
  • Michael Hoge
  • Tom Putzki
  • Stefan Nyul
  • Alex Brüggemann
Headquarters ,
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.


Prianha 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 GAME 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]

Games developed

Year Title Platform(s)
PS3 PS4 Win X360 XONE
2001 Gothic No No Yes No No
2002 Gothic II No No Yes No No
2003 Gothic II: Night of the Raven No No Yes No No
2006 Gothic 3 No No Yes No No
2009 Risen No No Yes Yes No
2012 Risen 2: Dark Waters Yes No Yes Yes No
2014 Risen 3: Titan Lords Yes Yes Yes Yes No
2017 ELEX No Yes Yes No Yes


  1. ^ a b c d e 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. ^ a b Handrahan, Matthew (22 May 2019). "THQ Nordic acquires Gothic developer Piranha Bytes". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 30 June 2019.

External links