Arkane Studios

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Arkane Studios
Industry Computer and video games
Interactive entertainment
Founded 12 October 1999[1]
Headquarters Lyon, France
Area served
Worldwide (Offices in Lyon, France and Texas, United States)
Key people
Raphaël Colantonio (CEO and creative director)
Harvey Smith
Austin Grossman (Writer)
Products Dishonored (2012–)
Number of employees
150 (2015)[2]
Parent ZeniMax Media

Arkane Studios is a French video game developer based in Lyon, France. It was founded in 1999, and released its first game, Arx Fatalis, in 2002. Arkane Studios opened an Austin, Texas-based office in July 2006.[3]


Arkane Studios's first game was Arx Fatalis. The studio's second game, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, was released in October 2006. It refined the first-person melee combat of Arx Fatalis with a lesser emphasis on role-playing elements.

In December 2006, the company announced its new first-person shooter title, The Crossing, which was later cancelled. Between 2006 and 2007, the company was working in conjunction with Valve Software to develop a game in the Half-Life series called Return to Ravenholm.[4] The project has since been cancelled and its existence has been confirmed by Valve employee Marc Laidlaw.[5] Arkane also began work on Electronic Arts's LMNO project featuring Steven Spielberg,[6] which was also later cancelled.

In 2008 the company also helped in the development of maps for the multiplayer component of Call of Duty: World at War.[7] In July 2009, 2K Marin announced that Arkane was signed up to help with BioShock 2 development, more specifically "design, animation, and art".[8]

In August 2010, the company was acquired by ZeniMax Media.[9] The studio most recently worked on Dishonored, a first-person stealth-action game with role-playing elements that was released in October 2012, and received critical acclaim.[10]


Title Year Genre Platform
Arx Fatalis 2002 RPG Windows, Xbox
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic 2006 RPG Windows, Xbox 360
Dishonored 2012 First person stealth Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Dishonored 2 2016 First person stealth Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Cancelled games[edit]

Title Genre Platform Note
LMNO Action Windows Level design assistance[11]
The Crossing First-person shooter Windows, Xbox 360
Half-Life 2: Episode 4 / Return to Ravenholm First-person shooter Unknown [12]

Additional work[edit]

Title Year Genre Platform Note
Call of Duty: World at War 2008 First-person shooter Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Windows Mobile Multiplayer only
KarmaStar 2009 Strategy iOS
BioShock 2 2010 First-person shooter Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Level design assistance


  1. ^ "ARKANE STUDIOS". Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Arkane Studios Opens Austin Office". Austin Chapter. International Game Developers Association. 2006-07-07. Retrieved 2009-09-05. [dead link]
  4. ^ ""Return To Ravenholm" – A Cancelled 2007 Half-Life Project By Valve Software And Arkane Studios, Developers of Dark Messiah, Dishonored And The Crossing/". Lambda Generation. 2012-01-12. Retrieved 2012-01-17. 
  5. ^ "Marc Laidlaw On The Cancelled Half-Life Spin-offs: Return To Ravenholm And "Episode Four"". Lambda Generation. 2012-01-13. Retrieved 2012-01-17. 
  6. ^ "The mirror men of Arkane". The Verge. June 27, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Arkane named as fourth BioShock 2 developer". Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "BioShock 2 zaps fourth dev house". GameSpot. 2009-07-10. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  9. ^ Matas, Jeff (2010-08-12). "Zenimax Acquires Arkane Studios". Shacknews. GameFly Media. Archived from the original on 16 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  10. ^ Henson, Ben (December 19, 2015). "Why Dishonored Is One Of The Best Games Of 2012". Game Informer. Retrieved June 6, 2015. 
  11. ^ "The Story Behind Steven Spielberg's LMNO from". Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  12. ^ "New images of Half-Life 2: Episode 4 / Return to Ravenholm". Retrieved June 14, 2015. 

External links[edit]